My puppy bites a lot, what can I do?
When a puppy arrives at your home it seems that the environment is full of tenderness, fills you with pampering and care and directs all your actions so your puppy feels welcomed and protected within the bosom of his new human family.
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In turn, the puppy will also try to reinforce this sense of belonging to a “pack” and will do so mainly through physical interaction, with very tender bites, which can eventually become a problem.
What if my puppy bites a lot ? This is the theme that we are going to discuss in the following YourCatCareguide article.
Nibbling is a game that can be complicated
The puppy will see the human family as its new pack and so will try to interact with it, thus reinforcing its sense of belonging to the group. How does it interact? Mostly nibbling on the hands, knees and arms , and doing it as if it were a game, seldom causing any significant damage.
Should you allow this behavior?
Yes, whenever you nibble them, do not hurt. It should allow this behavior because for the puppy this is not just a game, but a valuable tool that allows learning, determines the affective bond with the human family and also helps the puppy to remain in good health.
But what happens if the puppy starts to bite too hard and play hard? This is the behavior that can not be allowed , mainly for the following reasons:
- If rough play does not correct itself in time, the puppy’s arousal will increase and the bites will become stronger and cause more damage.
- These games may have a hierarchical meaning for the dog, which means that if the dog has this attitude with its own owner, during the game will also try to do so in other contexts and with other people, such as with a child.
Common errors when you try to correct this behavior
No form of violence is adequate to correct undesirable behavior in the dog. Many of the recommendations that are generally made for the correction of an excessively strong bite may be considered subtle (but harmful) forms of violence:
- Leave it alone and locked in a room
- Punish him using an enclosed newspaper
- Tapping gently on face
- Mark the dog
Applying these correction methods can be very harmful in the medium and long term , reinforcing even aggressive behaviors and resulting in an unbalanced dog.
How do I stop this behavior properly?
Usually the earliest learning about bite inhibition is given by the puppy’s mother, snarling and ceasing to play with her when her bite is too strong, but then this learning must continue and be given by the human family.
What to do if my dog bites too hard:
A proper socialization as a puppy is essential to avoid unwanted behavior from the beginning. By relating to other dogs, our dog will learn more about dog language and will also learn that you are rejected when you have this attitude. However, in addition to socializing and your relationship with other dogs, it is also very important that you begin to establish the rules of this social game :
- When you see your puppy start jerking say “No” clearly and firmly, stop the game and go elsewhere. Do not play with him again until he calms down, so the puppy understands that if the rules they impose are not met, the game will no longer occur.
- The puppies need to bite because their teeth hurt you, so it should allow you to bite toys and teethers of all kinds. Whenever you use them you should congratulate them and even encourage them to bite them to understand that is what they should bite.
- The puppy should grow up with love and boundaries and these boundaries must be awakened and respected by all members of the human family, only then will learning be effective.
If your puppy does not show improvement in its behavior despite implementing these rules, we recommend that you consult a canine ethologist to correct this behavior as soon as possible .