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Puppy Dry Mouth

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by Neil1205, Jun 6, 2020.

  1. Neil1205

    Neil1205 PetForums Newbie

    Jun 6, 2020
    Likes Received:
    Hello, totally new to pet parenting and finding the whole experience quite stressful. Our pup is 10 weeks old and been with us just under 2 weeks now. She’s generally been well behaved, eating and drinking well with exception of last 24 hours. Nightmare for picking up moss, stones and other things from garden she shouldn’t have. Anyway, her behaviour has been quite bad this past day for some reason but she’s gnawing on anything she can like our wooden chairs, wooden bench and even the walls. We have loads of chew toys for her but she’s now chewing and snapping at our ankles and hands quite badly which is scaring my toddler son. She’s also gone off her water and not really drinking leading to quite a dry mouth. We put some toy chew keys in the freezer as well as a wet kitchen cloth as we thought that would soothe her gum which was ok for her so I think the steel drinking bowl is putting her off but honestly I’m frazzled and losing all rationality. Any and all suggestions welcome for (I) the biting and (ii) the water
  2. JoanneF

    JoanneF PetForums VIP

    Feb 1, 2016
    Likes Received:
    If you think the stainless steel bowl is a problem, that's a nice easy fix - try her with something else. A plastic plant saucer would be an option, no shine, no noise etc. It is important for her to drink though, puppies can get dehydrated quite quickly. If you lift the skin on the back of her neck, does it fall back into place quickly? If not, that can be a sign of dehydration. I tempted my sick dog to drink by adding some of the water from a small can of tinned tuna in spring water to his normal water.

    For the biting, that is normal puppy behaviour. She is trying to engage you in play, this is just an extension of the boisterous play she had with her littermates but she needs to learn this is not how to play with humans. Some people find a sharp 'ouch' works but it can just ramp up the excitement. Some people find putting a toy in the dog's mouth works, others find the puppy is still more interested in nipping hands. My preferred method is to teach her that teeth on skin equals end of fun. So as soon as she makes contact, walk out of the room for a few moments. As long as the whole family is consistent - do it immediately and do it every time - she will learn. You could use a house line to draw her away, which keeps your hands both out of reach and also keeps hands for only good things.

    There is also something called ”extinction burst” that you should be aware of. This is when a behaviour that used to get attention no longer works for the dog so he tries it all the harder and it seems like things are getting worse, not better. This is good, because it means that what you are doing is starting to work.
    niamh123 and caterpiller like this.
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