Why Your Puppy Nips - And 5 Ways To Get Him To StopWritten by Adam G. Katz
Here’s a news flash – puppies nip! Okay, I guess you already knew that. But here’s surprise – you may actually be encouraging your puppy to nip. Let’s talk about how to stop this behaviour before it grows up to be an adult-sized dog problem. Puppies are a lot like babies – they use their mouths in part to explore their world. Little kids are forever sticking things in their mouth – from your favourite house plant to bar of soap in tub. That’s one of ways they experience taste and texture, and figure out what’s good and what’s not. It’s all about experimentation. Puppies are same. They want to see just how soft your finger is, or what that leash tastes like. In addition, biting or nipping is an important part of learning social skills in their “wolf” pack – social structure that makes up your dog’s life. And with some breeds, such as Border Collies, biting or nipping is even more instinctive because of nature of breed – they’re born and bred to herd livestock, and that’s how a 50 or 60 pound dog will control a 1,000 pound cow – by biting at heels or nose. If your dog was allowed to remain with mom and his littermates for an appropriate amount of time (until at least 8 weeks of age), then mom should have taught him beginnings of bite inhibition. As pups began to grow and develop those needle-sharp little puppy teeth, mom would have disciplined him for being too rough, either with her or his littermates. Junior soon learns that all play will stop and he’ll get smacked down by mom if he gets carried away. But when you get that puppy home, and he becomes part of family, you may be encouraging him to nip by letting kids run away from him, squealing and giggling in an effort to play “chase” games. While this is cute at beginning, it can soon turn into a full-fledged problem when he’s no longer such a small, cute puppy, and views any child running away as fair game. You can also encourage this kind of bad behaviour by teasing him with toys – holding them just above his head and yanking them out of range when he jumps for toy or nips at it. (This also encourages another bad habit: jumping.)
Here’s 5 things you can do to stop your puppy from nipping.
1. When your puppy does nip – stop all play If your puppy nips too hard, say “Ouch!” in a loud-enough voice to surprise him (don’t start off by screaming!) and stop all play. Turn your back on him, and refuse to continue game. He should come around to face you and find out what’s wrong – tell him “bad dog – no bite” in a firm tone of voice. Do this every time he nips until he gets idea that nipping means no more fun.
How To Build "The Bond" With Your DogWritten by Adam G. Katz
Building bond with your dog is really quite easy. If you recognize that you have a relationship with your dog, then building bond comes down to nothing more than increasing strength of that relationship. And as with any relationship, building a bond requires:
1.) Spending quality time together. 2.) Getting out in world and experiencing life together. 3.) Establishing and promoting a level of mutual respect. 4.) Developing a way of communicating so that both individuals understand other's needs. (Hmmm... maybe I should be writing self-help books for humans???)
Let's take a look at each of these key points to see how they can have a positive affect on your daily dog training: 1.) Spending quality time together. Spending quality time together does not mean sharing a beer with Fido while two of you lay in front of television. Well, okay... maybe it does. But more importantly, it means committing to a series of rituals and behaviors that you and your dog can look forward to. For example, I often throw Forbes (the Pit Bull) in back of truck when I wake up in morning and we go for a drive down to local McDonald's Drive-thru. For most of drive, Forbes is either still wiping sleep out of his eyes, or he's doing guard dog routine if someone walks up to back of truck. But highlight of this morning ritual begins when we get home. It's Forbes' job to hop out of back of truck and take empty McDonald's brown paper bag in his mouth, walk down drive way, around gate, into back yard, and then over to trash can... where he drops bag. Sure, it's a stupid pet trick. But see how disappointed dog is when *I* insist on carrying bag to trash can! From dog's point of view, it's 30 or 40 little things throughout day (that he can help me with) that make his life worth living. And for dog, this is spending quality. It all boils down to being an active participant in each other's lives.
2.) Getting out in world and experiencing life together: It had been years since Bud and Janice's kids had grown and left house for college and later, corporate jobs. Bud had wanted a dog for several months and Janice finally gave in. They decided to adopt a beautiful 5 year-old Golden Retriever and proceeded to train "Mac," using many of techniques I describe in my book, "Secrets of a Professional Dog Trainer!" (To learn more about this book, go to http://hop.clickbank.net/?1greatdog/agkatz). Janice got scared when Bud came back from his first walk around neighborhood with "Mac" and ran into house yelling, "Janice! Janice! You won't believe what happened!!!" "Oh my gawd," though Janice, thinking that perhaps "Mac" had bitten a child, or run away. "What happened?" Janice questioned her husband. "You won't believe it, Janice," said Bud, "I took 'Mac' for a walk... AND PEOPLE ACTUALLY CAME UP AND TALKED TO ME!!!" Imagine that! Here's a guy who had lived in same neighborhood for eight years and didn't know any of his neighbors until he got a dog and started taking it for walks. Dogs are a wonderful excuse to get you out of house and interacting with world around you. It's also one of many reasons that handicapped people like owning service dogs... because it makes it easier for other people to come up and start a conversation. And do you think that "Mac" minded all of attention? Absolutely not. As a matter of fact, I think that my dog Forbes is happiest when we're out in world, meeting new people and experiencing new things together. Two best friends, out on town. You should see look on Forbes' face when two or three beautiful women walk up and start rubbing his belly. Even better... you should see look on my face!