Should I teach the difference between mouthing and biting 2 possible 5-wk-old?
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Thread: Should I teach the difference between mouthing and biting 2 possible 5-wk-old?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2006

    DefaultShould I teach the difference between mouthing and biting 2 possible 5-wk-old?

    Yesterday we found a puppy chasing our chickens.

    He has three sets of teeth (front, canines, back molars), and for this reason, we think he is 4-5 weeks old (you can feel the teeth under his gums but it will be several days before they come out.) altho the librarian thought he was older because she says he walks better than a pup that age. (So we are not sure of his age)

    He does want to gnaw on things and I am not adverse to his gnawing on my finger when I am holding him and then yelping only when it hurts, but I have been yelping whenever he mouths me as well.

    I am concerned because I'd like ot teach him the difference between mouthing and biting, a soft action vs a hard one, and I know that this is the time they learn this. Is this something that is important for them to learn? If so, I will do that. but if not, then maybe I should teach him not to mouth as well.

    I hope this is clear--I was up a good part of the night with him and am now very sleepy.

    PS Gocamping--thanks for your response on my last post

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2006

    DefaultRe: Should I teach the difference between mouthing and biting 2 possible 5-wk-old?

    dogs don't do 'grey areas''..unless you want to be posting, soon, that you are black-and-blue from tooth contact, do Not let the dog chew, or otherwise put its' mouth on you. that's what frozen washcloths & chew toys are for!

  4. #3
    kaytris is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2009

    DefaultRe: Should I teach the difference between mouthing and biting 2 possible 5-wk-old?

    a four week old puppy would be very small and not running very fast... not sure when teeth start coming in, but I would think around four weeks, as that's when weaning starts.

    4 wo boxer puppies

    as for the mouthing, yes, you want him to inhibit his bite - if he is as young as you say, he hasn't learned this from his littermates. Do you have another dog? Although we can teach bite inhibition, dogs are much better and faster at it.

    4 wo lab puppy

    Some of the breeders websites here have series of pictures of their dogs as they grow up - you may want to compare your puppy to one of these webpages.

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  6. #4
    Bob Pr. is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Lawrence (ex-Topeka), KS

    DefaultRe: Should I teach the difference between mouthing and biting 2 possible 5-wk-old?

    The following is adapted from a post in the thread:

    Let me offer you a solution that worked well for my Puff (YF, field line, 62 lbs. dob 8-01) and me when Puff was a pup.

    First, recognize that all normal puppies are chewers.* They must chew -- it's not an issue of training them not to do it.* They need to do it to accomplish the exchange of puppy teeth for adult teeth. Some Lab pups can be trained to NOT chew certain body parts or objects -- but many cannot.

    So I always kept some Hartz Mountain chew sticks with me.* These are made of small pieces of compressed rawhide held together by a flavored medium, about the size of a cigarillo. They come maybe 300 to a package at WalMart.

    Since the rawhide is in very small pieces, even when they're swallowed, they won't create intestinal blockages.*

    There are many manufacturers of similar products but most are made in third world countries without our animal health food standards and as no-name brands.* My guiding principle is that it MUST have
    -- a company name and full address,
    -- a toll free number, and
    -- a guarantee of customer satisfaction
    to justify* buying it
    (and preferably be made in the US, UK, or Canada).* If it doesn't have all three (or 4) of those, don't get it.* Many people have reported their pups got stomach upsets from chewing these.*

    I suspect that's often because the chew sticks came from questionable sources and undesirable chemicals were used in their processing.* But, just as not every Lab pup's digestive system will be comfortable with any one particular food formula, a few upsets surely occured because of differences there, too.
    * *
    Whenever Puff attacked my ankles or hands, I'd whip out a chew stick from my pocket to distract her and substitute one of those.* Their flavor was much more attractive to Puff than my skin -- or the table leg or computer cord.

    It* worked every time.

    I'd often find myself thankfully muttering about the chew sticks words similar to* the American Express card* slogan -- "Don't go anywhere without it."

    There are some people who do not like Hartz Mountain products or their typical* ingredients.* But on this, it was a matter of either-or survival and using the HM chew sticks was certainly the least bad choice for us.* Now that I know more about food and quality companies, if I'd seen similar chew sticks made by mfrs like Diamond, Eukanuba, Nutro, or Purina -- any of those would have been even better.* *(While all those companies do make treats,* the chewsticks are far lower in kcals.)

    Puff never had a stomach upset on the HM product so it worked out very well for us.
    Puff [YF, AKC field line (from competing HT/FT breeder) 62 lbs, dob: 8-'01]

    Bess [BF, AKC bench line (from competing show breeder) 55 lbs., 1967-1981] "Poor Bess, the Wonder Dog":


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