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TEETHING TROUBLES

Chewing on Furniture 

Chewing is a natural thing for a puppy to do as its sharp little teeth come in.  A puppy should not be scolded for something that it is doing to try to make itself more comfortable (it is as irritating for a puppy to teethe as it is for a human baby).  However, try to redirect your puppy’s chewing.  Have plenty of chew toys on hand.  When you see him chewing on furniture or anything that you would prefer him not to chew on, then distract him with a chew toy and toss it in another direction.  When your puppy obeys and leaves the chewing on the furniture for the toy, be sure to give him a small treat and say “Thank you”.  Make sure you use the same word every time so that he can associate it with his behavior. 

 Chewing on Fingers and Toes

I know how cute it is when a puppy chews on your fingers or toes, but this is a game that can quickly get out of hand.  As your puppy gets older, it can begin to put a lot more energy into it, and those sharp little teeth will begin to hurt.  When he decides to chew on you instead of his toys, you might want to exclaim “Ouch!” (or whatever word you choose) and walk away.  If he continues to chew on your toes as you walk away, say “Ouch!” again and place him back into his exercise pen.  Wait 5 minutes so that he realizes that his biting ended his playtime.  After the 5 minutes are over, you can take him out and allow him to play again.  If he begins biting again, then repeat this procedure.  There is always a way to teach a puppy its life lessons kindly without force, but it takes diligence and consistency on your part.  If you say “Ouch!” most of the time, but then allow him to chew on you at other times, he will always be confused…“Is this the time they will let me chew on them or not?”

 

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