American Blue Lacy Dog Blog

American Blue Lacy Dog Blog

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Why is My Puppy Biting Me?

Puppies have very sharp teeth and soon your hands and arms show it. I have found that hugging the puppy to your chest while at the same time surrounding its mouth with your second hand and saying NO! in a stern voice eventually breaks this habit. Be sure the puppy can breath freely when you restrain its mussel. This technique will not work if other members of your family are encouraging rough play and biting. This is often the case with children and teenagers. Providing plenty of chew toys for your puppy also helps. Encourage your pet to play with them whenever he greets you. Praise him when he chews the right things and replace household articles in his mouth with doggie chew toys. You can also spray bitter apple on your hands to discourage mouthing. The disadvantage of this is that some of it often ends up in your mouth and eyes. The second type of biting is much more serious. It is aggressive biting or, in some cases, fear biting.

Aggressive biting is accompanied by vocalizations (growls) and an intent stare. It is not a continuous action but a snap, release and retreat. The same restraint of the mussel will work with these animals- accompany it with a sharp, loud NO! They also need some dominance training as soon as possible. Aggressive dogs do not like restraint – they like to be in charge. If you succeed in restraining them it often changes their entire personality for the better. I like to roll them in a beach towel and watch television or do some other activity with them in my lap for 30 minutes to a hour until they realize that you, rather than he is the boss. Also helpful are mild mannered games such as fetch, hide-and-seek, sniff-out-the-treat, leash training and romping play. It is very important that you cure your pet of biting aggressively before 16-20 weeks of age. The longer the pet maintains this bad behavior, the harder it will be to break him of it. In a normal pack situation, his brothers and mother would not stand for such activity. It’s your responsibility to socialize him by teaching him how to control himself in a group setting.

It is important that calm, mature children interact (socialize) with your puppy so that it does not grow up to bite children. The two reasons mature dogs bite is because of unrestrained dominance or fear. It is terribly important that you never allow your pup to bite aggressively without reprimanding it harshly. Curing this problem the first time it occurs is much easier than waiting until it has happened three or four times. If you are unsuccessful, consult a professional. To get your puppy to obey you on this you need his trust and respect. You win his trust and respect by teaching him general commands when he is a small puppy. Never become angry at your puppy. He is just doing what dogs do. Reprimands should always be oral. Approval can be a stroke, a loving pat and a treat. Getting physical with your dog only encourages fear biting. The most physical I get is to keep the dog still against its will – a sort of doggy time out. Another common fault of owners is inconsistency. The reward or punishment for an action should always be exactly the same. Puppies and mature dogs reprimand a biting puppy by biting it back harder. This is why puppies raised in groups rarely bite their owners or guests. *

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