I think you really mean almost everything - and I'm guessing that doesn’t include the 12 straight weeks of consistency and patience that are needed to help your newcomer deal with an unfamiliar environment, fresh stimuli…..and of course, the dreaded teething.
The golden rule is the same today as it’s always been - start now! Puppies are very capable of learning from the first time they set foot in their new home. They’re wired to learn from you - so get on with it.
And don’t assume you’re alone - biting is the single most common challenge that new puppy owners face. And wow - those little teeth are like needles!
Be very, very patient during these critical first few months and accept that there is no way to instantly eliminate puppy biting. Dogs use their mouth to interact with the world and to move things around. Add to this basic dental physiology and a healthy dollop of curiosity and you get a cute, fun-packed nibbling machine.
Though there’s no shortcut, there is hope - and centuries of evidence that you have every chance of turning today’s ball of fluff into tomorrow’s devoted, loyal, captivating, healthy and obedient companion
So here’s the plan.
- Get settled in for the long haul. You will fix it once and for all - but it will take you three months
- When puppies play together and it gets a bit rough, you’ll hear one yelp loudly. That’s the accepted signal for the other to back off. When you play with your puppy, let him mouth on your hands. When he bites especially hard, try giving out a high-pitched yelp and letting your hand go limp. He’ll be startled and will stop momentarily. Immediately praise him for stopping. Repeat - but not more frequently than three times in a 15 minute play spell.
- Change your mind-set. Every day is an investment in a better long term outcome. Dogs who learn early to use their mouth gently when interacting with people will be less likely to bite hard and break skin in play conditions - or if they ever need a last resort to tell you they’re afraid or in pain.
If you’re not sure or need a (new) hand - come and see me at My Second Home!