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Are you feeling frustrated because your puppy is nipping you? Yes, you love your puppy, but this nipping is driving you crazy.
At first, it was exciting getting a new puppy. Now the troubles are starting.
Sometimes the nipping hurts, other times it breaks the skin. You wonder if it will ever stop, and you get worried that this behavior may never go away. You also wonder how to stop the nipping in the best way possible.
As human babies, we mostly cry when we need something. Of course puppies do this too. However, they have a mouth that they tend to use at a much younger age than humans.
When puppies are frustrated they may choose to let their frustration out by nipping you. This can be common when they want attention. They maybe seeking attention because they want to…
They honestly cannot speak English. Their mouth becomes a huge communicator.
Of course, puppies can also be teething. This pain can definitely entice them to want to chew on objects including your hands.
There is also a theory that biting may help pups learn about bite inhibition. This means they can learn when they are biting too hard and learn to be more gentle.
You will read articles online, and your friends will tell you many things. No matter what others may say, it is important to avoid these mistakes to ensure that your puppy grows up to be friendly.
If you do one of these mistakes, you risk your puppy developing fear or aggression problems when he grows up.
Patience is key. When you were a baby and were crying you wanted to feel safe. Your puppy wants to feel safe when he nipping as well. Remember nipping is just your puppy’s form of communcation.
It is a great idea to use an exercise called nothing in life is free. This means that you teach your puppy to sit when he has a request. When he wants to play, to be pet, or to eat a treat, it is best for your puppy to learn to sit.
Give your puppy plenty of items to chew. Your puppy will want a variety of chew toys. Here are some great options:
It is best to not say “no” when your puppy nips. Saying “ouch” is fine, but anything more than that can cause more problems.
When playing with your puppy, and your puppy bites you, stop playing. Resume playing once your puppy stops biting. When you are petting him, you can do the same when your puppy nips you . Giving him a chew toy while you are petting your puppy can help a ton.
Also, pay attention to your puppies needs. Maybe he needs to play, go on a walk, chew on a toy, or even take a nap. Puppies can nip when they are tired. They need to sleep often, so pay attention to your puppy’s napping patterns.
Your puppy will need help directing his needs. You may have to encourage him to chew on the correct toy or encourage him to take a nap by putting him in his crate or ex-pen.
The ASPCA also has an excellent article on puppy nipping.
Children are fragile and nipping can be very painful to them. It is best to teach your children to say “ouch.” Then ignore your puppy. Once your puppy stops biting, the children can resume giving your puppy attention.
When they pet your puppy, it is best for your children to have a chew toy on them.
It is best for your child to have a toy in their hand, while playing with your puppy. Never encourage your children to play with their empty hands around their puppy’s face. This will encourage mouthing.
Always be a safe place for your child. If they are struggling and cannot get their puppy to stop bitting, it is time for you to help. They may need help understanding their puppy’s needs. As an adult, you can see the larger picture and determine what your puppy needs in the moment.
There is no definite answer to this question. However, most puppies will start bitting less at about 6 months of age. Your ability to be committed, to work as a team with your puppy and to be consistent will effect your results.
It is important that you stay committed to your puppy. Remember he needs you. When things get tough, remember you are committed to loving your puppy.
When you act from a place of love and being a team, how will you choose to react?
It is not just about stopping the biting. It is also about acknowledging your puppy’s needs. Remember to question why he is bitting and meet those needs as well. It is not a one way street.
Giving your puppy attention for biting and ignoring your puppy for biting other times is confusing. Try to remember to use “ouch” everytime your puppy nips you.
From there acknowledge your puppy’s needs. Meet your puppy’s needs. Then repeat.
Alyssa Giles trains with Four Legged Scholars LLC. She currently lives in Clearfield. Her passion is behavior. As a result, she is a great asset to Four Legged Scholars.
She has been training for over ten years. She absolutely loves meeting the dog’s needs. Then from there she loves helping the client understand these needs so that both the dog and owner can live in happiness.