Being a puppy parent really is a full-time job. Puppies require a lot of time, energy, and attention to ensure they develop into well-adjusted adult dogs. One of the biggest struggles when dealing with a puppy is how they manage all of their excited energy. All too often it comes out in the form of nipping at people or other animals. While nipping isn’t likely to cause any serious harm, it can quickly evolve to bigger and more serious biting issues. Below we have some tips to manage your puppy’s nipping before it turns into biting.
Teach Biting Inhibition
Biting inhibition refers to your dog’s ability to control the strength of his bite. If they’re playing with another puppy, they’ll lightly nip at each other as they play. This is fine as long as it’s gentle. When they bite too hard, it can become dangerous. You can teach biting inhibition by saying something like “ow, that was too hard!” if your dog bites down harder than usual during playtime. Biting inhibition doesn’t work for every dog though. If your response of pain actually excites the puppy more, it’s time to move on to the next tip.
Don’t Give it a Response
Some puppies get more worked up when you offer a negative reaction to their nipping and will try to do it more to get that same reaction from you again. In this case, you should simply get up and walk away when your puppy nips. Don’t yell at them or scold them, just simply stop playing and distance yourself. This teaches them that if they bite, playtime is over.
Give Them Their Own Space and Toys
Puppies need somewhere that they can get their urges to nip and bite out in a healthy way. Give your puppy a dog bed or crate with their own toys that are safe to bite. If your dog starts trying to nip at things outside of that space, carry them back to where they belong. Eventually, this version of a timeout will stick and your puppy will keep their nipping in their own space.
Use Up Extra Energy
Puppies are more likely to nip if they have too much energy. Make time every day to take your puppy for a walk or get them out of the house for some other type of exercise. The less extra energy they have, the better behaved they will be.
The Trainers at Canine College Can Help
If you can’t get your puppy to stop nipping despite your best efforts, it may be time to hire a professional. The trainers at Canine College are highly experienced at managing nipping and other bad behaviors in dogs of all ages. With group and induvial training classes available, Canine College has the tools necessary to teach your puppy how to be obedient and use their energy in a healthy way. Contact us today to schedule your first training session!