How do you stop a bitey puppy?
Biting and nipping is natural behaviour for puppies. Dogs use their mouths to explore the world around them. They spend a lot of their formative months chewing and investigating objects (including their human!)
Please note that the worst thing you can do is physically punish your pup – because it’s just their natural behaviour.
This behaviour can be very frustrating for owners so here are a few ways you can stop your puppy being quite so bitey.
- Yelp and ignore
When puppies play with each other, they’re usually very mouthy. You’ll notice that when a pup is mouthed or bitten too hard, they will yelp and stop playing. This noise is effective at startling the bitey puppy so they release and move onto other puppy adventures.
You can use this to your advantage by making a yelping noise when your puppy bites and then ignoring them for 20 seconds. It’s important not to pull away from the bite as this can stimulate instinct to tug and play harder.
- Redirection or distraction
You can satisfy your pup’s urge to mouth and explore things by offering suitable chews and toys, instead of your own skin.
When they try to bite or mouth you – you can offer a more appropriate toy like a rope toy or deer antler.
If you find that distraction and deterrents aren’t discouraging your pup from biting, then you it’s time to consider deterrents.
Water pistol/ spray bottle: The beauty of using a sharp burst of water to deter your pup is that it shocks them but causes no harm. You just need to remember to have it within arm’s reach.
Anti Chew sprays: There are a multitude of deterrent sprays on the market. These range from spicy to bad tasting sprays which are used to discourage your puppy from chewing. If you’re too heavy handed with these sprays then your dog can get used to them – suggest using them for high hazard areas like power cords.
- Provide plenty of exercise and play time
As you’ve know doubt learnt – your new pup has energy to buuurrrrn… Even if they haven’t passed the vaccination threshold and can’t go outside your yard yet – make sure you provide plenty of exercise (and stimulation).
By playing fetch, or kicking a ball you’ll strengthen your bond and also let them get rid of that excess energy.
Even if it’s raining, you can play plenty of indoor games or weather appropriate games to provide the stimulation your pup needs.
For some great ideas on what you can do when it’s raining outside read this article: Active Indoors: What you can do when it’s too wet to walk your dog