Biting and nipping are common behaviors among puppies, usually exhibited when they are playing or while they’re going through teething. These are not really threatening behaviors in puppies. They are traces of their ancestors’ behavior in the wild that continue to exist even with domestication. It is your responsibility to teach your puppy what behavior is acceptable so you will have a well-behaved pooch in the household.
While the behavior is quite common in puppies, they should learn that the behavior is undesirable and should stop engaging in the behavior before they are four or five months of age. In the wild, it is the responsibility of the puppies’ mother and other adult members of the pack to help discipline and control the behavior. With domestication, it is now the responsibility of the pet owner to teach and train the puppy to stop biting or nipping even if it is only part of playing.
Socialization in Puppies
During a puppy’s period of socialization, he should be allowed to interact with other puppies. As they engage in rough play, biting, nipping, and pulling at each other, they soon learn to control their negative behavior.
A puppy that keeps on biting and nipping others in the pack will soon find himself being disciplined by older dogs in the pack. Spending time with their mother and the rest of the litter is also an excellent learning experience before they are weaned and brought to their forever homes. It will also help puppies develop confidence while using up their energy in a positive way.
Adequate socialization also results in a well-adjusted pet that is not hostile and destructive. Without adequate exposure, a puppy can cultivate a fearful attitude and aggressive behavior. When a dog is afraid of a person, another animal, or an object, he either acts aggressively in an attempt to protect himself, or just cower in fear. Many cases of dog bites in people are usually linked to dogs which have not received proper socialization.
Having a well-discipline and well-adjusted pet is just one of the benefits of proper socialization. This phase in a puppy’s life should never be taken for granted. It should start as early as possible, especially for large dog breeds which can be a challenge to control if they are not disciplined.
Dominate as a Pack Leader
A dog needs an alpha leader who is able to play an active role in training a puppy. When your pooch trusts and respects you as the leader of the pack, the learning process will be easier.
Dogs live to satisfy their alpha leader. By offering treats and lavish praise, you are showing your pet that you are happy with his behavior.