Playing – To Stop Your Puppy From Nipping
By Matthew Glover
A puppy is the equivalent of human baby/toddler, they do things that we know they shouldn’t, but they don’t realise it for themselves. The responsibility of training your puppy to not nip or bite falls upon You, their owner and the pack leader.
Playing with Siblings
During playtime, puppies chew their other siblings, they need to play because your puppy is socialising themselves with others. Amongst themselves they will show each other what is acceptable within the pack and without you knowing your puppy is learning the rights and wrongs. People are not ‘other puppies’, we are the pack leaders and do not tolerate antisocial pack behavior, so it is up to us to demonstrate how we play, without the nipping.
Playing with our puppy is essential, at their age it is what our puppy wants to do. These sessions should be treated as an opportunity to teach you puppy, in a fun and enthusiastic way. The games you play can also affect whether your puppy bites you during play. Tug of war games can encourage your puppy to bite anything and everything. Instead, play retrieving games with your puppy. With retrieval toys you’ll soon find which item, for other training days, is best suited to ‘bribe’ your little friend.
If children live with your puppy, teach them how to play responsibly. No wrestling or tug of war, of course, but they should also learn not to play run away games. If a child runs, the puppy is going to want to chase. Your puppy is going to want to catch them and will try to catch by grabbing with those sharp puppy teeth! Kids need to learn to interact with the puppy by throwing toys for her to fetch or by petting.
Biting = Stop Playing
If your puppy tries to bite or chew on you during play, stop the game. You can tell her, “NO! No bite!” and immediately move your hands and arms out of reach, stand up and turn away. Ignore your puppy, they will want to know what has changed, so they will ‘enquire’ and come around to face you. When the biting stops and your puppy has settled then calmly praise. You will have to repeat this lesson several times, but she’ll gradually learn that biting you means the fun and games stop.
It Takes Time
During your efforts to teach your puppy not to bite people, keep in mind too, that this is a very natural behavior for your puppy. You will need to take your time and be patient. You’ll also need to be consistent (as does everyone else in the family).
Keep in mind that in dog training, aggression begets aggression. When you tell her puppy not to bite, be firm and consistent but don’t be rough. If you are aggressive toward your puppy, your puppy will react with fear or will be aggressive in return.
Matthew Glover – http://www.AdviceDogTraining.com – offers Free Dog and Puppy Training Advice for owners and trainers around the world.
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