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Manage the nibbling of your dog

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Posted on November 18 2018

Between a very young puppy nibbling and an adult dog doing the same thing, there is a whole world. The tiny teeth do not do as much damage as a powerful jaw with sharp points, even if it is not animated with malicious intentions.

Nibbling is an entirely natural and normal act for the puppy . His jaws are his main tools of exploration and learning at a young age. On the other hand, it is the nibbling of the adult dog that quickly becomes problematic . A mature dog that continues to nibble people or his peers is a behavioral problem and the consequences of this bad habit can be serious. Before starting to stop the nibbling, it is necessary to understand the origins.

Understanding the dog's nibbling

In the puppy, nibbling is a basic learning behavior. Most young dogs nibble everything within their reach until they are 6, 7 or 8 months old. This is how they explore their environment and learn to interact with the people around them, be it other dogs, animals and humans.

The puppy nibbles for various reasons: it does so to test its strength and the reactions of other children within reach, to show affection , to stop aggressive behavior towards him, to invite others to play , among others. There is therefore no need to worry too much as long as these nibbling is performed by an infant.

It nibbles: what should I do?

However, the more weeks and months pass, and the more teeth and jaw of the dog grow, becoming more powerful . The pressure exerted by the jaw increases gradually, while the teeth grow and sharpen. As a result, nibbling becomes less and less bearable . They can even turn into bites and cause injury if nothing is done to stop this bad habit , even if it is not necessarily associated with bad intentions.

That is why it is essential to teach the puppy the first notions of obedience as soon as possible. A firm "no" or a clear "seated" makes it easy for the puppy to understand that he must immediately stop chewing on the hand, foot or any other part of the body. To teach the puppy to sit down , he is helped to do so at the same time as he is ordered, and then congratulates him as soon as he runs.

If the puppy chews during the game, stop playing with him right away. By thus marking a time of stop , the young dog will understand little by little that the bite systematically involves the end of the game.

What should I not do?

There are reactions to not adopt to avoid the opposite effect and encourage the puppy to chew more. For example, the abrupt removal of the hand may be taken as an encouragement to continue chewing.

We must not enter the balance of power and become aggressive towards the young dog. Here too, this "feed-back" sent to the animal may encourage him to redouble his aggressiveness and chew even harder.

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