Quick Tips To Prevent Puppies Barking, Biting & Chewing

Gemma | November 12th, 2006
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Early training can prevent common puppy behavior problems such as barking, biting, chewing and jumping up on people, and can teach necessary behaviors, such as walking nicely on leash.

Barking

Puppy barking is a common puppy behavior that’s not always easy to control, but if you begin when the puppy is young, you can teach it that being quiet or to stop barking on command is much more productive than endless yapping.

Never reward your puppy by giving the puppy attention or anything else it wants. Wait until the puppy is quiet, praise it, then give it attention, toys or treats. It’s often amazing how quickly a dog can learn that sitting politely produces more rewards than being noisy does.

Biting

Biting is another troublesome issue for many puppy owners. Puppies don’t realize that your skin is a lot more tender than that of their littermates, especially if you encourage them to nibble on your fingers, arms or toes.

Biting can be a matter of life or death for a dog, so your puppy should understand by the time it’s 4 months old that putting teeth on human skin is never, ever acceptable. Make some kind of noise – OUCH! – NO BITE! – STOP IT! and stop playing with your nibbling puppy immediately.

This works fairly well for people who have a relatively gentle, sensitive puppy. But with a roughneck pup, a firmer method may be needed. A puppy kindergarten class can be just the place to obtain that kind of guidance. Any time you have a puppy that can’t be discouraged from biting, seek the help of a trainer or behaviorist as soon as possible.

Chewing

Birds gotta fly, fish gotta swim and puppies gotta chew. Chewing can be one of the most destructive puppy behaviors, but it can be redirected. The simplest way to do this is to teach the give command. When your puppy learns early on to give up items graciously, it’s easy to take away items it shouldn’t chew on and replace them with canine chew toys.

Practice the give cue when the puppy is playing with something it likes but isn’t overly excited about. When the puppy releases the object, praise it, give it a treat if you want, and let it have the object back. You can also teach the puppy to let you open its mouth. When a puppy grabs something valuable to you or dangerous for it to have, you won’t have time to get something to exchange for the forbidden item.

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