Veazie Veterinary Clinic
1522 State Street, Veazie, ME
(207) 941-8840

“Bad Puppy”

jovie2_142135503_stdLots of puppies have a tendency to jump, nip and bite. In general it’s not because they are mean, but because they are treating you like a litter mate. Here are some helpful suggestions to stop this type of behavior.

Jumping Up:

Why: Puppies jump on you to get close to your face to greet you.

To stop: The best way to stop your puppy from jumping is to turn away and ignore it as soon as it jumps up. By ignoring it, the behavior becomes self-defeating. In a short period of time, it will learn that it does not get any attention when it jumps.

  • All verbal cues such as telling them “Down” or “Off”, kneeing them or grabbing their front legs are all forms of attention and will encourage puppies to jump on their owners.
  • Even small children can be taught to turn their backs so the puppy does not jump on them. Children should go to the corner with their hands in front of them so that the puppy cannot get at them.
  • The best thing for young children to do when a puppy is too rough is to stand still so the pup loses interest.
  • Ignore rambunctious behavior when you or company comes through the door. As soon as it settles down, focus your attention on it. This rewards good, calm behavior.
  • Ultimately the dog should sit for you when you come through the door.

Biting:

Why: Puppies bite at our hands, feet and clothing in an attempt to engage us in play.

To stop: The best way to discourage the puppy from biting is a technique called bite inhibition.

  • When the puppy bites too hard, you should yelp, pull your hand away and ignore it for a few minutes. Your puppy will quickly learn that if it bites too hard, the play will end.
  • The purpose of its biting was to initiate play and therefore becomes self-defeating when you ignore it.
  • Although roughhousing does not encourage biting, avoid any interaction that causes it.