Oh, those little razor-sharp puppy teeth. Or should I say OUCH! they can really hurt and do damage. If you have ever had a puppy or visited a friend with the puppy you already know this and probably have the scars to prove it.
We LOVE our puppies, they cuddle, they entertain but once those little puppy teeth start causing pain it is a rough time till they fall out and adult teeth start pushing through. Do not however be lulled into the thought that this behaviour is only to do teething, it is also our puppies testing their limits, learning bite inhibition and trying to become the leader of the pack – if not addressed this can turn into serious behavioural problems in the future.
So what are some tricks of the trade to protect yourself, your property and your puppy?
TRAINING – if you haven’t already started a training course with your puppy you should. Seriously do not wait. Training will teach you the basics and teach you how to have your dog listen to you. If your dog listens when you say “leave it” or “No” you are ahead of the battle not just for chewing but for other issues that will come up as your dog grows up. We are lucky enough to live in an area where we have lots of great trainers. Many do puppy classes but there are also some that specialize in dogs with different issues.
REMOVE TEMPTATION – DO NOT leave shoes or anything around for your dog to chew on. Only puppy safe chew toys are acceptable. Think about it for a minute. If you give your puppy that old slipper that you don’t care about anymore as a chew toy and then they chew on your $300 dress shoes how do they know the difference? They see a shoe as a shoe and it just confuses them when they are allowed to chew on one but get scolded for the other ALLOW your dog to chew ONLY on dog toys. IMPORTANT – make sure chew toys are designed for your puppies size and age to avoid swallowing and so they are not too hard that they will break the new teeth as they come in.
BE LIKE MOM. When a puppy nips you do what it’s Mum or littermates would do … let out a loud and sharp YELP or OUCH. This sound is native to them and they understand its meaning ..I shouldn’t do this I better back off. This is how mothers teach there little ones to behave properly. Your pup will listen but they are puppies so will probably come right back and no it again. Remember like with kids CONSISTENCY is key. Make sure everyone in the home and even visitors do the same thing.
For chewing on things that you can’t put away, like CONSISTENCY, table and chair legs, carpets etc. You can try Bitter Apple – our Ben, however, enjoyed the disgusting taste of that but Lemon Juice was a good alternative for us.
Remember NEVER EVER punish your pup for bad behaviour. REWARD the good and ignore the bad. Set your pup up for success in life.
One other good tip is the “be a tree technique” when your pooch is jumping and nipping. Fold your arms, stand still and ignore the puppy (hard they are so cute) and don’t even make eye contact till they settle. Once they settle give lots and lots of praise, but as soon as they start again “be a tree”.
Remember your cute little puppy will soon be a big dog, with strong teeth and a powerful jaw, keep your dog and you safe by not allowing this type of behaviour.
If you have any questions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact us and we will help in whatever way we can.
Morag is the owner and founder of York Regions most trusted premier in-home pet care and dog walking companies. In 2000 she saw a need for an alternative to kennels, catteries for family pets in the area and has always believed that pets are much happier and less stressed staying in their own familiar environment. Morag and her team are all certified in Pet 1st Aid and CPR, she also offers continuous training to her team members through online and hands on pet care and pet behaviour and care courses. Morag has earned her certificate in Professional Pet Sitting, Professional Dog Walking and Canine Attendant training. She has lived in the Newmarket/Aurora area since 1991 is a wife, a mother of 2 adult children and a grandmother of 2 delightful little balls of energy. She has also been owned by fish, birds, mice, rats, cats, dogs, gerbils and guinea pigs and is an advocate for all living creatures. In her spare time she likes to be involved in her community and events travelling, reading and cooking.