Bite Inhibition or Puppy Nipping
Puppies nip for several reasons. Teething, playing, exploring and getting attention. Like human babies, puppies explore everything through their mouths. Teaching your pup that nipping is not polite can be frustrating. Puppy teeth are very sharp needles.
First of all, make sure you have toys in the house to “re-direct” your puppy from nipping. If you have kids make sure they know where the toys are. For example: I have 2 small toddlers.
I set out plastic bowls through the house that the kids can easily get to if the puppy starts chasing their feet. My kids know to get a tennis ball and roll it on the floor. The puppy will stop to run after the ball instead of the feet.
Tie a bunch of socks together or blankets to make a 5 – 6’ long play toy. Have plenty around to grab incase the puppy goes for your feet or ankles. Once you grab one and start wiggling it, the puppy should grab the other end. Now you have a non-nipping puppy 6’ away from the kids.
Also have plenty of chew toys (NO RAWHIDES) No species on planet earth eats hide. Hide is not digestible and also, manufacturers put bleach and formaldehyde in their raw hides. Instead get a wishbone shaped Nylabone (dogs like the wishbone shape better) and raw marrow bones from the butcher make great chews. Also bully sticks are loved by many dogs and they contain one ingredient, beef. They are super hard and are a great chew.
Always have a chew toy to redirect your puppy. The Nylabones or marrow bones will also keep your puppy busy if he needs to be in his puppy playpen or gated in the kitchen by himself. Kongs are great if you stuff them with peanut butter, then freeze it. Then it will take the pup a long time to get to the peanut butter.
If your puppy gets overly nippy no matter what you do, that is an indication that it is nap time. Puppies get overly tired like small children do. Puppies can also get overly stimulated, stay calm.
Never, hit, yell or swat your puppy. This will create distrust and other behavior problems.
Always encourage your puppy to chew & bite on acceptable chew toys.
When your puppy nips, walk away for a few minutes removing your attention
Come back to your puppy and give your puppy an acceptable chew toy.
To encourage your puppy to chew & bite on the acceptable chew toys:
Make a big deal over the toy by holding it and verbally giving lots of attention to the toy.
Nylabones can be soaked in beef or chicken broth to entice chewing flavor.