Chewing, weeing, biting – a puppy’s endearing habits

How do we stop all the bad behaviour?

This week Ounce has had lots of fun – we went to an agility show!  Sadly I was too busy paying attention to my puppy and all the admiration she was getting to take any pictures – will try and remember for the next time.

Here a picture of her cousin Aura, with her rosette and trophy, after winning a grade 3 class.  She is in grade 4 now!

Agility is all about having fun with your dogs.  They get so excited when they are there and they really love doing it.  My last run of the weekend was completely rubbish, but Aura came out smiling so widely – she had had the best time!  I look forward to training Ounce, but we won’t start for another 9 months.  Meanwhile there is work to be done..

Chewing

Puppies chew things – everyone knows that.  But why do they do it and how do we stop them?  They do it because they need to get rid of their baby teeth and grow in their adult teeth.  Just like babies, this process is lengthy and can be sore.  So they go through periods where they will chew anything they can get their teeth into!  Like this coaster, left on a side table.

Prevention is definitely better than cure.  Here are my top tips:

Keep puppy safe.  Do not leave your puppy unsupervised unless they are in a safe place; a run or a crate.  Of course this is easier said than done.  We don’t want them to be ‘cooped up’ if we can avoid it.

A crate like this one is ideal.  Puppies like going in their bed, especially if you give them a treat every time you shut them into it and feed them inside it as well.

Provide plenty of toys to keep them occupied.  These will get chewed, but it is better that they chew these rather than your house!

Kong chews are invaluable for keeping your puppy entertained while you are away from them.  If you fill it with treats and freeze it, this will keep your pup busy for quite a while!  It is also good for when they are teething.

Weeing – the nightmares of toilet training

Another massive challenge with puppies – how do you stop them weeing everywhere?  I know perfectly well that if I pay attention to Ounce and take her outside regularly, especially after she has woken up, she will go in the garden, not in the house.  Hmm, well it’s a good theory.  The frustrating thing is that she does know, she just forgets.  So even if I leave the door open so that she can go into the garden when she wants to, she can’t really be bothered.

I am now trying to make it clear to her that going in the garden = success!  Lots of praise and cuddles.  Going in the house = BAD!  I am not happy and get pretty grumpy about it.  I don’t smack her, or ‘rub her nose in it’ but I do make sure she knows that is not what is expected.

Yesterday we had a first – a wee on the walk!  Don’t be surprised if your puppy does not go to the toilet on their walks for quite a long time.  There is just too much excitement out there.

Biting – the game of ‘snap-snap’

I call this game ‘snap-snap’ for obvious reasons.  If you have more than one dog, chances are you will have seen this.  It’s a lovely game and so nice to see the dogs enjoying each other’s company.

However, if you don’t have another dog willing to play this game, your puppy will try to play snap-snap with you!  As you can see, it is really just ‘mouthing’ without real biting, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt.  So it needs to be managed.  Again, toys can come in handy, as playing ‘tuggy’ with the pup can be equally stimulating and helps you bond with your puppy, without hurting.  Be aware of what your puppy wants to do and teach them that some playtime is really fun, but it must be on your terms.  Dogs say ‘no’ to each other by moving away, or yelping – you can do the same.

What do you think?

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