Why Do Puppies Nip People?
They do this to play, to get attention and because they are teething.
The good news is that this is a puppy behavior that almost all will grow out of naturally. It is very important to avoid getting frustrated and resorting to punishments / corrections which could damage your relationship down the road. It is also important to teach the puppy how delicate human skin is, so let her experiment a bit and to give her feedback (say “yipe!” and remove your attention) when she nips too hard. If you get more and more sensitive to nips she will soon find that humans are very sensitive and respond accordingly with her teeth.
We’re in luck! This is a very easy behavior to modify because we KNOW what the pup wants – to play and chew!
So, give her lots of available chew toys and whenever she nips, walk away from her and ignore her (if she follows nipping at your heels you need to use a tie back, time out or gate).
Then when she’s gentle, stay and play. Don’t forget… This too will pass!!
Want more details about what do you do with that cute little shark?
a. Always have a toy in your hand to play with your puppy so she can make a correct choice (unless you are doing the practice in #2).
b. Exercise your puppy to get rid of excess energy (1 hour per day).
c. Make sure your puppy is getting enough rest (12 hours per day).
d. Have lots of great chew toys around to get her through teething (frozen wet rags, frozen raw marrow bones).
e. Don’t leave kids and dogs unattended. Teach kids not to run and scream from nipping puppies but to quietly walk away or stop moving.
f. Use a tie-back (only under supervision), gate or time-out area more frequently as a management tool if the above is not working. Sometimes bitter spray on clothing can help ease nip ping at clothing and shoes.
a. Tie your puppy back or put her in a room with a gate that you can quickly climb over.
b. Begin playing with her. Praise her for being gentle, but when she nips say “yipe” (like a puppy would) and quickly walk away.
c. Wait 1 minute. Return and give her another try. Practice in 2 – 3 minute sessions with each family member taking a turn.
d. The tie-back method also works well for other attention getting behaviors such as jumping up barking and humping.