It’s important to remember that your dog is not chewing and nipping out of spite or naughtiness, but out of necessity. During the first months of their life, they will be losing their baby teeth and pushing through their adult teeth, and it can be painful. They will gnaw on anything and everything to relieve the discomfort, so be sure to have plenty of chew toys and teething toys around the house that your pup enjoys. Durable Nylon or Hard rubber toys are the best for sore gums, and you can also buy puppy teething toys that are filled with water that you can freeze for added relief. Whatever toys you choose, just make sure they are durable, can’t be chewed into smaller pieces and swallowed, and you have MANY.
Providing toys fresh from the freezer, or a bowl of frozen snacks like carrots and ice cubes can give your pup a lot of teething relief. This will numb their gums and provide them something safe to chew on, instead of going for your carpet or furniture.
In order to get your pup to stop nipping at you, and chewing on the furniture, you must give them something appropriate to chew on that belongs to them.
Get a toy that they really like, and when you catch your pup nipping or chewing offer them the toy. Shake it, chase with it, move around and make the toy interesting. If they don’t stop the behavior and take the toy, just ignore them. put your hands behind your back and stand still until they calm down, then try again. This may take a few times for them to catch on, but once they do it shouldn’t take too much effort.
It’s natural for pups to nip at each other during playtime, but that doesn’t mean that you want them doing it during playtime with the humans! This can be nicely trained away to make playtime enjoyable for you and the pup so no one gets hurt. Any time they nip at you or play a little too rough, say “OUCH” in a loud high tone to let them know it hurts then redirect them with a toy. If the puppy won’t stop nipping at your fingers or toes rather than the toy, stop playtime for a few minutes and then try again. This will let them know playing rough is not rewarded. This is more effective than punishing or hitting the dog to correct the behavior. Keep this consistent and they should quickly learn what’s okay and what is not during playtime. (1)
It is also common for them to regress in housebreaking or training in this time. Just remember, this process does not last forever, and it’s a hard time for your pup. Be patient and bear with your pup during this tough time and you will both make it through.
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