How to Handle Puppy Biting and Chewing: Techniques for a Happy Home
Why Puppies Bite and Chew
Exploration and Play: Puppies explore their surroundings with their mouths, and they use their teeth to play with their littermates.
Teething: Just like human babies, puppies go through a teething phase. The discomfort of teething can lead to excessive biting and chewing.
Attention-Seeking: Puppies crave attention and may resort to biting and chewing to get it.
Boredom: Puppies have a lot of energy, and if they don’t have enough stimulation, they may resort to destructive behaviors like biting and chewing.
To socialize your puppy, take them to puppy socialization classes, invite friends and family over to meet your puppy, and take your puppy on walks to expose them to new environments. Make sure to supervise your puppy during these interactions and reward them with treats and praise when they exhibit good behavior.
Positive reinforcement is an effective training technique that involves rewarding your puppy for good behavior. When your puppy exhibits behavior that you want to encourage, such as not biting or chewing, give them a treat, a toy, or praise. Positive reinforcement helps to reinforce good behavior and reduce biting and chewing.
It’s important to note that positive reinforcement works best when it’s immediate. If you wait too long to reward your puppy, they may not associate the reward with the behavior.
Providing appropriate toys and chews is an essential part of managing biting and chewing behavior. Puppies need to chew to relieve the discomfort of teething, and they also need to burn off energy. Providing appropriate toys and chews can redirect their chewing behavior away from your furniture and shoes.
When selecting toys and chews, choose ones that are appropriate for your puppy’s size and chewing behavior. Toys that are too small or too soft can be a choking hazard, while toys that are too hard can damage your puppy’s teeth.
Consistency is key when it comes to puppy training. Make sure everyone in your household is on the same page when it comes to handling biting and chewing behavior. Establish consistent rules and consequences for your puppy’s behavior, and make sure to follow through with them. If you let your puppy get away with biting and chewing sometimes, they will continue to do it.
Physical punishment, such as hitting or spanking, is not an effective way to handle puppy biting and chewing. It can lead to fear and aggression in your puppy, which can make the biting and chewing behavior worse. Instead of physical punishment, use positive reinforcement to encourage good behavior and redirect inappropriate chewing behavior.
There are several deterrents that you can use to discourage your puppy from biting and chewing inappropriate objects. Bitter apple spray, for example, can be sprayed on furniture and shoes to make them taste unpleasant to your puppy. You can also use a loud noise, such as a clap or a hiss, to startle your puppy when they start to bite or chew something they shouldn’t.
It’s important to note that deterrents should be used sparingly and in conjunction with positive reinforcement. You don’t want to create fear or anxiety in your puppy, as this can lead to other behavior problems.
It’s important to note that timeouts should only be used for a few minutes at a time, and you should never leave your puppy alone for an extended period. Timeout should be a short break to help your puppy calm down and refocus their attention.