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A "dog blog" about all breeds and issues of importance to people who value the dogs in their lives, with a special emphasis on Search and Rescue dogs, in particular the training of my Newfoundland Dogs

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Puppy Biting

Puppy biting can be real problem in families who have young children. Firstly, most puppies consider children to be just like "other puppies". Because of this, puppies play with children just they way they would play with other puppies, and using their tiny needle sharp teeth is part of their playing. The puppy in the photo is still a PUPPY, just six months old. It is especially important that big dog puppies be trained early.

When a new puppy arrives in a household with children, it is the responsibility of the adult human to supervise. Certain rules should be set. Children should not be wandering around with cookies and food. Teaching them to sit down at the table when they eat is the best solution to this problem. Older children should be taught not hold their hands up in the air in front of the puppies noses or above the head of the dog, this often will only cause the puppy to jump up and this compounds the problem even further. Older children can be taught the "scruff of the neck" technique discussed in this article. Younger children should be supervised. the puppy can be taught NOT to bother the clothing and nip at the legs and feet of small children but this can only happen if you are there to supervise. When puppies do go after toddlers, it is your responsibility to discipline the puppy.

Many people put the puppy into a crate. This is not a form of discipline and is completely ineffective, except for the fact that it does remove the puppy from the tempation. Puppies are not children. "Time out" is not a concept in their canine world. You should simply give them a firm NO! and a scruff grab. Using a distractor is a good idea also. By far the best discipline to use with a puppy is the same discipline that the dog mother would use. This requires that you do set yourself up as the leader of the dog when it enters your household. I will continue to discuss more about this in my next post.

Meanwhile, it would be a great idea to check out PUPPY WISHES and seriously consider using these services. They are a wonderful resource. Often obedience classes are simply not feasible what with the constraints of time and the cost of gas and distances to travel to get to a class. Having your own personal in home training is the key and is an excellent solution.