Training your puppy when you bring him home with you is generally the number one task on any new dog owner’s list. From obedience to house training to preventing separation anxiety, there are tons of issues to tackle during his journey through puppyhood, and managing them all at once is not always easy. There are bound to be things here and there that fall through the cracks,
One of the issues that puppy owners come across often is the painful nipping that comes along with some rough play. Puppies have sharp little teeth that can cause some discomfort for other dogs if they’re uncertain of their own strength. Socialization with other dogs is important for puppies to develop good manners, but dealing with a nippy puppy can be a chore all on its own for both the owner and the other dogs in the area.
Biting and nipping is natural puppy behavior and it is common for a puppy to not have manners when it comes to interacting with other dogs. Puppies learn manners from their mother and littermates and sometimes, the provided role models are not quite what we’d hope. Puppies can also pick up bad habits from their environment, whether it was accidentally reinforced or not. Despite this, your puppy should learn the appropriate behavior as soon as possible, starting from when you first bring him home, and should be reinforced for at least three to six weeks in order to assure that the better, more appropriate habit is established.
Positive reinforcement for the appropriate behavior and interrupting bad manners are both tools to utilize during this training, as it can keep a small problem from developing into a much larger one later on.
Before your training begins, make sure your puppy is fully vaccinated. Puppies shouldn’t interact with other dogs outside of their litter until they’ve received all of their vaccinations in order for them to stay happy and healthy.
Once that is done, invest in a few chew toys and other items that are good and healthy for your puppy’s teeth. Treats and snacks that are made to be a little tough and chewy are ideal, but remember not to get anything too hard, or this could damage the teeth! Use these items often for downtime, play time, and rewards.