Nipping and Biting Strategy

Puppy nipping and biting

Part of raising a puppy is getting mouthed, nipped or sometimes bitten so hard you want to cry!

You signed up for this when you got your pup. There is no way around this one. Your response to the biting is what counts.

It might seem counter intuitive but encourage gentle mouthing from your pup. This way you know how hard his bite is. When his bite gets too hard give your puppy some feedback. The feedback does not necessarily need to be verbal, the verbal ouches and cries will amp many pups up more. Stand up and disengage, turn your back, cross your arms. Make sure you have a leash on the pup so he doesn’t just up and leave the area on you.

Provide something appropriate for the puppy to clamp on to and chew on instead of you. Trade your shirt-sleeve or pant leg for a delicious chew. Ask your puppy to sit. Ask your puppy to leave it. A trade is nice here; give him a good reason to want to leave it.

Play a game of tug with an appropriate toy to help get his puppy ya-ya’s out.

Practice wild, control exercises. How quick are you able to get your super-charged pup into a sit or a down?

Remember, puppies will bite! Instead of trying to stop the puppy from doing what comes naturally to him, focus on refining your ability to give fair, effective and clear feedback and directing your puppy to something appropriate to chomp on.


socialise puppy


  1. Head out to a new and stimulating environment. The bus station, a pet supply store, a shopping district. The level of stimulation and distraction will vary depending on your puppy’s level of comfort and curiosity. Adjust to the correct and safe level.
  2. Stand still and watch your puppy. Let him acclimate to the area. When he looks at you treat and praise – be quick about it. Timing is key.
  3. If some one wants to pet him, ask them to wait while you lure him into a sit, then get them to treat your puppy. We call this meet, greet and treat.

Puppy Myth Buster #7


House Training

My puppy peed on the carpet while I was out because he is trying to punish me.

True or False

Answer: False

Your puppy peed on the floor because he doesn’t know any better. To him, your carpet is as good a place as any if he needs to go.  Puppies don’t know the appropriate place to eliminate until you gently and kindly teach them. House Training your puppy should be a cinch if you stick to some simple rules. All to often people have unrealistic time lines, thinking their pup is house trained in too short a time for the behavior to be reliable. Thus, newly developing bathroom habits go south and poor pup takes the blame. Oh, and then there is the one about every time I come home my dog runs and hides because “he knows” he has done something wrong. Guess What? All he knows is that every time you come home you holler and are angry so it isn’t safe when you come home. You are predictably angry about something of which he has no idea, even if the “bathroom faux pas” happened 2 minutes prior.
Reliable bathroom habits can take some time to develop.  Be patient and keep your puppy safe and successful – outside often (every time he comes out of the crate) on leash, so pup stays focused on what he needs to do. Back in the crate if he doesn’t go after a few minutes. Give him another opportunity in a short while. Be sure and lay on lots of praise when he does goes. Aim for no opportunities to have an accident in the house. How? Because you are watching like a hawk and ensuring that prior to romping around the house, he has emptied himself. If an accident occurs use a solution specifically made to clean the soiled area .

House Training, You Control Everything

House Training, Bathroom Frequency

A good article on the topic by Scientific American

Puppy Myth Buster #6



The number one danger to my puppy is taking him out in public before he has had all his shots.

True or False

Answer: False

The number one danger to the health of your dog is not having a proactive, positive social experience. Socialization is a process during which a puppy develops positive relationships with other living beings and their environment through exposure. Dogs will respond confidently and easily to new circumstances later in life, if they are exposed to unusual situations, unfamiliar surroundings and people as a puppy. You run a far greater risk of ending up with a dog who can’t cope with day-to-day encounters if he’s not properly socialized at a young age. The number one killer of young dogs is still euthanasia due to preventable behavioral problems, not a contagious canine virus picked up due to a lack of immunities.

Take a calculated risk: You must be prudent when you are out in public. You need to be cautious and manage all your puppy’s encounters. Socialize your puppy responsibly and safely.

Socialize: Why the Rush?

Go to Myth Buster #7