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Author: admin, 05.06.2013When people bring a new puppy home they are often confronted by problems that were never expected. To understand how to solve the problem of a biting puppy you must first understand why a pup is biting.
When pups first move into a human environment it takes a period of time, usually a week or so for them to recognize their human family is now their new pack members. Puppies need to learn how to live with their new human pack members and it's the humans who need to educate them. Twenty five years ago I used to tell puppy owners to just grab the little buggers and shake them until they scream.
People that are involved in dog sports or people who want to do more advanced obedience and protection training need to preserve and build prey drive. If the pup lets go then you can praise it with a soft pat and “good boy.” Give him a food treat or a high value toy to play with. You can redirect the puppy by either tossing it a foot or two (not too far) or move it around in front of the pup in a manner that builds interest. Once you get a pup to redirect onto a toy you are on the road towards teaching that puppy that there are more interesting prey items than your hands and legs. Pet owners are often mistakenly told “YOU SHOULD NEVER PLAY TUG GAMES WITH YOUR PET” because it makes your dog (puppy) possessive and aggressive.This is simply not true.
To increase the value of your toys the dog need to understand that all toys are YOUR TOYS and not HIS TOYS.
This training is all covered in the DVD I produced titled The Power of Playing Tug with Your Dog. Take advantage of the free 85 page eBook I wrote titled The Power of Training Dogs with Markers and the DVD by the same name.
For questions related to training, you can check our extensive Q&A section or contact Cindy if your question has not been asked. This play involves physical activity games; they push each other around and bite one another. Puppies think they are playing with new friends and humans think the puppy is being aggressive.
When puppies chase balls or run after sticks or bite your pant legs this is an example of prey drive not aggression.
In fact they can cut fingers and ankles if they latch on and you jerk your hand or leg away. It's our job to show the puppy an alternative behavior that satisfies the puppies drives to bite. Just don’t over do the praise because this can often put the pup back into prey drive and the biting will start all over again. When the game of tug is done correctly it becomes a tool that can be used in obedience training or agility training or one of the biting sports. In fact they are never off leash until they are old enough to be trained to come when called in the face of distractions.
They bite, they chew-on family members, they chase human family members just as they did with their littermates. When a handler takes the dogs collar and tries to force it into a dog crate and the dog turns and tries to bite - this is aggression - either fear based or something else. The problem with this is this can often squishes the pups prey drive (which we use in training) and damage the bond between the dog and the owner. So there are times a human screaming is enough to teach the pup that what they are doing is unacceptable. The toys I use to redirect the pup from biting me are not the same toys that I leave in the exercise-pen with him during the day. As I said, dogs and puppies need to learn to SPIT OUT the toy when told to do so and they need to learn to bring the toy back to you when you throw it. These are trained behaviors that are extremely important because it eliminates the dog becoming possessive of the toys. The DVD titled The Power of Training with Food trains dog owners the correct to use food to develop a level of communication that builds the bond with a new dog.
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