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Training Tips

Teething is not the whole problem

June 26, 2014, 5:58 PM
Q: My 12-week old Yorkshire terrier is teething and bites everything. I purchased a tight rope and teether but none of those things interests him. He bites my toes, hands, shoes and anything he can get to. Please help?
A: Biting is a normal expression of play behavior for puppies. Just watch any puppies playing with each other and see how much time is spent biting or threatening to bite. This behavior is completely moldable meaning you can train it away if you are firm and consistent. Click on the forum q&a tab and search "biting" for discussion of solutions for this problem. From your description your reprimand and the sacrifice that she makes for misbehaving are not memorable. A thump on the nose so that it gets her immediate attention and then couple that with a period of time out but that can not be in her crate. The time out should be in an unfamiliar area such as a bathroom or other small enclosed area and should be long enough for her to begin to feel that you may not be coming back. Besides the nose thump it can be effective to use loud noises such as a metal can with pennies or even a small air horn. One owner related to me that the most effective technique when her puppy was biting her was to act like she had been physically hurt with intense fake crying. The main point is the sacrifice that your puppy is asked to make for misbehaving is not memorable, your puppy is dictating the interaction with you and it needs to be the other way around. Consulting with a professional trainer might be beneficial but I suspect they may not agree with my suggestions, I am just telling you what has worked for me and many owners. Also you can go to the Forum and type "Biting" in the search box to review other members questions and answers.
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