Mouthing Biting Teething

Dogs explore the world with their mouths. They want to feel and touch and taste it all! Puppies are curious little creatures and just want to explore everything – so you need to be prepared for this.
Mouthing/biting is definitely an issue that Jase and I have had with Cooper from day one of bringing him home. And let me tell you – they have razor sharp teeth!! The first week, both Jase and I had scratches the whole way up our arms.
So what do you need to do to stop this behaviour?
You need to teach your dog the difference between biting a chew toy and biting human skin. We want them to chew their toys and not us – but they don’t know the difference – so it is our job to teach them.

 

To a puppy, any attention is good attention so if your puppy tries to bite you – the solution is not to push him or wave your hands around or to run away – he will think this is a game and chase you and come back for more. Rather you need to stop playing with him immediately, stand up and walk away calmly. Or if that doesn’t work – say ‘no’ or ‘ah ah’ in a strong stern voice and take him into a room for 5 minutes of down time.

 

Another good trick, which I have only been using if Cooper tries to bite the couch or jump on the couch, is shaking an empty water bottle with some stones in it. The second he tries to jump or bite the couch – I shake it close to him and he hates it. Honestly, after doing this twice, he has not tried it again!!
In saying all of this – I am a very big believer in puppy’s responding and learning better from praise and positive reinforcement than punishment. So what Jase and I have also been doing to reduce the mouthing/biting is putting a toy straight into his mouth the second he is about to try and bite us. This is not praising his behaviour – it is rather redirecting it and teaching him the correct thing to chew on.
 
You also need to be aware that when your puppy hits 3-4months of age, the mouthing generally get’s worse because they are teething, so please make sure you have really good chew toys for your pup – kongs and ropes are good for this. Don’t freak out if you see blood on a toy, it means your pup has probably just lost a baby tooth and swallowed it – this is natural and nothing to worry about!
Finally, you need to realize that puppies aren’t trying to bite you on purpose – they don’t mean to hurt you. They just want to play with you, get your attention, sooth their sore gums and explore the world.
You just need to be a good leader and make sure they know from day one that you are the boss.  
 
 

 


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