The Impact of Play Biting on Your Puppy’s Behavior

When you adopt a puppy, the fact is that – without exception – that puppy will bite. Indeed, the issue is not terribly serious when the puppy is still small (though the little needle teeth aren’t always fun when they’re tearing your possessions, your clothing, or piercing your skin – but it is important to remember that the puppy will grow up, and at that time, any biting habits that have been allowed will become much more of a problem.

While many owners will teach their dogs not to bite out of frustration or anger, where they usually fail is with play biting. Because the dogs are not using as much force and are not biting with the intention to hurt, owners will often overlook the behavior and simply shrug it off. That said, when the dog grows up, even if it knows how to bite without force, the biting habit can get out of hand.

The truth of the matter is that any dog should be trained not to place its mouth on a human – or another animal for that matter. Not everyone welcomes play biting, and there are situations – for example, among children and the elderly – where even play biting can create a risk and can cause physical harm or lead to legal troubles.

Take play biting very seriously and discourage it from the start. Also included in this effort should be any other form of biting or mouthing (which can be a sign of aggression or dominance that can worsen over time). By teaching your dog that its mouth – especially its teeth – must never connect with someone, you’ll reduce the possibility of any biting issues as your dog gets older and will help to maintain your position as “alpha” in your family pack.

Filed Under: Puppy Biting

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