As a pet store owner, I have seen many new puppy owners come through my doors. And while it’s always a joy to see the excitement and love that people have for their new furry family members, I also witness firsthand how sharp those puppy teeth can be. Teaching your puppy not to bite is crucial for both their safety and the safety of others around them. In this article, I’ll share a couple of tips to help you accomplish this important task.
Lesson One in Teaching Your Puppy Not to Bite
The first thing you should do when you bring home a new puppy is to pick up a few long skinny chews. These chews should be between 10-12 inches in length and can be either compressed rawhide or bully sticks. These chews will be useful in helping your puppy learn what they can and cannot chew on.
As soon as your new puppy arrives and their teeth touch your skin, you must react immediately. Make a loud, sharp noise such as yelping, squealing, or saying “ouch” sharply. It’s crucial that you do not use your dog’s name while making this loud noise, as your dog’s name should always be used with a positive or praise, never with a negative.
Once you have made your loud, sharp noise, quickly replace your skin with a proper chew. When your puppy chews on the chew instead of your skin, praise them. Bully sticks work especially well for this exercise, as they give more space between their mouth and your hand. It’s best to always have the chew in your hand while playing with your new puppy so you can repeat this exercise over and over until your puppy realizes that your hand is not an appropriate chew toy.
For the warmer months, it’s a good idea to keep a few beef shank bones in a ziplock bag in the freezer. These bones can be a nice, cool treat for your puppy when they’re in need of something to chew on. However, it’s important to note that you should not turn this exercise into a game, as it can become ineffective. Consistency is key, and if you always follow through with this exercise, the nipping and puppy biting will stop much sooner.
It’s important to actively teach your new puppy what’s appropriate for them to chew on and what’s not. When your puppy gets it right, be sure to praise them. Positive reinforcement is always more effective than punishment, and it helps build a strong bond between you and your puppy. Remember, teaching your puppy not to bite is not only about their safety, but it’s also about building a loving and trusting relationship between you and your new furry family member.
Lesson Two in Teaching Your Puppy Not to Bite.
It’s also important to note that snapping or striking your puppy on the nose or face does not work. In fact, it usually makes biting worse as your puppy may become defensive or scared. Your hand should always be a sign of love, not a source of fear. Remember that love is a four-legged word, and the more love and positive reinforcement you give your puppy, the happier and more well-behaved they will be.
Teaching your puppy not to bite is an important part of being a responsible pet owner. By following these tips and being consistent with your training, you can help your new furry family member learn what’s appropriate to chew on and what’s not. Remember to always praise your puppy when they get it right and to use positive reinforcement instead of punishment. With patience and consistency, your puppy will learn to be a well-behaved and loving companion for years to come.
Lisa Holland, co-owner of Fins, Furs, and Feathers with her sister Debbie in East Boca Raton, recommends these tips for teaching your puppy not to bite. By using these techniques, you can prevent your puppy from using its sharp teeth during playtime and ensure a happy, healthy relationship with your furry friend.
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