My two-month-old pup loves to chew on me

Published: 08th November 2016 10:47 PM  |   Last Updated: 09th November 2016 03:26 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

My 2 month old puppy loves biting me even if I give it enough chew toys and exercise. Moving my hand or leg away while it is biting, only gets it more excited. Is she going to stop it on her own or can I do something to make her?
—Jerome K

Hi Jerome,
Dogs use their mouth and paws to communicate. Thus pups also naturally start using their mouth to explore the world around them. In addition, if they are in the teething phase, it adds to the trouble. Just offering them chew toys doesn't help, she has to be taught to communicate in alternate ways.
In her natural environment, during play with her siblings, when a mouthing turns into a bite, the pup that receives the bite will yelp in pain thereby stopping his sibling from continuing. You can imitate the same behavior with a yelp or sound that the puppy can then relate to as a "No biting".  As you have mentioned, if you pull away from the bite, the pup will begin to start playing more cloning a game of tug and would make it worse. Instead let your hand loose and she will let go. If she repeats with persistence, walk out and end play time. This way you let her know that biting is a bad behavior and will not be rewarded with play.

Understand that we are only looking to eliminate the biting behavior. Simply mouthing without biting is acceptable. A pup will definitely continue mouthing to explore her surroundings. Make sure you satisfy this urge yet take her focus off your hand. Play games like fetch or tug, with different objects each time, thus satisfying her instinctive needs and also teaching her non-contact modes of play. This is applicable for chewing and teething pups as well. Provide chew options that can help the pup familiarize with various textures, not a repetitive bone or plastic toy.

If possible, take your pup for socialisation with other well behaved adult dogs. Adult dogs are quick in correcting the pups when the behavior is unacceptable. If your pup does bite an adult dog or even her mom as she does to you, the dog will immediately correct the pup.
Be calm and consistent in your corrections without exceptions.

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