Little puppies test everything, including your patience. When playing and romping around, things can get a little wilder and the pointed milk teeth can sometimes get a really good grip. But not only the dog children pinch. Just last week I received emails from several readers on the social network describing the problem. Both in young dogs and in adult fur children. This is not only annoying but painful and one becomes insecure because the owner quickly wonders whether this is about territorial behavior and whether one’s own authority as the pack leader is being questioned. Today I took a closer look at what your dog is thinking when it pinches you and what you can do about it.
The Situation in Which the Problem Occurs
First of all, we have the classic: the small, playful puppy roams around and your hand quickly gets its small, pointed milk teeth off while romping around.
Then there is the situation that a reader described to me: The 9-month-old shepherd bitch is bored and likes to jump at the keeper, and when she is afraid she sometimes pinches. The dog no longer reacts to commands, the “No” command seems to have been completely forgotten, which the dog otherwise knows very well and also follows. Ignorance in the form of turning away or pushing away makes the dog even madder.
And another reader told me that the almost one-year-old mongrel, in high spirits when playing, quickly snaps at her and her master. Just as if he wanted to hold her tight.
Why is My Dog Pinching Me?
Anyone who takes in their dog as a puppy has all the means and ways. The upbringing is entirely in your own hands and you shape your treasure. Ultimately, this is little different than with children: you set an example and teach the fur child everything it should be able to do. Puberty will inevitably come at some point. And here is tested, what the stuff holds. Despite stubbornness, you now recognize it quite quickly and should definitely react to it.
In the case of dogs that only find their home with you later, i.e. in adulthood, it may be that this said learning effect simply did not materialize in puppyhood. Dogs learn bite inhibition, they don’t get it in the cradle.
All in all, however, the mouth is very important for dogs: if they are still small, the dog mother will gently bring them back into the home snuggle cave with her teeth. In turn, people do this with their hands. So one thing is very clear: Our hands are what the dog’s mouth is. And: showing teeth can be a clear signal. If two puppies measure each other, they will pinch each other. It is important to be consistent here. Ultimately, no dog owner wants the dog to get into the habit of pinching everything and everyone.
How Do I Break the Habit of This Bad Habit in My Dog?
If the dog nips during play, you should rethink: nagging doesn’t do much good, on the contrary. You are sending the wrong signal. So, let’s rethink this: when two puppies play and test each other by pinching each other, eventually one will bite too hard. The bitten puppy will yelp (squeak) and then turn away. This is the only way for the puppy to learn bite inhibition because now it realizes that it has caused its sibling pain. If you do the same, your furling will instinctively remember what they learned from their siblings. So as soon as your dog crosses the line and you can clearly feel his teeth while playing, squeak loudly (a loud “OW!” will do too) and turn away from him – with your entire body. You can also cross your arms clearly, it is important that your posture is completely negative.
Ideally, he now flattens his ears because he is ashamed and asks for forgiveness by licking your hand. This has to happen by itself. You should really turn away from your dog for at least half a minute and also not touch him. It takes him so long to understand. If someone else is in the game, they don’t have to deal with the dog in this learning phase either, because playing in other ways not only makes you forget but shapes completely wrong. After all, the dog should definitely not be rewarded right now. And if the behavior of the adult dog needs to be corrected, do so. The command “No!” must be used here. However, when it comes to obedience, don’t forget to praise it.
Also, there are some dogs that just have the urge to chew on something. Please make sure that your sweetheart can also satisfy this need by having a chew toy available.
The last variant would be the diversionary maneuver. Ultimately, you probably already know your fur child very well and sometimes you can tell from your own animal exactly when it will get its “rappel” again. So if the situation arises, for example in the game, where you know exactly it’s about to start again, distract your sweetheart. With treats and toys, you can quickly forget the habit and at the same time, it acts as a reward.
When Do I Really Have to Worry?
If all the tips don’t help and the bite becomes even harder and you, as the owner, are possibly even totally unsure, contact a dog school. Here you can be helped on site and depending on the situation.