Puppies are adorable and their behaviors entertaining. But some puppy
behaviors can be difficult to live with like puppy mouthing or playful biting.
This can be even more concerning if you have young children. Puppies play fight
with their littermates, boxing with their paws, wrestling and pinning each other
down, and play biting. Wild dogs and cats do it too. This ritual prepares the
young animal for the real world of defending territory and hunting and also
works to forge a bond with littermates. Given this scenario, a puppy may not
realize how rough he's being. So what can you do to eliminate this behavior in
your interactions with your pet?
1) Redirect the chewing/biting behavior to an acceptable chew toy.
2) When a puppy play bites too hard, tell him "ouch" or "no" loudly enough
to get his attention and stop playing momentarily. Walk away. Do this
consistently every time the behavior repeats.
3) Lastly, if the puppy is engaged in rough play biting of you or your
child, place your hand over the top of his snout and use your thumb and fingers
on either side of his mouth to curl his lips under his own teeth while he is
biting. You do not need to squeeze. His own bite pressure will do the work. He
should immediately feel the pain of his own bite and decrease pressure. Tell him
"no" or "no biting" while doing this.
Any method takes patience and work. Be consistent in your correction and
you will have a gentle, well behaved pup.
Hi! I'm Joanne, the owner/operator of Brewster's Buddies. Brewster's blog is the place where I share information on pet care and behavior or address issues I come across daily in my business. Enjoy and hope you find it helpful!