Learn how to combat the perils of puppy teething with Blain’s Farm & Fleet.
When you get a new puppy, they’re all cuddly and cute…until they start biting. Teething is something that every puppy goes through, and it can be a pain for you and your home. Puppies have needle-sharp teeth, which they use to chew, play and investigate. Their playful nips can turn into painful bites as they get older. It’s best to know how to teach your puppy how to be gentle and not bite. With our helpful puppy teething tips, you and your four-legged family member can get through puppy teething.
Why Puppies Bite
Puppies first start biting when they’re playing with other puppies. It’s part of their nature. When puppies are playing together, you’ll notice them biting each other all the time. They slowly start to learn how hard of a bite is too hard, especially when another puppy yelps and stops playing for a bit. The puppies learn from each other, and that learning cycle needs to continue with you.
What You Can Do
Teaching your puppy proper behavior is a must. Puppy training classes will help your little one down the road, when their bite may become more serious. Socializing your puppy gives them confidence and can make them more comfortable in varying situations. In turn, this can help with biting behavioral issues.
Teach bite inhibition – Bite inhibition stems from when puppies play together, as explained above. It’s your job to continue teaching your puppy to play gently, only this time with humans. Puppies don’t know how sensitive human skin can be. Let your puppy nibble on your hand. When they bite too hard, yelp like you’re hurt and let your hand go limp. Reward your puppy from stopping or licking you. Repeat this process until your puppy slowly learns to be more gentle and applies little to no pressure with their bite.
Use a toy – Whenever your puppy tries to go after your fingers or toes, substitute a chew bone or toy. It’s a good idea to keep a variety of toys on-hand so your puppy has something new to play with. The puppy will be happy to have something new to chew on, and your toes and fingers won’t have to suffer.
Find a puppy playmate – Not only will you get a break from the puppy teething, but your puppy can socialize. Your puppy can burn off some of his energy with other puppies, and learn social skills. Socialization is crucial for puppies. If you don’t know anyone with a puppy, enroll your puppy in a training class. He’ll get to learn some new behavioral skills and get designated play time.
Of course, be patient with your puppy. Puppy teething is a normal behavior that all puppies go through. For more tips on caring for puppies and other animal family members, check out our pet care blog.