For puppies, biting is a natural behavior and is part of their development. However, there are some actions you can take to prevent a puppy from chewing on inappropriate things or developing behaviors that may later become problematic.
The most important thing is that you have patience, persistence and constancy to educate your puppy. On the other hand, if at any time you feel frustrated by your puppy’s behavior, it may be a good idea to seek the help of both a veterinarian and a canine behaviorist.
How to prevent the puppy from biting
- Avoid severe corrections. Severe physical or verbal corrections are not usually effective in preventing your puppy from biting. This is because they will not teach you how to behave but will only suppress your behavior. The result of this is that your puppy may develop fear and anxiety when training is based on punishment.
- Use toys. Soft rubber balls, squeaky stuffed toys and other soft rubber toys, adapted for dogs, are advisable. Remember that any toys you provide must be appropriate for dogs. You can encourage the puppy to use the toy by rolling or wiggling it. Each time the puppy uses the toy, you can reward him with verbal praise.
- Stay away from bites. If your puppy starts nibbling on your hands or clothes, try walking away. If the puppy follows you and tries to nibble you again, walk away again. The idea is that he learns that every time he nibbles you will stop interacting with him. Also, every time your dog comes running to you, give him a toy. He will soon learn that it’s more fun to chew on his toys than you.
- Positive reinforcement. Each time he or she engages in positive behavior, you can reinforce the learning with rewards. These can be praise, petting and some healthy dog treats or snacks.
- Types of socialization. This is an action that can be very useful in the education of a puppy. In this type of class, dogs learn to interact with other puppies of different sizes and sexes. It is a controlled environment where they will learn which interactions are appropriate and which are not.
Why a puppy bites
Puppies bite because it is their natural way of exploring the world. Through their teeth, puppies learn to explore objects, people and other animals. In addition, a puppy’s need to bite can be interpreted as an avenue through which they are trying to communicate. This as much as to play, greet or even to indicate that they don’t like something.
Another reason puppies may bite is boredom. A puppy that does not get enough mental stimulation and exercise may start chewing on whatever is within reach to keep himself occupied.
A puppy could also bite because of stress or being frightened. The best thing to do is to learn to identify the causes of your puppy’s biting in order to avoid them. That is, try to reduce their stress and provide sufficient stimulation.
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