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Author: admin, 08.06.2013Learning to use bite strength properly in puppyhood is called bite inhibition and is crucial to developing a well-socialized dog. Allowing your puppy to socialize with other vaccinated, well-mannered puppies and tolerant adult dogs will help her use her mouth more carefully.
While puppy play is agreed to be a good way to teach your dog how to use her teeth, there is a mixed consensus on how puppies should be allowed to use their teeth with humans. Once your puppy inhibits the more painful bites, you can start to yelp for the moderately painful bites, then the mild bites and so on, until your puppy can place her teeth on your skin without any pressure used at all. As part of this exploration, the puppy learns how hard she can bite when interacting with people and other dogs. Though practicing with their teeth serves a purpose, puppies need to be taught how to politely use their mouths with humans. Although humans can help a puppy to learn bite inhibition, it is best taught by other canines.
Avoid pulling your hand away, which may excite your puppy more and cause them to lunge for your hand. Avoid overly rough play with your puppy, such as knocking her over on her sides or back, which may make your puppy too overly aroused and unable to use her mouth in a controlled manner.
Whenever your puppy tries to mouth your skin or clothes, freeze in place and stop all movement until your puppy lets go. Without the experience of learning how much force their mouth emits, if a dog ever is in a situation where she bites for real, she may not have proper knowledge about how hard she should bite, posing an increased risk for deeper, more damaging wounds. Or if she bites too hard while playing with another puppy, the hurt puppy will likely stop playing. The American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior recommends that a puppy can start classes as soon as seven to eight weeks of age, as long as she has had her first set of vaccinations seven days prior to the start of class and has been given her first deworming. Although the game serves the purpose of fun and bonding with your puppy, the ultimate goal is to teach your dog to use her teeth gently on your skin.
As soon as your puppy lets go, direct her to a dog toy or food toy she can chew on instead. Puppies sometimes mouth humans because they learn it earns them attention, so be sure to praise your puppy for calm behavior and appropriate play with toys rather than reacting to the mouthing.
Essentially you are playing the part of another puppy during a play session, one who also would stop playing anytime the biting becomes painful.
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