Puppies are known to nibble, nip, mouth and bite. It can be a dangerous habit if not corrected early on. To prevent puppy nibbles you must teach your dog what is acceptable and unacceptable behaviour. Let’s look at tips to prevent puppy nibbles.
Puppy Nibbles Are a Growth Stage
Around the 6-10 week old mark puppies start biting at each other. They tend to play a little rougher. This time frame is when puppies are learning bite limits and boundaries with their littermates. Most puppies are adopted during this age period. It’s best to let your puppy be with its littermates at least until they are 8 weeks of age. Dogs that are adopted too young do not develop essential social skills that can only be learned from their littermates.
A puppy that is a couple of months old can be trained not to nibble by acting as one of its littermates. When it nibbles or bites you can let out a yelp. The sound should startle the puppy and he should back off. Some stronger puppy personalities may try to nip at you again. If that happens make the sound again only louder and let the area your puppy bit at go limp. It simulates an injury and lets the dog know it’s harming you. Some puppies will think its play and you will have to make sure to correct this.
Limiting Playtime and Chew Toys
Keeping play time limited can help prevent puppy nibbles as can having items to chew on. When your puppy nibbles at people it’s one thing but if he doesn’t get enough chewing exercise he will start to destroy your belongings. Chewing is a normal habit for dogs. They must be provided with “playtime” that includes human interaction. Dogs must also learn how to behave without supervision. Chew toys are a great way to let them get their chewing aggressions out. Doing this outside of “playtime” teaches it to do acceptable things when they are alone or otherwise unsupervised.
Supervise, Teach and Redirect
Playing with a puppy can be fun and exciting. Their antics can cause laughter and joy. Puppies can also get carried away with entertaining and can be overly aggressive when playing. Playing tug of war can be considered a fun game until puppy wants what he wants and won’t give up. If your dog becomes too aggressive while playing, walking away can be a good deterrent. Teaching it to “drop it” is also a good method to let your dog know you are in charge of the toys. If the puppy is nibbling at your hand, saying “no bite” firmly will get its attention. Then quickly offer something it can bite, a toy, a bone or other chew toy.
Paying attention to what’s triggering the nibbles can help you prevent puppy nibbles. Dogs don’t normally bite for any reason. When you can remove the behaviours that cause them and train your dog properly your puppy will grow into a well-mannered calm dog.
Written by Matt Barnett is an avid dog enthusiast and blogger.
When he’s not working on Dog Dojo, you can find him traveling around or spending time with his pets.
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