Stop Dog Biting and Nipping
Biting and nipping can be normal puppy behavior, and
to other dogs, with their thick furry coats, it isn't a
problem. Puppies, like most babies, like to try
everything out in their mouths, sometimes including
even your hand, leg or other body parts.
But as your pup's human, you have to deal with this
issue from the beginning or it can create long term problems.
For the most part dogs nip as a part of play. This is a
natural behavior they use to play with their doggie friends
and sometimes they don't realize that you aren't as into it
as their canine pals might be.
This is especially true if your puppy is of a breed that was
designed for herding or guarding, such as shepherds, cattle
dogs or bulldogs. Their ancestors were bred for many
generations to use their mouths to manipulate their
environment, the way we use our hands.
So it is a good idea to redirect this behavior from the very
beginning, even if your young puppy's nips seem funny and
not painful, and not let your dog get into the habit of
thinking you or other family members are chew toys. As with
any type of training, you want to stop this problem behavior
and redirect it to positive behavior whenever you see it.
One of the best redirects you can use for a nipping puppy is
a chew toy of its own. Praise the dog when you see it
chewing or biting appropriate things. When it bites
forbidden things give a sharp "No" and re-direct the puppy
to its toy.
When a dog is going through this phase it is a good idea not
to play games like tug of war or other rough games that
require a lot of biting. This can encourage the exact
behavior you are trying to curb.
Another method some people claim has worked for them is to
act injured. When your puppy gives you a little nip or bite
yell "Ouch!" to let it know it has hurt you. Then stop
playing with the dog. It will start to get the idea that if
it bites, playtime will be over.
Dealing with biting and nipping is especially important if
you have little ones in the house. Little nips that may seem
like no big deal to us could be much worse on a small
child's sensitive skin and can even lead to the child's
fearing all dogs. So work to curb this behavior as soon as
it starts in order to keep everyone safe and have a well
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