August 18, 2015 | Posted in Doctor Sigmund Furry Series

Puppy-TeethingDear Dr. Furry,

I’m noticing that my new, adopted puppy likes to bite. These aren’t aggressive, mauling bites, but serious nips at my hand or elbow or leg. What should I do?

Ed, Minnetonka, MN


Dear Ed,

You must be very tasty! Oh, goodness. There I go again . . .

Puppies learn suitable behavior from their mother and siblings, just as children learn from their parents. Yet, since the general time for adopting pups is usually 8 weeks or so after they are born, some of them haven’t had lessons in biting. .  or not.

The first way to teach your dog not to bite is to emit a loud, high pitched “Ouch!” after he does it. It will startle him and, chances are, he’ll stop. After this happens, just ignore him for about 30 seconds.

Another way to make sure your pup’s energy is satisfied is to plan on providing exercise for him on a scheduled basis. This can be walks in the park, running along with you, or socialized playing with other dogs.

And, make sure he has a good supply of chew toys. If you’re the only chew toy in the house, you’re going to be “it” for a long while to come! So get some chew things for him, especially when he begins to teethe.

All of the above should be done consistently, each and every time a biting event arises. Eventually, he/she will learn that biting pressure on people and/or clothing is not permitted.

~Dr. Sigmund Furry