After reading this, you’ll probably never think about puppy training in the same way again. Hopefully you’ll start to look at training issues through your puppy’s eyes – and that’s when you’ll start to understand them.
Millions of puppies are taught by their owners to gently mouth their fingers and hands. This is the most common mistake people make with puppies when it comes to mouthing, chewing and biting. That’s right, we are training our puppies to do something that we don’t want them to do later on! How odd!
And yet, this is what we do – we teach our puppy to “gently” mouth, “gently” bite…when the fact is we shouldn’t be encouraging them to mouth or bite at all! It’s not us (our hands, specifically) that our puppies should be chewing on!
• Always provide your puppy with chew toys, or other stuff to chew on (could be a piece of wood)
• From the very start, encourage your puppy to leave your fingers and clothes alone – OUT of their mouths!
• If your puppy mouths you, redirect them onto something else. For example, replace the finger he’s chewing on with a chew toy!
• If they continue to mouth you, then place them on the floor and give a little yelp noise to let them know that their sharp teeth can hurt and move away
• If they continue to mouth you or your clothes, take them calmly and quietly and place them into timeout for a minute or so.
First: When your puppy is only a few weeks old, you should give them several chances if they do accidentally mouth you. It’s really around the five-month-old mark that you must no longer tolerate any mouthing at all.
Second: When you call your puppy to you, make sure that you have something in your hand to put in their mouth. If you don’t, you are setting them up to fail. Humans give affection through our hands but puppies and dogs tend to use their mouths more so they need something to mouth when you are cuddling them!
Third: The last tip is this: When your puppy starts to mouth you and ignores the chew toy, stay calm and place them on the floor. Do not start saying “No!” or “No Bite!” in your most superior voice. (Another very old school training technique). This will only get them more excited… that’s the last thing you need!
Understanding your puppy is the key to developing an amazing relationship with them. When you’re able to see things through their eyes, you’ll start to see how your actions make them feel.
I learned these tips from professional dog trainer, Doggy Dan’s video website The Online Dog Trainer. If you check out the site, you’ll see it includes a video and a section on mouthing.
Even more exciting is that Doggy Dan has a video series called, “Project Moses.” Doggy Dan adopts a beagle puppy named Moses at 8 weeks, then does weekly training videos with Moses all the way up to 1 year old. You get to see the entire training process! Click below to visit Doggy Dan’s Perfect Puppy Program:
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