Your puppy will nibble and bite your hand when he plays as it’s the only play he knows, he has just spent at least 8 weeks play biting his brothers and sisters in the wait for you to collect him! It’s their natural way of exploring, just be careful as the older he gets the more it hurts.
Luckily your puppies jaw muscles are not yet developed enough for the nipping to hurt. You can thank nature for this, when he was back playing with his brothers and sisters, or taking milk from his mum and nipped too hard he would get a loud ‘yelp’ back, which taught him when to curb the nipping.
You can continue with this method of training, so he carries on learning, until eventually he knows his own strength.
Your puppy wants to explore their new world, have fun and discover new things. He will often do this by chewing, which can lead to trouble!
But he will also be chewing for another good reason- Teething. All he wants to do is help his new adult teeth through, rid the puppy ones and stop all the pain its causing. The teething period lasts roughly 6 months, starting at 3 months and lasting until he is around 9 months old. Having a total of 42 teeth emerging through those little gums is bound to turn him to chew something he shouldn’t, unless you teach him to chew on appropriate items, which will also lead to a smooth transition from your teething puppy to well-trained adult dog.
To manage the troublesome chewing you need to remove temptation, keep your shoes locked away, remove your sofa cushions and hide the remote! Seriously, you need to move items like these out of the way. The last thing you want is to get home from work to find your living room in shreds. There are also many household items that can be poisonous to your puppy, obvious things found in a cleaning cupboard and the not so obvious such as chocolate and some types of plant. It’s a really good idea to clear the decks before you bring your puppy home for the first time, that way he won’t miss anything that was there on his first day in his new pad. You can both start as you mean to go on.
Once you’ve dog-proofed your home, providing your puppy with a variety of chews and toys will entertain him for an hour or two, satisfying his need to gnaw on something while diverting him from chewing on inappropriate items.
Only use products that have been specifically designed for puppies, if they are too hard they could crack your puppy’s teeth, as well as ones that are too small or break apart and present choking hazards.
Instilling good behaviours, and discouraging unwanted behaviours is key to having a great relationship with your puppy, and an un-chewed home to enjoy together!