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Teething, habit, or normal puppy behaviour?

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by OctoHolly, Dec 1, 2018.


  1. OctoHolly

    OctoHolly PetForums Newbie

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    My sweet pug Falafel is 7-8 months old now and is going to be neutered next week. We had asked him to be neutered at 6 months, but were advised by the vet to wait a bit longer before neutering, since not all of his baby teeth have managed to come out. (The adults have come through, but have pushed some baby teeth off to the side and front).

    He was already teething when we first got him and so it was understandable that he was very nippy, and enjoyed chewing on anything he could get his mouth on. Then it all stopped. A whole week without any biting or chewing or nipping, so we thought he was done teething. But then, a few weeks ago he began nipping and chewing once again.

    Now, I've gone through teething before with my pomeranian, Pumpkin. But it was an absolute breeze with him. If he nipped my feet or hands, a sharp squeak immediately stopped him. It only took a few times before he got the picture and never nipped me again.

    But, with my pug it's a whole different story! He uses his mouth like we use our hands, and he will put anything and everything in those jaws if he can reach it. This wouldn't be so much of an issue, if he didn't have such a fixation for our faces! He can actually climb up me when I'm standing up, just so he can reach my face to nip my nose, or chin, or ear, or any bit of flesh he can grab. Now, I'm not just letting this happen, I do try my hardest to tell him off when he does something that isn't appropriate. But he is so determined to nip anything he can.

    I've tried ignoring him so he doesn't feel rewarded for getting a reaction. But my goodness, his little teeth are like tiny knives! It's hard to keep your composure when those things are nipping at you! So I resorted to what I did with my pom, which is doing a loud squeak when he does it. I also try to distract him with toys. All these methods are hit and miss. Best thing I've found is just removing him from the situation so he can't get to wherever he's trying to bite, but, I feel like no progress is being made.

    I would like to make it clear that I don't switch methods constantly, as I know that would just confuse him as to what's right and what's wrong. But when something doesn't make any progress after consistently using it, that's when I try something new.

    He's definitely not acting aggressive when he does it. He just seems very excited and happy. He sort of lunges when he's nipping, like he's a bird pecking at you.

    Could it all be caused by his teething? Or is it a bad habit? Maybe even normal behaviour?

    Any advice is always appreciated!
     
  2. Siskin

    Siskin Look into my eyes....

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    I’ve found the best thing is to get up and leave the room, perhaps showing some sign of disapproval of those sharp teeth, something like 'no teeth' or similar. He won’t know what it means of course. Go back after say a minute and if he starts again, then straight back out. Keep doing this everytime and gradually he will realise that if he bites/nips you then you go and all play stops.
     
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  3. Twiggy

    Twiggy PetForums VIP

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    Do bear in mind that the worse chewing stage is when the adult teeth settle into the jaw. This is usually anywhere between 8 months - 13 months ish, depending on breed. The puppies need to chew and frozen Kongs, frozen carrots, etc. can help.
     
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  4. OctoHolly

    OctoHolly PetForums Newbie

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    That sounds like a great idea! The only problem is, me walking is another thing he loves, he thinks I want him to chase me, so I think he'd be very happy if I just got up and walked off :p
     
  5. OctoHolly

    OctoHolly PetForums Newbie

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    He does have a lot of toys, hard and soft that he loves chewing on. I also give him dental sticks, which last him a while. Thanks for that info though, I hadn't realised it could last so long depending on the breed.
     
  6. Siskin

    Siskin Look into my eyes....

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    Would the standing like a tree work better do you think? I spent sometime standing facing the wall, arms crossed totally ignoring my dog when a pup - wear tough jeans
     
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  7. OctoHolly

    OctoHolly PetForums Newbie

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    I actually think that might work, yes. It's what I used to do when he used to nip my feet every time I moved. Eventually he'd get bored and walk off. Now he almost never nips my feet.

    I'll try that then, thanks! I'll reply with an update of how it's working out once I've tried it enough times! :)
     
    Siskin likes this.
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