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Types of Biting: Aggression or Play?
Puppies use their teeth in many different ways. It is difficult for their owners to read their body language.
Puppy play can be aggressive.
It can sound like littermates are killing each other when they tussle in a ball of fur. This play is very intense.
It can be accompanied with growling and snarling. This is part of the fun for a young pup.
We will not discuss aggressive biting in this article. We will look into how we can prevent mouthing.
It is important to know the signs of aggression.
How to tell if your puppy is aggressive.
If you see a hard stare, the hair standing up on their back, lip licking, closed mouth, low growling, or a statue-like, tense body posture, the meaning behind it isn’t so friendly.
Pay attention to the timing of the biting. Does it happen when you ask a puppy to do something they don’t want to do after a temper tantrum? The bite may be more aggressive if that is the case.
Is it Resource Guarding?
Resource guarding is when some dogs bite when they are guarding a toy or food item.
Resource guarding has the same behavior as aggressive biting, but they will also stand over an object and defend it from any perceived threat.
Professional help to learn how to actively manage this issue if you think your puppy is acting aggressively.
Playing puppies will be relaxed and have a wiggly body. They are bouncy, roll onto their backs and panting with open mouths.
A relaxed face and body mean a happy puppy.
What Can Trigger Biting?
If you want to stop your puppy from biting, it is a good idea to know what motivates the bad behavior. You don’t want to do something that confuses your pup or sabotages your training.
You are playing with your hands.
It may be tempting to let that cute little puppy mouth chew on your finger, and it may be convenient to wave your hands around to entice play, but doing this trains your puppy to associate your hands as a toy.
Do you really want your dog to play with your hands?
Puppies are more excited by little kids than adults. Children make strange sounds and have a lot more energy.
Puppies can associate with toys. They bite more often and harder around children because of their bouncy nature.
Many parents think it’s cute when their puppy grabs their toddler’s jacket and plays tug while they are running, until the dog grows 80 more pounds and suddenly their child is being dragged around the yard!
There are ankle biters.
Puppies are attracted to fast moving objects. At their eye level, your feet can be irresistible.
What self-respecting puppy wouldn’t want to play tug with those floppy laces?
IMPORTANT: Train Bite Inhibition Before ‘No Teeth on Skin’
When you start training, only react when your puppy bites you. You can’t expect a puppy to understand a zero-tolerance policy just yet because their littermates let them bite in play.
If the puppy does mouth your hand, just expect a gentle interaction to start off.
You can ask more of them if you end the game with lighter and lighter pressure on your skin.
Finally, you can play the game with no teeth on human skin.
You teach your dog to have a soft mouth if you slowly progress to this.
They know not to put too much pressure on their bite if they feel the need to put their teeth on a human. Your puppy needs a softer touch than a dog does, and that’s why you need to teach it.
Your goal is to help your puppy understand that the play and fun will continue as long as they keep their teeth on their toy and not on you.
Dogs are not a group. Most puppies are too excited to challenge you with their bite. As puppies mature, they may use biting as a way to take charge.
As they mature, dominant puppies may bite to show you that they want to be the boss. All packs have a hierarchy, and this happens naturally among littermates.
Don’t worry if you think your puppy wants to be the boss with their bite. This shows that they are the leader in the relationship and that you are backing down.
Use the leash to tether the puppy so they can’t get to you or put them in a time-out room.
Continue to be assertive with your puppy, but end the game as soon as they start vying for leadership.
Take It One Bite at a Time
It may seem like your puppy isn’t getting the message, but you will see results as long as you stay consistent with their training.
If you don’t train your dog, he will put his mouth on people. It can be dangerous and no fun for anyone.
Be patient with your puppy. Bite and mouthing are normal parts of canine culture. It is your responsibility to teach your fur kid how to interact with humans.
You will soon see a puppy that learns to bring a tug toy instead of shredding your trousers if you stay positive, train consistently, and reward good behavior.
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