My 12-week-old Miniature Pinscher puppy is bite-crazy! Now, I realize that in addition to being a member of a "confident", overexcited breed, my dog is probably also teething at the moment, so I'm working hard to be patient with Bogus. However, I've tried everything I can think of to discourage him from biting me and other people. Chew toys, ice cubes, everything! Given the choice between his toys and my arm, he eagerly opts for human flesh EVERY TIME! Plus, those chompers of his are SHARP! How can I correct this painful behavior and stop him from becoming an aggressive adult dog?
Do yourself and your dog a favor by taking him to obedience classes as soon as he is old enough. Until then, keep a spray bottle with water and spray him in the face lightly and sharply yell NO or NO BITE. You can also grab his muzzle and give it a little shake. A coke can with some pennies in it and taped shut that you can loudly shake or even toss near him and yell NO can be effective. Lastly, get him neutered ASAP!
When our doggies are small, puppy stage, we have a can that we put some pennies or small pebbles in. We seal the hole in the top of the can with tape. When the puppy is bad, tell him/her NO and shake the can. They do not like the noise, and to this day if they just see the can they immediately stop what ever they are doing that is bad!
Spray apple bitters on your hands and arms. You can find this at your local pet store. Most dogs hate the taste and will be less likely to mouth you or nibble you. Mother dogs don't allow this from the pups and she will give a correction by either using a disapproving tone or even a nip. Of course, we don't want to bite our pups back so discourage it with the bitters. Be sure to use a verbal correction when the pup starts mouthing your hand or arm. Don't yell the command, just say it firmly like you mean it. Yelling at a dog only causes stress in the dog which in turn, makes the dog less likely to respond. When the dog doesn't respond, the more likely you are to yell and get upset. Dogs use their mouths to explore their world and that's what they are doing when they mouth your hands. Offer a toy or soft chewie but always supervise your little one while it's chewing on it. You don't want your dog to choke on small pieces.
Please be very careful when using corrections on a puppy. This is the "imprint" time of a pup's life and what is done to it now will stay with it forever. I's too soon to use a shaker can, spray bottle or anything that will startle the puppy to the point of traumatizing it.
A better way to solve this nipping issue is to offer the pup a toy. If you don't have a toy for him, your hands will become the toy. Use slow motions with your hands when you are petting him and every time he starts to nip, take your hands away. If you want to hold your pup and he starts to nip, put a toy in his mouth instead of your fingers or hand. Spray your hands with bitter apple and spray anything else you don't want him to chew.
Puppies explore their world with their mouths just like human babies do. They don't know they have sharp little teeth that hurt. Puppies go through a teething period just like human babies, so they really need to chew on something but it must be appropriate. One method of teaching your pup not to nip you is to hold a treat in the palm of your hand and while he is smelling it and trying to get at it, pet him with your other hand and praise him. Any time he nips, stop petting him and remove your hands.
I have a puppy also and she likes to nip our very large German Shepherd. I have to spray bitter apple on the big dog's back legs and tail and boy when the puppy latches onto him she pulls away with a mouth full of a very nasty taste!
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