Dog and puppy biting, mouthing, and teething
Dog and Puppy Biting, Mouthing, Teething
Biting and mouthing is common in young puppies and dogs especially in play and while teething. It’s up to you to teach your puppy or dog what is acceptable and what is not.
First of all, dogs must learn to inhibit their bite before they are 4 months old. Normally, they would learn this from their mother, their littermates and other members of the pack. But, because we take them away from this environment before this learning is completed, we must take over the training.
Socialization Prevents Biting
By allowing your puppy to socialize with other puppies and socialized dogs they can pick up where they left off. Puppies need to roll, tumble and play with each other. When they play, they bite each other everywhere and anywhere. This is where they learn to inhibit their biting. This is where they learn to control themselves. If they are too rough or rambunctious, they will find out because of how the other dogs and puppies react and interact with them. This is something that happens naturally and it is something we cannot accomplish. It can only be learned from trial and error. There is nothing you can say or do to educate them in this realm. They must learn from their own experience.
Lack of Socialization Causes Biting
A major cause of biting is lack of socialization. Lack of socialization often results in fearful or aggressive behavior. The two major reactions a dog has to something it is afraid of are to avoid it or to act aggressive in an attempt to make it go away. This is the most common cause of children being bitten. Dogs that are not socialized with children often end up biting them. The optimum time to socialize is before the dog reaches 4 months.
Trust and Respect Inhibits Biting
There are many other reasons your dog will bite and you will have to take an active role in teaching them. However, before you can teach your dog anything, there are two prerequisites that are essential. They are trust and respect. If your dog doesn’t trust you, there is no reason why he should respect you. If your dog does not respect you, your relationship will be like two 5 year olds bossing each other around. If your dog does not trust and respect you, then when you attempt to teach your dog something, he will regard you as if he were thinking, “Who do you think you are to tell me what to do?”
Use of Reprimands and Biting
Never hit, kick or slap your dog. This is the quickest way to erode the dog’s trust in you. Yes, he will still love you. Even abused dogs love their owners. A unique characteristic of dogs is their unconditional love. You don’t have to do anything to acquire your dog’s love. But you must do a lot to gain your dog’s trust and respect.