Four Paws But Acts More Like Jaws!
Four Paws But Acts More Like Jaws!
There isn’t a puppy owner in my whole client base who hasn’t at least asked about this subject. It’s most definitely the biggest pain point out there, mostly due to the actual pain it causes!
Puppy’s bite, they chew, they nip, grab and often cause bruises, and bleeding via those teeth which if you asked me could be repurposed for cutting diamonds! Whether you’re a first time owner that had no idea this is what having a Puppy was all about or you’re on your umpteenth Pup – it still can cause stress and even affect your relationship with your Pup. For me understanding is always key, if we know why, we can reduce our own conflict with the behaviour, come to terms with it and do our best to manage and change it over time. Don’t get me wrong, it hurts JUST as much when you understand it, but at least you can attempt to laugh it off through gritted teeth afterwards.
It may come as some reassurance that biting is normal, every owner is going to get a measure of it – some more than others but rest assured there’s always someone out there worse than you with a few more holes in their clothes.
Because it is normal, because this is classic Puppy behaviour I always hasten to tell my clients that I won’t stop your Puppy’s biting but I will help you to reduce it. Why? Because the biting is part of the process, part of the gauntlet that is having something THAT cute, there’s got to be downside.
Although your pup may be running around like a complete nutter and having the jumping height to get your nose or ears when you sit down, it’s important to remember that they are in fact still infants. Infants who like humans don’t yet have the life skills and the resilience to cope with the world and the emotions they are experiencing. Compared to human babies, they’re a hell of a lot more physically capable! Because Pups are so capable at such young ages we can often rush to train, teach and change them – when much of their biting is occurring through frustration, overtiredness, stress or through being overwhelmed and over stimulated.
When babies are in stress, discomfort or we see them struggling, we jump to make their life better, we drop everything to ensure they spend as little time in that state as possible (Often to have a quieter life, but mostly because as parents – that’s our job!). For myself, I take the same responsibility for my pups, they’ve been thrown into a world completely alien, without explanation for anything and that’s got to be tough. Often their biting is a product of how they’re feeling, tiredness, teething or just the world being a scary or strange place. Gnawing and biting can often help them to cope and feel better in a situation. Surely then it’s our job to help them in these situations and make that “adult” decision and find that relief for them.
Lack of Sleep?
Let’s build on routine, relaxing environments where they can switch off. Pups need around 18 hours sleep a day!
42 Razor Sharp Teeth (And you guys are well aware of how sharp they are) pushing through their gums in a very short amount of time. Providing our pups with long lasting chews is a great output for their chewing needs.
Remember, our dogs never get an explanation for why the world does it what it does – this means it can be a very stressful place for our Pups. We often see sudden outbursts of biting when a Pup experiences the following;
Fast Moving Objects
Sudden Occurrences or Appearances
Moving Into a Wide Open Space
Large Numbers of People or Dogs
Having Things Taken From Them
Large amounts of tension in the lead
Many owners after listening to my take on chewing and biting will feel a little guilty that they may have been punishing their pup during these episodes and moments. Don’t.
Goodness knows there’s a whole whirlwind of information out there for owners that conflicts with each other. Puppyhood is about helping, shaping and developing our Pups to become the happiest dog they can be in your lives. And they even custom a wall printing for their dog. You’ll both get it wrong plenty of times but that’s what makes it so rewarding.
Have the best time with your pups and laugh off the painful, smelly and stressful stuff – because that Pup has a whole lot of love to give you in between all the biting and remember it’s just a phase that will fade providing we reduce it as much as possible.