America’s Blue Lacy Dog Blog

America’s Blue Lacy Dog Blog

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Puppy Biting

I let mom tell pups when she is ready to wean. She is in control of it, not me. I think very simply she plays a huge part in teaching puppies bite inhibition through the weaning process. If they nip at her for milk and their teeth hurt, she jumps away from them, sometimes even playfully. I found that the longer I let mother take care of it, the less likely the pups were to bite me or other people. Sometimes, she even provides a “maternal correction” to stop them from biting her. She makes it very clear to them that a hard mouth means you get nothing. Dogs almost always know better than us!

Personally, I go nuts when puppies are biting their new owners at 7 – 16 weeks old. Forgive my strong opinion about this, but there is simply no reason for any puppy to be biting people by the time they go to their new homes. And if I see a client whose dog is STILL nipping or mouthing at 5 months, I am VERY concerned about this. I believe this demonstrates the dog’s lack of respect for the owner and other humans and feel very strongly that it could be taken the wrong way by a visitor to the home who then decides to sue the homeowner/puppy owner. It is beyond “tasting” and experimenting with their environment to plain old disrespect.

My puppies do not leave my home without having demonstrated good bite inhibition. I teach this on many levels with my pups, from letting the mom help, letting them learn by biting each other and seeing what happens, and I teach them how to take food from my hand in a gentle way (if they are rough, they get no treat. If they take their mouth OFF my hand, then they get the treat), and I will correct them for hard biting me with a little pinch/pull from the back of the neck when they latch on if they continue by the time they are about 7 weeks old. We, as breeders can have a great influence on this behavior before the puppies ever go home. Imprinting bite inhibition is not only the right thing to do, but will make you big points when your buyers have friends that LOVE your puppies.

As a trainer, there simply is no reason for me to walk into someone’s house where the puppy has given the owners bite marks and band aids all over their arms. I have seen some with dripping blood after a puppy “play time”. YIKES!!!!!!!

So, from my standpoint, I see the weaning process and bite inhibition directly related and something we can have great influence over as breeders and so can their Dam.

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