Hello, I'm a first time dog owner, and I've had my lovely Bells 6 days as of today and tomorrow will be her 9 week Bday I've read many posts on numerous sites about how puppies are always biting their owners in play but hurt them, and I'm wondering if I should be reinforcing her to stop or if she's ok.
My husband and I play with her when ever she isn't sleeping or wanting to relax. A good majority of her playing seems to involve putting her mouth on one part of our body or another. (hand, foot, arm, knee, face etc. And we dont mind) We do try to intercept her with a toy before she mouths us but she rarely if ever uses any pressure at all, though her teeth are sharp, she simply puts her mouth on us and makes dramatic snorting,groaning and huffing sounds, which DH and I love. Only when she gets crazy excited and we are encouraging her excitement does she over do it. It might be a once a day thing. We yelp and retreat from her and she always seems sorry to have hurt us and immediately gives us kisses.
Should we not allow this kind of play or do you think she seems to under stand it hurts and it she won't become aggressive or too bitey in the future. I do not want to set her up for failure and I have no real grasp on dog behavior yet.
Thanks for your advice
Biting is all about learning and you should redirect her all of the time before she gets any older.
She should learn that she is not allowed to bite humans.
If you leave this until she gets older it will be much harder to change her biting.
This will not stop all of the mouthing, but it will teach her limits.
Puppy's are so cute.
I am a great believer that mouthing and play biting is not acceptable. Cute puppy's grow in to dogs. I don't let my dog or puppy do this, I don't like it done to me, and it could well be a child. My puppy already knows the word no, so does not attempt this behaviour any more. Lots of toys, games are great for your puppy. My puppy is currently doing a six week dog obedience course, best investment I have made. Previously I had just trained my dogs ,in very basic obedience.
With my current dogs, Jasper went to dog training for 12 months ( Once a week ) and Dylan for 18 months ! Even between the two, I notice a difference although this could be because Jasper is a numbskull bless his heart ! In his defence, I should say that Jasper can open any door and Dylan doesn't have a clue how he does it !
In fact it was longer for Jasper as I started to take him to training with Dylan so they took it in turns as they were in different classes.
Of course, training doesn't end with the classes, but the socialisation and the skills learnt at classes makes for a better dog and a better owner !
I remember being told off at training for not having any poo bags in my pockets ! The bags were in my coat on a chair behind me ! My trainer was VERY strict with me - not so much the pup whe was much better behaved !
She sounds lovely and gentle and to each their own I usually say. But, if she mouths a child or anyone else they could wrongly interpret it and you and she could be in trouble about it. One of the tricks of not getting hurt by those sharp little teeth is to not quickly yank your hand or arm back but a startled stranger probably is going to do exactly that, and get raked by those teeth and maybe hurt.
For me, I do not allow teeth on any part of me when puppy is young. Now my boy is five, and since he was about one, I do allow mouthing in a game but a key point is I choose when and where to initiate that game, not the dog. Usually we are wrestling. He does get a little ramped up sometimes but from his puppy days he knows a stern DON'T BITE means quit it. It's my fault if he gets that ramped up in the first place.
Thank you all for your answers, it is exactly what I was wondering. We will stop her in her tracks from now on.
Look up "teaching bite inhibition". It's the method I use. My dogs have a "soft" mouth,.
She's very good with soft mouth, I just wasn't sure if it would lead to more problems down the road. Shes an English/field mix and is going to be huge. 70+ pounds we think. I'd hate to teach her the wrong things now and get her in trouble later.
There is just sooooooo much to learn.
Yep! Definitely read about it so you can understand the importance. She sounds adorable.
Thank you Taylor, I'll start reading right away. And yes, she's got her dad and I wrapped around her big ole paws.