Biting and mouthing by puppies are common and normal behaviours. Like babies, puppies use their mouths to explore the world. Everything goes in your puppy’s mouth including human hands, feet, fingers and toes.
Puppies are also used to rough-and-tumble play with their brothers and sisters with lots of biting and mouthing. A puppy’s bite will start to hurt as their canine teeth come through and they grow and become stronger.
Below are some tips for teaching your puppy the rules when it comes to interacting, getting your attention and playing.
Be consistent and help your puppy to make better choices
Your puppy needs to learn how to behave properly including how to play politely. Bite inhibition is the ability for your puppy to use their teeth without causing distress or hurting other people or dogs.
Teaching “bite inhibition” will help your puppy have fun, and to be safe, with other people and other dogs.
Below are two suggested methods for teaching your puppy bite inhibition – (1) using toys and (2) meeting your puppy’s needs.
Direct to a calming activity
Chewing, licking and sniffing is naturally calming to dogs and helps to meet their needs from a biting and chewing point of view.
When your puppy goes to use their teeth, direct them to either a long lasting chew, kong or lickimat. They need to do this calmer activity for minimum 10 minutes so you may have to be creativity with what you use or what you have prepared or on hand. Make sure all energetic or exciting games are mixed up with a calming activity, for example scent games or puzzles. Swap between the two types of play ensuring your puppy does not get overstimulated. Teach your puppy to self-regulate their excitement. An overstimulated puppy will bite.
Meeting your puppy’s needs
Although, biting and mouthing is a natural behaviour, it is often worse when we are not meeting your puppy’s needs.
Make sure you are getting the balance right with the following:
- Getting enough sleep or rest. An overtired puppy will be a biting monster. Make sure you teach your puppy to rest every hour.
- Meeting their exercise needs. Pent up energy means they will struggle to make good choices and control their impulses.
- Meeting their mental stimulation needs. This is the one that will make the MOST difference. When your puppy starts to bite re-direct them onto a puzzle or do some training that engages their ability to problem solve. When a puppy is thinking they are calm and less likely to bite.
- Give them six new things to do with their mouth everyday. Feed their meals out of enrichment toys, give them rubbish to destroy and chew (always supervise at first to make sure they don’t swallow anything). Give them natural long lasting chews and ice blocks or meals frozen in a toy is a great way to sooth teething.
What doesn’t work
Always use positive reinforcement techniques when training your puppy.
Never punish them or yell at them. It will only make your puppy anxious and scared of you and create other behavioural issues that you don’t want. Dogs that are physically or verbally punished are more likely to retaliate with aggression. And it’s cruel.
We have also found for some puppies yelping or making a loud noise can overstimulate them and make the behaviour worse or frighten your puppy. So we no longer recommend this strategy.
Lots of praise
Remember to reward your puppy when they play well and politely. Give them their favourite treat or toy. This will show them that good things happen when they play nicely.
Supervise play between puppies and children
Children can’t use these training techniques on their own and will need adult help. And children often do things to get puppies excited, for example squeal and run around. Children must be supervised with puppies at all times.
It’s important that everyone in the family or household practices these training tips. Everyone who interacts or plays with your puppy needs to be consistent.
If your puppy continues to be too rough, then seek help from a professional dog trainer that uses positive training techniques.
At Fur Get Me Not, our qualified canine coaches can support you in using positive training techniques to teach your puppy bite inhibition and other critical skills. We’re passionate about puppies and their humans forming strong bonds. Get started today by clicking here.
Pugs are very mischievous, playful, goofy, curious dogs. This can be fun and entertaining at first, but their curiosity and attention-seeking can lead to trouble without proper training. They are also quite energetic. Pugs are probably more energetic than people realise and can suffer from health problems like obesity if they are not given enough exercise.
With the right training, exercise and socialisation Pugs are very docile, clever, charming and social dogs.
Here are Pug training tips to help you understand your Pug’s needs.
Pugs are clever
Pugs are clever, although they probably aren’t renowned for being smart.
Start training early.
Pugs can learn a wide range of tricks using positive training techniques. Positive reinforcement techniques will allow your Pug to quickly learn that good things happen when they do something good.
A perfect way to start Pug training is with obedience training basics. Train your Pug in essential commands such as stay, sit, drop and “leave it”.
Pugs are very playful and social
Start socialisation early. It will help your Pug’s development and positively shape their temperament.
Socialise your Pug by educating them on behaving well and getting along politely with other animals, including other dogs. It is also important to introduce them to different environments.
Giving your Pug the opportunity to interact positively with different kinds of dogs will help them develop new, good behaviours and will build their confidence.
It’s important for your Pug’s development and well-being that they be given the chance to socialise with dogs of different shapes, sizes, and colours.
Pugs are stubborn
A Pug’s intelligence also means they can be stubborn and easily form habits, both good and bad.
Set rules for your Pug and stick to them. Don’t bend the rules because they are cute.
For example, decide early whether you will let your Pug sit on the couch or your bed. Be aware that if you allow this to happen but change your mind later, it will be very challenging to get your Pug to stop.
One final Pug training tip
Our biggest tip for training your Pug is to find out what your Pug truly loves and how they love to learn and focus on those things.
Maybe your Pug loves a specific toy, a long walk or food treats. Using their favourite toy or treat as a reward for good behaviour is the most effective Pug training strategy.
It is also important to remember if your Pug only socialises with other Pugs, they may not cope well or behave well when they come across other kinds of dogs. We’ve written a blog on whether different dog breeds have different training needs. Click here to check it out.
At Fur Get Me Not, we keep our group training classes and puppy playgroups small. We get to know your Pug’s individual needs and can provide specialist training by highly skilled dog trainers. To check out our dog training courses and playgroups, click here.
The first few months of your puppy’s life are hugely important. They will receive their puppy vaccinations. They must also learn proper behaviour and become socialised.
Advice about your puppy’s vaccinations should always be provided by your vet. Generally, puppy vaccinations start at 6-8 weeks of age. Boosters are given at 4 to 6-week intervals until your puppy is about 18 to 20 weeks of age. It is important that your puppy receives the necessary vaccinations to protect them against infectious diseases like Parvovirus.
The importance of socialisation
Socialising a puppy properly means providing a safe, social and positive environment, like a puppy school, for your puppy to learn how to relate well to other dogs, animals and people.
The Australian Veterinary Association recommends that socialisation of puppies should take place between 3 and 12 weeks of age.
Puppies who do not receive enough exposure to different people, other animals (including other dogs) and new environments during this critical time for socialisation may develop irreversible fears, behaviourable problems or anxiety which, in turn, can lead to aggression.
Puppy vaccinations and puppy school
Does your puppy need to be vaccinated before it goes to puppy school?
The Pet Professional Guild of Australia recommends socialising your puppy while your puppy is completing their vaccination schedule. They say start socialising your puppy before they’ve finished their vaccinations.
Even the Australian Veterinary Association states that Puppy school conducted in a clean environment should not pose a risk to a puppy that is yet to receive its full course of vaccinations. We encourage puppy owners to take their puppies to puppy classes as early as possible, before their puppies have completed their full vaccination schedule. Puppies must be kept up-to-date on vaccines throughout their puppy school program.
Well-run puppy schools provide the foundation for happy, healthy dogs and happy owners. Of course, always think about the risk of infectious diseases. The risk of surrendering a badly behaved, unsocialised dog is higher than the risk of your puppy getting an infectious disease.
How to protect your puppy
To protect your puppy from infectious diseases, avoid dog parks and other high-traffic areas altogether like walking tracks. Carry your puppy whenever in a high risk area. Especially from your car to the vet clinic, and talk to your vet for specific advice in your area.
We cannot stress enough the importance of properly socialising your puppy during their critical socialisation period. It is okay for your puppy to socialise and play with other vaccinated dogs and puppies before they’ve received all their vaccinations. Your family or friend’s dogs could come to your house, or you could go to theirs. Make sure the other dogs are friendly, healthy and up-to-date with their vaccinations, and always supervise your puppy.
At Fur Get Me Not, we offer a free 30-minute private training session for anyone who introduces a puppy to their family. Click here to book your free private training session.
Golden Retrievers are handsome, charming and intelligent dogs with wonderful temperaments. But they can also be destructive and overly excitable if not trained properly.
With the right Golden Retriever training they can become friendly, playful, social dogs. Because of this, Golden Retrievers are often chosen as companion animals, guide dogs, rescue dogs or therapy dogs.
Below are our best Golden Retriever training tips. These tips will help you get started, and to understand your dog’s unique needs.
Firstly, start Golden Retriever training early.
They are naturally obedient and eager to please. Golden Retrievers will respond well to positive reinforcement training techniques. Positive reinforcement teaches your dog that good things happen when they do something good.
The best place to start is toilet training and commands such as stay, sit, drop and “leave it”.
Golden Retrievers are very social
Secondly, Golden Retrievers must learn to be well-behaved with people and other animals, including other dogs. Allowing your dog to interact positively with different kinds of dogs will help your Golden Retriever develop good behaviours and build their confidence.
Like all dogs, Golden Retrievers need to socialise with other dogs of different shapes, sizes, and colours. Socialising properly will help their development and shape their temperament.
Golden Retrievers are active
Thirdly, Golden Retrievers are energetic and need exercise to keep them in good condition. It is important to take your Golden Retriever for regular brisk walks or runs. Fetch games and swimming are also great exercise options. They also need to exercise their mind and regular training classes is a great way to do this.
One final training tip
Our biggest tip for Golden Retriever training is don’t focus on group training courses designed specifically for Golden Retrievers. If your dog only socialises with Golden Retrievers, they will not cope or behave well when they come across other kinds of dogs.
We’ve written a blog on the different training needs of different dog breeds. Click here to check it out.
At Fur Get Me Not, we keep our group training classes and playgroups small. We get to know your Golden Retriever’s individual needs and provide specialist training by highly skilled dog trainers. To check out our dog training courses and playgroups, click here.