When puppies bite…

Ouch! Having a mouthful of small, sharp puppy teeth digging into your hand can really hurt. New owners are quickly driven to despair by a puppy that constantly bites, and look as if they have played with a thorny bush instead of a cuddly puppy. It’s very important to put a timely stop to playful biting attacks from your new housemate, which although not meant in an aggressive way, still aren’t nice.

Biting bow-wows

Young puppies love to bite and nip mischievously when playing together, so you should do exactly what your puppy doesn’t want you to do at this moment. Stop the game as soon as teeth become involved, immediately and every time. As a rule of thumb, when a puppy bites, playtime is over. Stop what you have been doing with them straight away and put away their toys. Young canines have to learn that biting is an absolute no-no and only leads to negative consequences.

Speak their language

If biting and nipping is particularly bad, you can try using dog language. A loud yelp from a brother or sister means “ouch, you bit me, that really hurt!” You can use this technique too! You don’t have to scream if you have visitors around, as this does sound a bit strange. But if your little nipper suddenly bites your arm during a game of fetch, say “ouch” firmly. Your dog will understand that they have gone too far. End the game too as above.

Chew toys

And why do puppies always use their teeth? It’s because bite inhibition is something that has to be learnt. Contrary to what many dog lovers believe, this is not innate. Puppies learn that biting and nipping is not tolerated as part of socialization when it is followed by something negative, like no more playtime!

You can give their desire to chew an appropriate outlet by giving them a robust toy, which they can bite and chew to their heart’s content. You can also get chew toys such as mini shoes made of buffalo skin or chew bones that are great for growing teeth. And, giving your puppy something that they are allowed to chew on also spares your favourite shoes and furniture!

Call into your local store today to discuss your dog’s personal needs with our Maxi Zoo Pet Experts.