Your Puppy Teething Gnawing & Biting

Summerwood Farm NC, LLC

In this Post I have defined a variety of reasons why puppies Teething, Gnawing & Bite.

There are a number of reasons puppies nip, bite, and chew. This behavior starts before puppies even leave the litter—as soon as they begin to develop teeth, they begin receiving feedback on their bite strength from their mothers and litter mates. With their litters, puppies learn that biting hard leads to loneliness or, worse, hunger! Bite a litter mate too hard in play? She’ll likely yelp and stop playing with you until you’ve reclaimed your wits. Bite Mom too hard while eating? You may wind up missing the snack bar as she walks away. Poor, lonely, biting puppies. That is, until they calm down. Then the play party is back on!

Puppies also bite and nip to learn the social mores of dog culture. Dogs don’t play with Legos, video games, and Barbie dolls; they chase, race, tackle, play face-bite games, pounce, tug, and wrestle. This play actually serves a more serious purpose, teaching the lessons that need to be learned so that a dog can survive in canine society. Dogs don’t communicate with verbal language; they communicate physically, through body language and contact. Because dogs don’t have “wars of words,” when the going gets tough, there is often a physical scuffle.

When well-socialized dogs find themselves in conflict, the interaction often looks very scary—teeth flashing, growling. More often than not, these interactions are brief, however, and both dogs walk away without injury. It’s a lot of bluster, but it is a highly ritualized display. If one or more of the dogs is under-socialized, though, the interaction pattern changes and a player is likely to get hurt.

While bite-inhibition training begins while a pup is with its litter, training must continue throughout the dog’s life, with special emphasis during puppy hood

We suggest pigs ears, nylabones, Kong puppy chew and squeaky toys

Cold carrots, while offering vitamins and minerals, may help relieve discomfort. …

Frozen fruit, such as strawberries or bits of banana. …

Wet a dishrag or towel, twist it into a rope-like shape and freeze.

Revised 4/26/2020

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