Archive for the ‘Nipping’ Category

How To Stop Your Puppy Chewing & Nipping

Janet | November 27th, 2009
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Everyone loves puppies when they are being cute and well behaved. But sometimes they act out in bad ways and aren’t so well behaved.

In order to to keep your house a safe and peaceful place your puppy has to learn how to properly behave in the human world. It is your job as their owner to show them how to act and what is acceptable behaviour.

Given a little time and effort even the most difficult puppy can be trained to stop chewing and nipping. It’s just a matter of getting the right technique and repeating it successfully until your puppy learns how they should behave.

How Can I Stop Nipping?

Nipping is quite natural for puppies during their playtime. Puppies will often nip when they get excited and you may be tempted to let it go but shouldn’t. Nipping is a really bad habbit that needs to be stopped right away. If you allow your puppy to nipp at your skin you are setting them up for problems later in life. If your puppy thinks it’s okay to nip at human skin they may end up biting someone in the future.

The trick with nipping is to divert your puppies attention elsewhere. When your puppy starts nipping try to get their attention onto a soft chewable toy instead of your hands. It helps to have toys that are easily chewable and attractive from a dogs point of view.

Experiment with different chewable toys to find one your pup really likes. There are many colorful and soft chewy toys available in pet stores. There are even chew toys with treats inside which will reward your pup for chewing the toy instead of your hand! Your pets favorite chew toy may even turn out to be an old sock or other household item. Just be sure that it’s safe for the puppy to chew and that they like chewing it.

When Can I Train My Puppy?

Puppies can start learning very early. You can start to train the average puppy as young as 8 weeks. If you are consistant in your behaviour this will send a clear message to your puppy. If your puppy bites you during play say “no” in a firm voice without shouting and back away from them. If they start to bite again, simply move away from them and go to a different room of the house, closing the door behind you.

You shouldn’t leave your puppy alone for longer than a minute. This will be long enough for them to get the message. Leaving them alone for a brief moment teaches them that if they bite you then the attention stops. Some puppies may reduce the strength of their nipping but not stop altogether. If this happens then continue to say “no” and move away. Eventually they will learn to associate nipping with you a lack of attention. They know if they nip and bite that your attention will switch off.

What About Chewing?

Chewing is another habbit that can cause problems especially with puppies. Puppies seem to have an unstoppable urge to chew just about anything they can get their paws on. When a puppy is teething they chew to soothe their aching gums and it’s something they should be allowed to do.

However, what you allow them to chew is really up to you. Once again it’s a matter of redirecting their attention onto a favorite chewy toy instead of your shoes, chair legs or other household items.

Make sure that your puppy has a good selection of chewy toys to chew on. Get them used to chewing on these toys from an early age. It’s really important to place all these toys within a confined area with your puppy. If your puppy is allowed to roam the house they will probably go from one object to another and this includes your shoes!

Try to develop a small and secure area where your puppy can move about in but where they can’t access the things you don’t want them to chew. Fill this area with all their chewy toys so their attention is focused on only their toys.

Whenever you see them chewing on something they’re not supposed to say “no” in a firm voice and replace the item with a chewy toy. Instead of trying to grab the item out of your puppy’s mouth and ending up in a tug of war, simply play with their chewy toy and give it all your attention. In that way they should lose interest and drop your shoe or other item in favor of getting the chewy toy which you are playing with!

Puppy Training: How To Control Nipping & Biting

Gemma | November 24th, 2006
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One thing you can count on when bringing home a new puppy is the fact that he will nip and bite at your fingers during the first few days or weeks. This is perfectly normal and there is no reason to get alarmed that you may have purchased an aggressive dog. However, like any behavior you wish to change about your dog, you need to take a few steps so that he realizes that nipping is not something you as the pack leader want him to continue doing.

So how do you change this natural biting behavior that a little puppy has? Well the first thing to do is determine his age. This is important because puppies under the age of about 15 weeks need to be handled a little differently when it comes to mouthing and nipping than puppies over the age of 15 weeks.

If your puppy is brand new and younger than the 15 week period, the following tips can help you control his nipping behavior:

1. Start to show your puppy that you appreciate licking instead of nipping. When he changes his behavior and licks at your fingers or hands, be sure to praise him very lovingly. You can also encourage your puppy to lick more often by rubbing a little butter or coconut oil on your fingers. Let him know by soothing caresses that what he is doing is a good thing with each lick.

2. If your puppy is still biting or nipping at your fingers and he is just been fed and really doesn’t need anything in its mouth, set him aside with a nice bone for a little while. This is where a crate would come in handy. Place the dog in the crate for a short period of time so that he can divert his mouthing attention to his favorite bone. And it is very important not to yell at or scold your puppy along the way. You must create a positive learning environment.

3. Whenever the puppy bites down hard on your fingers or hand, use a disciplinary tone of voice and give a command such as “No No” while looking sharply into his eyes. Hold this firm demeanor for a few moments and then immediately change your body language and go back to whatever it is you’re doing before, and with a soothing approach. Doing this procedure a few times is enough for your puppy to learn the command and to stop biting down hard when he is commanded.

Why Nipping Should Be Eradicated By The Age Of 15 Weeks

Gemma | November 18th, 2006
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Your puppy should not be displaying a biting or nipping problem once he reaches the age of 15 weeks or more. By that time you should have already administered proper training techniques and specific commands to get your puppy to stop his mouthing behavior. However, if this is still a problem or if you have adopted a puppy that’s a little older than 15 weeks and is new in the home, then the following tips can help you get your puppy to stop biting your hands and nipping at your fingers:

1. The first item on your checklist should be to immediately cease playing all puppy games that include roughhousing. I realize that part of the fun of having a new puppy is playing games like tug-of-war and wrestling, but unfortunately, if you’re faced with an animal that is still not over his mouthing period, you must sacrifice these types of activities. By playing these games, you are giving him the notion that he is allowed to roughhouse with you at any time he wants. And dogs to do this mostly through nipping and biting.

2. While it’s okay to allow some nipping from very young puppies, when your dog is older than 15 weeks, all forms of nipping should be totally discouraged. It doesn’t matter if it’s just a little nibble on your hand that seems to be harmless, give your dog a direct command to stop doing that and pull your arm away quickly.

3. If need be, apply a type of shock method to get him to stop biting. Keep in mind that I am not referring to anything that is harmful to your dog. A spray bottle of water fits the bill perfectly. Anything that you can quickly spritz at his body or head when he nibbles is enough to deter him from wanting to bite ever again. Most of the time, this technique is all a pet owner will need in order to eradicate their dog’s mouthing issue.

4. Last but not least, use firm and disciplinary commands when needed. This goes for puppies of all ages. There is nothing wrong with immediately giving a loud and firm “No Bite!” command if you feel a sudden nibble at your hand. However, there are two things to keep in mind here: Do not yell so loud that it scares your puppy, and second, avoid staring at your puppy’s eyes for a long period of time because he will interpret this as a confrontation.

Common Puppy Behavior Problems: Nipping Till It Hurts

Gemma | March 6th, 2006
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All pups start out doing everything possible to seemingly want to annoy you, get in trouble, or worse hurt themselves. But at the same time they are incredibly cute – they have to be so you’ll still love them when they are being really bad, which happens often while they are learning how to behave in a human world.

If your puppy is misbehaving, don’t fret. You can do plenty to help teach him the right way to act in just about any situation. Let’s look at a very common puppy problem of nipping and how to solve the issue. If you follow this approach then you can rest assured that your pup will stop nipping in no time at all.

The Nipping Problem: An Easy Approach

It’s natural for a puppy to nip while playing, and your puppy surely will do it to you, especially when he’s excited. But no matter how cute he is and how harmless it seems, you must put a stop to nipping the moment it begins.

Puppies need to learn that their teeth should never touch human flesh, even in play. This will pay off when your dog grows up he’ll be less likely to bite anyone, especially if you have a big dog. And even the smaller breeds can give a good bite if the nipping behavior is not taken care of.

When you play with your pup, redirect his biting behavior to his toys, especially soft plush toys that have a satisfying give in his mouth and have rubber toys that you can stuff with treats to engage his interest and his teeth.

Even if your puppy is as young as 8 weeks old, he can still learn that biting is not acceptable. If your puppy bites you during play, say ouch in a low voice, and remove your body part from his mouth.

If he continues to bite, walk away from him. If he follows you, step through a door and close him on the other side, but just briefly – don’t leave him alone long enough for him to get in trouble!

You’re teaching him that biting too hard makes the fun stop. He’ll learn to control how hard he bites so you’ll keep playing with him. As he starts to get the idea, you’ll notice that he bites hard with less frequency. Then you raise the bar, and start applying your ouch to softer bites, until he learns to keep his mouth off of skin completely.