My three-month-old puppy is teething, and she’s biting everything! What can I do to help my puppy during her teething stage and reduce her nipping behavior?
Understanding Teething and Puppy Behavior
It’s essential to understand that teething and nipping are completely normal behaviors for a young puppy. Thus, it’s important not to scold or punish them for acting on their natural instincts. Instead, try implementing specific strategies to ensure your puppy learns that nipping on you or furniture is inappropriate.
Puppies usually begin teething around three months of age, which can cause them to become more mouthy as they explore their surroundings. They do this to soothe their gums and facilitate the process of their baby teeth falling out and new adult teeth coming in. If you’re curious about how to determine your puppy’s age by examining their teeth, check out this helpful article.
Introducing a Special Toy to Distract from Biting
To discourage your puppy from biting, it’s crucial to provide them with appropriate outlets for their teething behavior. One great method is to introduce a special toy that will be used exclusively for your playtime with your pup. This should be a soft and durable toy, like a braided rope toy – perfect for their teething needs.
It’s essential that this toy is treated as something valuable and only comes out when you’re ready to play with your puppy. Never leave the toy on the floor or allow your pup to play with it independently. Also, don’t let your puppy “win” any tugging games with this special toy. This will help you redirect your puppy’s attention and encourage them to understand that nipping is inappropriate.
After a week of consistently keeping the toy hidden and bringing it out only during playtime, you can begin using it as a tool for redirecting your puppy’s attention when she nips. If your puppy ever tries to bite you, be sure to guide their focus towards the toy instead, reinforcing that it is the proper item to bite.
Additional Strategies to Help with Teething Puppies
In addition to the special toy, there are other strategies you can employ to help your teething puppy and prevent undesired nipping behavior.
- Offer Chew Toys: Provide your puppy with a variety of chew toys to satisfy their teething needs. This allows them to soothe their gums and practice their biting in a more appropriate manner. Make sure to use toys specifically designed for puppies, and remember to regularly swap them out to maintain your pup’s interest.
- Provide Frozen Treats: Chewing on frozen items can help relieve your puppy’s sore gums. This article offers a list of suggested treats that are great for your puppy, including some that can be frozen to provide relief and chewing satisfaction.
- Teach Bite Inhibition: Teaching bite inhibition is an essential part of raising a well-behaved pup. When your puppy nips you, respond with a high-pitched “Ouch!” and end the play session for a few seconds. This will help your pup understand that biting causes pain and is not acceptable.
- Consistent Training: Consistent and positive reinforcement training is key to helping your puppy understand what is considered acceptable behavior. Ensure all family members are on board with the training approach and techniques used to achieve consistency.
Finally, when bringing home a new puppy, it’s essential to be prepared for the first night and understand what to expect. This article will give you insight on how to make the transition smoother for both you and your puppy.
By implementing these strategies, you’ll help your teething puppy learn appropriate behavior while still allowing them to satisfy their natural instincts. Happy training!