Young puppies, fresh from the litterbox, are prone to bite, constantly. They have spent a few months exploring the world with their mouth, playing and exercising with siblings, and they arrive in our homes and believe in earnest that we want them to continue to bite and play with us. And those little puppy needle teeth hurt, and can be destructive; at the worst, puppy teeth can cause physical injury, and at the least they can easily tear or rip clothing and other important belongings.
When a puppy bites or nips, the behavior may seem cute and playful when they are tiny, but as they grow the behavior can be extremely destructive and even dangerous. Dog biting should be curbed as soon as possible. One method, called bite inhibition training, is both effective and requires very little understanding for both the puppy and its human. Here’s how it works…
When puppies play with their mother or siblings, they learn that there are limits to the amount of “chew” that is appropriate. Siblings will yelp or vocalize when the pressure of the bite is too great; Mom will keep the puppies in line whenever their play becomes too great. Humans can help puppies, especially when the puppy is too young to adequately learn the no command when it comes to biting, by vocalizing with every puppy bite.
When puppy bites, we humans can “yelp” the command “ouch!”. The ouch isn’t for the sake of the puppy; it’s a simple enough word to remember, especially when a puppy’s needle teeth are buried in our skin. The more we vocalize the pain from the bite, the more the puppy understands that we don’t appreciate the behavior. It is possible that at first the puppy doesn’t understand our yelp, and our vocalizing only makes them even more excited to play.
In the event the puppy does get excited with our yelp, and they continue the behavior, it’s best to get up and walk away from them. Over time (Consistency over time is the only way to succeed in dog training) the puppy will begin to learn that biting and rough play are inappropriate around humans, and, hopefully, will quit the behavior.
It’s also important to introduce the puppy to other dogs and their groomers at an early age. When your puppy is vaccinated and ready for social interaction, it’s time to visit your Groomingdale’s dog professional.