From the tombs of the ancient Egyptian kings to the ceramics of the American Indians, dogs have been a part of our lives from the very beginning of human history. This animal has been considered as man's best friend since its domestication, which played a very important role in shaping up dog behavior and manners. Even today, dogs are considered ideal as pets, and they are loyal, playful, friendly, and loving. People adore these animals and feel proud to own a puppy. However, these cute, little, innocent-faced pets can throw tantrums with their biting and nipping habit. If not trained properly, this habit may create problems as they grow.
It is Normal for Puppies to Bite
While some people do not take this problem seriously, others may feel really bad that their pet dogs are getting aggressive. In fact, it is natural for puppies to bite; as they play with their litter mates, through nipping and biting. Puppies display the same behavior, while playing with humans, who often mistake it for aggression.
Chewing and biting everything that comes in their way is a normal behavior, through which puppies explore the world. Another reason for such behavior is teething. Like human babies, puppies tend to chew and bite more during teething. While a puppy's teeth develop within 12 weeks of age, adult teeth start growing between 4 to 7 months. While it is not advisable to punish puppies for biting, you cannot encourage this behavior, as it may sometimes become problematic.
How to Train a Puppy Not to Bite
Training a puppy is the best way to tackle the problem of biting. It is not a difficult task, and does not require a special trainer. You are the best person to train your puppy. Go through the following tips for training your pet, in the proper way.
- Avoid wrestling with your puppy. It has been noticed that, children have the habit of wrestling with their puppies, and this may encourage their tendency to bite.
- You can use toys for playing with puppies. Never allow puppies to play with your shirt sleeves, socks, or the body. If the puppy starts nipping your hands, legs or clothes; substitute with a toy immediately.
- If at all the puppy bites you, it is not advisable to punish the pet; but you must put across your displeasure, by walking away or by saying a firm 'no'.
- Discourage them gently, every time the puppy nips at you. But make sure that you take away your hand slowly and not in a hasty manner. Be consistent in showing your displeasure, and the method should be the same.
- You can also use some deterrents to refrain them from biting. Spray a small amount of bitter apple spray on your body, especially the hands. The unpleasant smell will prevent your pet from biting you. You can also spray some bitter apple spray on the legs of furniture, to prevent the puppy from chewing them.
- Like humans, socializing is good for dogs too. You can take your puppy to the park, where it can play with other dogs and puppies. This may calm down your pet, to some extent. Older dogs can also control the biting habit by making the puppies submissive.
- Like babies, puppies can also be attention seekers, who want your love and care. Biting could be one of the methods adopted by your pet to get your attention. So make sure you spend some time with them daily. You may also take them for a walk on a regular basis. You may even praise the puppy, if it licks you without using its teeth.