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Pawsitive Training for Better Dogs

Pawsitive Training for Better Dogs

“To err is human: To forgive, canine.”

Anonymous

Nipping

Wow, who would ever have guessed that those cute little balls of fur we call puppies could have such sharp teeth!  Puppies love to explore things with their mouths.  Often, they are going through a teething stage, and can't help but want to chew everything they can get their little mouths near.  It's our job to teach them what is appropriate to put their mouth on and what is inappropriate.

First, all rough play, wrestling, and petting around the face need to stop while the puppy is in this phase.  This only encourages nippy behavior.  

Each person who comes in contact with the puppy should have either an appropriate chew toy or treats (or both!) available.  This does two things: 1) prevents the pup from making contact with your skin, and 2) teaches the pup what items are appropriate to put its mouth on.

Prevention is important when dealing with a nippy puppy.

So, you've read all of the above, but you've forgotten to prepare to interact with your little 'Jaws'--- and he/she now has those little teeth sunk into your skin. Do not flinch or pull away!   Freeze, and in a deep voice, say something like, "No!", or "Off!".  Do not repeat your "off" command over and over again.  It should be said once, and once only.  Saying it multiple times decreases the meaning of the command- and your dog may learn that you don't really mean it until the 10th time you've said it!  He/she should be surprised enough to take those teeth off of you for a moment.

At this point, give your puppy a "time out" for a few moments in a puppy-proof area.  If you find that your pup is too worked up to take out of the room, or that it takes too long to get your puppy to his "time out" room, take yourself out of the room instead.  This "time out" should last for no more than a minute.  This helps the puppy (and you!) calm down.  After the time is up, bring your puppy back out (or come back into the room), and go back to giving the puppy calm attention.  Make sure you have an appropriate chew toy available in order to redirect any nippy behavior.

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