Puppies are adorable, full of energy and often seem to have an innate penchant for chewing on almost everything around them. This behavior, although it may be annoying to pet owners, is perfectly normal in the development of a puppy. But why do puppies nibble on everything and how can owners effectively address this behavior?
Why they nibble at everything
The most frequent causes for puppies to nibble on everything are as follows:
- Exploration and curiosity
Puppies, like young children, use their mouths to explore and learn about the world around them. During the early stages of their lives, they are discovering new textures, shapes and tastes. The act of biting is a natural way for them to investigate and learn about their environment.
- Gum pain relief
During the teething process, puppies experience gum discomfort. Biting and chewing on objects provides them with relief, as this activity helps to alleviate the discomfort they feel. Providing them with toys specially designed for chewing can be of great help to alleviate this sensation.
- Boredom and lack of stimulation
Puppies are active and curious creatures that need physical and mental stimulation. When they are bored or do not have enough opportunities to burn off their energy, they may resort to nibbling as a form of entertainment.
- Development stage
Biting is a normal stage of a puppy’s development. As they grow up, they learn what is okay and what is not allowed to bite through correction and teaching provided by their owners.
How to handle nibbling behavior?
Provide appropriate toys: Offering a variety of chew toys can redirect chewing behavior to appropriate objects and help alleviate gum discomfort.
Training and positive reinforcement: Teach the puppy what biting is allowed by using commands such as “No” and redirecting them to their toys. Rewarding and praising the puppy when he chews on appropriate objects reinforces positive behavior.
Exercise and mental stimulation: Providing sufficient physical exercise and mental stimulation is key to keeping puppies busy and reducing boredom, which can reduce nipping behavior.
Constant supervision: Keeping the puppy under supervision is essential to intervene quickly if it tries to bite something inappropriate. This also prevents accidents and injuries.
In conclusion, chewing is a common behavior in puppies that can be managed with patience, training and providing them with adequate means to release their natural instinct to chew. Understanding why puppies nibble on everything is critical to effectively addressing this behavior and helping them develop into well-behaved, well-balanced adult dogs.
Image courtesy of https://pixabay.com, all rights reserved.