Blythman and Partners - Veterinary Practices in Tyne And Wear

Puppy Advice: Play Biting/Chewing

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Bringing your new puppy home is an exciting time for all involved. The first few months of life for a puppy are key to shaping their brain and future. This vital window begins to close at 16 weeks old, so it is essential we start teaching them from the very beginning.

We recommend reward-based training as puppies respond well to this method and avoids using harsh techniques.

It is incredibly rewarding training your puppy, but it can quickly become overwhelming especially when searching for advice, it can often lead to being incorrectly informed.

Here are some simple tips and advice we believe will help your puppy succeed in the big, wide world!

Blythman and Partners recommend every puppy enrols onto a training course provided by a recognised dog trainer/ behaviourist.

Please ask for more information.

Play Biting/Chewing

Puppies begin teething from two weeks of age until they are approximately six months old. During this time chewing can be instinctual to relieve pain and it is vital your puppy has access to the right toys and chews during this period or destruction can occur. Frozen stuffed kongs and size appropriate chews are advised. Always place your puppy in a safe space/ crate/ or play pen when unsupervised.

Puppies have sharp deciduous (baby) teeth that can be painful for us. It is normal behaviour for puppies to mouth and play bite. This should not be misinterpreted as aggression but should also not be encouraged.

We advise not to encourage any rough play with hands or other body parts. Instead, we suggest directing them towards toys/ objects that they are allowed to bite.

To reduce play biting the following techniques can be used:

Ouch technique:

This mimics the natural behaviour of the litter mates. When play gets too rough the puppies often yelp and this way the puppy learns this was too hard.

Ignore technique:

This works by teaching your puppy the fun play stops if they get too mouthy, turn away and remove yourself from the situation. You may need to leave the room for a few seconds.

Puppies often bite and mouth when over tired or over stimulated so consideration for a little nap may be needed.

Please note there are many ways to train your puppy. If you are ever in doubt or have specific issues, please seek professional advice.

Useful links:

Finding a certified clinical animal behaviourist:

Dog training classes near you:

Training advice useful videos:

Analysing dog food:

Tags: Puppies & Dogs
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Blythman and Partners - Veterinary Practices in Tyne And Wear