Puppies and dogs explore the world with their mouths, after all they don’t have the dexterity we do with our hands, so it is natural for them to investigate things with their mouth and teeth!
That said….we don’t want our puppies to biting our furniture or us!
To put puppy teething into some context: children take about 3 years to get their full set of 20 milk teeth, puppies get 28 deciduous teeth and a total of 42 permanent teeth which are usually all in place before the dog is a year old. When it comes to teething dogs have a mouth eruption! It’s important to remember that chewing is a naturally rewarding behaviour that will comfort a teething puppy, so it’s important to offer plenty of appropriate teething items, but also to ensure your puppy is only mouthing these appropriate items!
Management has a lot to do with preventing chewing / biting of inappropriate objects, teething only occurs for a short while and most puppies grow out of it, so removing items e.g. shoes for the short term may be part of the solution. It’s slightly harder when the puppy is choosing to chew something like your sofa or table, but it may be that you can prevent access to this for the short term with the use of a playpen or other obstruction.
Try to keep an eye on how aroused / excited your puppy is as they are more likely to mouth the more excited they get, managing and preventing biting in the first place is a good policy. It may be that you need to ask your puppy to do something calmer, that they need a nap or a little bit of time to calm down, try to avoid getting them over-excited during play – keep play sessions short and fun.
If this is just too exciting it may be that your puppy needs 30 seconds on their own to calm down – this should not be seen as a punishment but as an opportunity for your puppy to calm down and draw breath…When you step back in to see your puppy, avoid going back to playing or engaging in the same way, but give them something else to do that is a calmer behaviour e.g. practising their sits or searching for some tasty treats etc.
Don’t forget that dogs need to chew throughout their lives, so it is important to provide your dog with appropriate items to chew: Kongs, antler, buffalo horns or long lasting chews. Please ask for advice on this if you need.
If you need further help and support speak to us directly at Jay K9.