All Things Puppy – Part 3b – Nipping!

If you’ve had your puppy for more than a day, chances are you’ve noticed that your little pup enjoys exploring the world by putting it in his mouth. Nipping or mouthing of people is an extremely common puppy behavior.

Reasons Your Puppy Is Biting You and What To Do:

1. They are TIRED -> Time to go in the crate or pen for a little rest. NEVER use the crate as a punishment, but DO think of it like a crib for a baby. When they get overtired and cranky, it’s a good time for a rest.
2. They are Overexcited/Overstimulated -> Time to go in the crate or pen for a little rest. See the comment in #1 about cribs.

Jordi did so much thinking in his first lesson that he decided to take a nap right on the spot!

3. They are Frustrated -> Analyze the situation from a canine point of view and try to determine the source of the frustration. I can help you with this! Please reach out.
4. Your Actions say “Bite Me” -> Physical play begets more physicality. When we play with a puppy and do a lot of pushing with our hands, they see it as very dog-like. When dogs play with each other, they often use their mouths as well as their paws. So playing with a puppy in this way can be really confusing! Eliminate all physical play (hand games, rough housing, tug of war). Stand up. Be still. Don’t stare them in the eye.

Bamba enjoys a little playtime with a hula hoop after his session.

5. They are saying “NO” to petting -> Respect your dog’s personal space just like you are teaching her to respect yours. Remember that a dog’s only way to communicate that she is uncomfortable with petting is by using her body language, voice tones, and teeth. If you are holding her, she will feel trapped and like she can’t escape, and that will result in a “fight” response (which will show up as biting).
6. They are testing boundaries -> If we are already working together, make sure you are following the principles of your training program, proactively practicing the assigned exercises, and keeping track on your training schedule. Contact me ASAP if you are having difficulty with any of the exercises. If you do not yet have a trainer, please read about my training services and know that I would love to help you with these challenges. Setting up the right relationship and communication with your puppy early on can pave the way for a happy and relaxed pup that obeys the rules of the home and is a joy to be around.
7. They are just being a puppy -> Have patience. You can’t “unpuppy” a puppy. A certain amount of nipping is normal, and if you are following the training program and becoming your dogs leader, they will grow out of it ?

Lex takes his puppy lessons quite seriously. He’s a sweetie and is very eager to please 🙂

The best way to get rid of unwanted behaviors and to learn to guide your puppy to the correct, desirable behaviors is to work on training with a behavioral expert like me.

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