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Puppy nipping is natural. There is absolutely no need to punish. Do not pinch the lips or hold the snout closed; and please do not hit your puppy.

Inappropriate nipping or biting in puppies usually happens when a pup is taken from his litter mates too soon - this often happens with puppy mill puppies - or with puppies who did not have litter mates.

Dogs learn bite inhibition from their brothers and sisters. When a puppy bites his litter mate too hard, the offended puppy yelps and walks off.

According to author Jean Donaldson : "..puppies are thought to have such sharp, needle-like teeth is so that it will hurt when they bite other puppies. Puppies need feedback in the form of play interruptions for overly hard biting, but their jaws are too weak to cause pain with pressure alone. Hence the sharp teeth.."

So when your puppy nips you, do not hit, spank, squeeze his/her lips, etc.. just let out a high pitched "yikes!" or "ouch!" Then redirect your puppy to a more desireable activity such as playing with a squeaky toy or chewing on a kong. Redirecting is very important so that biting/nipping does not become a habit. And if the puppy isn't redirected to an alternate behavior, then she might stop nipping then start again.

Some people might have trouble with the high pitched yelp. Especially those with deeper voices. These folks will have to work harder to sound like an offended puppy. Also, if you want to be a little bit harsher, right after "yelping" you can walk off or simply stop playing with your puppy - the same thing his littermates might do. You can wait a few minutes then resume calm play or calm petting. If you stay gone for too long, the puppy will forget why you left and now you have a lonely puppy who did not learn anything.

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โˆ™ 2011-03-26 18:03:35
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Q: How do you make a puppy stop biting during play?
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