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Training The Nippiness Out Of Your New Puppy

A new puppy is an amazing addition to any family, bringing warm fuzzy fun to the home and offering great companionship. Problems arise, however, when their natural instincts to nip take over. Little fingers can get hurt and everything from slippers to rugs to hairbrushes to furniture can suffer the consequences. Gently teach your puppy to stop biting with the following tips.

1. Always respond negatively to even the slightest nip

It’s the over-all behavior you need to curb, not necessarily the severity of the bite. Use the same reaction every time he commits the offense, such as a firm “no” accompanied by a gentle tap on his nose. Never hit, scream or otherwise demonstrate violence to the animal, as this can foster the same behavior in him.

2. Follow up fast with praise

When your puppy stops nipping when you ask him to, go over-board with the complements. Make certain he fully understands that he’s done a really good thing ans that you are pleased with him. Just as with telling him he was wrong, be consistent when you tell him he was right. This will help him learn faster and keep everyone in the house on the same page.

3. Give him lots of opportunity to exhaust himself

Puppies tend to nap throughout the day; work with this natural rhythm by playing with him frequently. Take him outside and let him chase you or throw a ball around. Getting his energy in synch with a schedule can help eliminate problem behaviors like biting, because he won’t be constantly bursting at the seams with playfulness.

4. Provide him with plenty of toys

Silly things that exercise his jaw and catch his attention are great to divert him from nipping, especially since he will know they are his. Keep them near his bed and hold them in a playful manner to demonstrate their use and appropriateness. Make sure they are made of strong and safe materials.

5. Find other dogs he can play with

If there happens to be another canine youngster in the neighborhood, you are in luck! Although it’s best for your puppy to play with other pint-sized dogs, any well-mannered animal will do. Let them get to know each other, romp around the way that nature intended and be sure to monitor them closely, especially is your pup is at a big disadvantage in size.

6. Try an apple-bitter spray

If your puppy is inclined to nip at things around the house, buy a bottle of apple-spray from your local pet retailer. It’s safe but has an awful taste that will discourage your four-legged little one from nibbling on anything you apply it to. This will also help him to learn boundaries, which is important in his overall training and the process of adapting to a domesticated environment.

Once your puppy has passed his obedience training, the joy and fun take over! Understand that a dog’s natural instinct is to please, so by teaching him to behave, you’re actually making him feel better about himself. Use the above tips and ask a local expert for help if necessary; let nothing stop your family for fully appreciating the joys of puppy-hood!

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