Puppies are cute, adorable and full of boundless energy! However, with a puppy, comes a lot of responsibilities. As puppies grow they develop certain behaviors that may seem appropriate to them, but not so much to us. Educating puppies beginning around 9-12 weeks to have canine manners will help ensure a healthy and happy dog.
Playful Biting – command: Leave It
Freeze your hand movement and say “NO.” When she stops using her teeth and starts to lick your hand, give her plenty of praise. Never play hand games with your dog. Spray Bitter Apple on your hands before you handle your dog to deter her from biting. Make sure to wash your hands thoroughly afterwards.
Mouthing – command: Leave It
Bitter Apple is a great product to control mouthing. First, spray your hands thoroughly and allow your dog to lick your hands to get the taste onto his tongue. Then, pet and play with him around his head and mouth—be careful not to get the Bitter Apple into his eyes. If he starts to mouth your hand or nip, hold your hand still and say NO, followed by LEAVE IT. When he lets go, praise immediately. After the exercise, wash your hands thoroughly to remove the Bitter Apple. Conduct this scene daily—more often if he mouths or nips children.
Chewing – command: Leave It
Give your dog plenty of healthy, crunchy foods, ensuring she receives proper nutrition. Provide stimulating chew toys. Like babies, puppies explore with their mouths, so always be aware of your dog’s whereabouts. Be patient and do not correct the dog unless you catch her in the act of chewing your possessions. Use a chew deterrent such as Bitter Apple, as directed.
Jumping Up – command: Off
You can set the jumping up scene by acting excited and crouching slightly. Do not pat your chest or tell your dog UP, as that is a command. Once your dog tenses to jump, stand tall while saying NO. If necessary, add a hand-clap and turn your back. Do NOT use your knee to block your dog as that could injure him. Give immediate praise when your dog gets down. Perform this scene with various people (family members and friends) in different locations around the house and also outside. Remember, the most effective education starts just before your dog actually jumps.
Clap your hands if you catch your puppy stealing. Do not chase him. Crouch down and encourage him to come to you. When he does, just love him. Do not correct.
Jeri Wagner is a canine behavioral therapist and master trainer. Jeri uses a natural training system leveraging the same communication methods – body language and voice control – that dogs follow as part of their instinctive pack mentality. Training takes place in the home where the problems generally occur. Jeri trains in western Montgomery County, northern Chester County and eastern Berks County. For more information, call 1-877-500 BARK (2275) or visit www.barkbusters.com.
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