I am taking care of a 5 week old puppy. I adopted what was supposedly an 8 week old puppy, but just had this weird feeling she wasn't that old. I talked with my one friend who works with local animal rescues and it turns out she actually reported the very family we adopted from because they lied and got caught giving the puppies away at only 5 weeks.
I feel terrible now because I know the first 8 weeks at the very least are a critical learning period from it's mother and siblings, and I want to do the best that I can to keep that from being too big of a disadvantage for her when she's older.
Unfortunately my rescue friend has experience with training and Pits, but not so much with very young puppies. So I'm hoping I can find some helpful advise here. She is eating solid food very well, drinking lots of water and we even got her to pee on the puppy pads at least 50% of the time. But I'm concerned about her biting. I'm firmly telling her no when she does it, and then give her one of her toys and praise her when she chews on it, but I'm wondering if that's the best way to go about it. Again, any help/advise in general would be wonderful. Thank you!
By ammdia from VA
I used a one word trigger every time I gave Zues a treat from my hand I said gentle. Now even small children can give him treats.
It is a young puppies nature to chew/bite and it's good you are stopping it from biting on you. They are just exercising their new baby teeth which are very sharp and haven't learned they are not for chewing on everything. Eventually the pup will lose her teeth as new permanent ones come in and they won't be as sharp. Say ahhh, ahhh, ahhh and "E-Z" when she does get ahold of you. Do this if you hand feed her too so she will learn to be more gentle with your fingers or hand as she takes the food or treat.
We have a dog that when he was a puppy, enjoyed holding onto anyone's pant's leg while they were walking thinking it was a new game or toy to play. We had to break him of doing it the same way as I mentioned above.
Before we get to the puppy part, think about human
babies. They suck their thumbs, toes, other peoples fingers, their clothes, their mother's hair, everything is new to them and they're just learning and exploring. Like Lorelei said the puppy is teething and most people don't realize that the real chewing that includes, shoes, couches etc doesn't even start till the pup is around 10 months old and then some breeds take forever to mature.
My Parker was a Lab/Rott mix and he acted like a young puppy till he was almost 3. Anyway, Animal Control said he was 8 weeks old but our Vet said 6 weeks old maybe 5 weeks old because he still had blue eyes and he already weighed 11 pounds, for the record he grew into a 135 pound baby.
The very first time I fed him, he about took my hand off and not knowing anything about his parents I was slightly alarmed and thought it through.
For the first two months of his life, I mixed his can food with his puppy chow by hand and sat on the floor and hand fed him. I believe those first couple of months built a real strong bonding experience.
We put him to sleep last year just shy of what would have been his 11 birthday and for almost 11 years he loved and protected me, he truly was my best friend.
I let Parker do the normal teething and play biting, he was just doing silly puppy stuff but I also taught him the command "Ouch". Anytime the play got too rough I would say "Ouch" really loud and he would instantly stop. My niece Maggie who is 9 has a tiny dog but she's a big dog person and she loved to play with Parker and not being afraid of him they wrestle and play tug a war but even when she said "Ouch" everything came to a halt.
We're talking a dog's whose mouth was so large he popped basketballs for something to do.
Because your puppy is so young she's going to think of you as her mommy and this really is such an important bonding time of her's and your life's together.
There's a big difference in teething and just doing regular puppy stuff, let her be a puppy , I know how sharp those baby teeth are and actually saved a couple of Parker's and put them in his puppy album.
The teething isn't going to last long.
You can ask 100 different dog owners if they let their dogs play bite and it's all a matter of opinion.
Are there young children who have become popular chew toys, or perhaps it's just something you don't want her to do.
Since I allow play biting to a degree and have total control over my 3 remaining dogs I really don't mind. When I first brought home the other dogs at different times, Rosie adopted us, we rescued Emma from a very bad place and Ginger was a foster dog that we adopted since they were older I give all my dogs one bite on me.
Many don't, but I want to know what it would take to make them do so and in all my cases it was over food and people food at that.
Anyhow, when training I keep a round, fake lemon in my pocket and if I get as much as a crooked growl they get a taste of lemon and that pretty well takes care of it.
I also use the lemon to control their barking. This may sound weird but I give them 2 barks if someone is walking down the street and anything other then that they get corrected.
They no longer bark at people walking their dogs up and down our street or even the occasional stray.
The more time and training you put into your pup the better behaved she'll be when she starts going through her terrible 2's at 10 months old.
Puppies are wonderful and there's nothing sweeter than puppy breath. When Parker was young he loved to chew on empty soda liters where I would always supervise him and back then he was the only dog so I had all sorts of doggy chewing toys scattered everywhere. You could take a washcloth and soak it in some sort of broth then freeze it. It helps with the teething but only when you can take the time to supervise.
So congratulations on your new furry child, I have no doubt you'll be a good mom.
When your puppy bites or nips you squeal and ignore him/walk away/stop playing. That's how his litter mates would communicate it. Also grab some frozen butter and smear on the back on your hand, allow the puppy to lick it off, the lesson is that with skin you lick not bite.