Have you ever wondered why your puppy bites your toes or mouths your hand when playing? We have, and we've experienced it. It's cute at first, but those razor-sharp teeth can be a little painful when your pup has gotten overzealous.
Dogs are super curious little things and are always looking for new discoveries. This curiosity started when they were puppies. The world is massive, and, to a little pup, it can also be a little daunting.
It could be frustration.
Puppies are still figuring out how to be a dog. When you start training, your little pup has a lot to grasp and can get frustrated from time to time. If you compare your puppy to a bucket (weird, I know), when you overfill the bucket, there's nowhere for the water to go other than over the top.
The same applies to your dog. When your dog is overstimulated or doesn't understand what you want from it, this can be like the water going over the edge of the bucket. Your puppy won't be receptive to what you want and will feel frustrated, which, in turn, will lead to biting or mouthing objects you would rather it didn't chew.
It's all about learning.
Your new puppy is learning the world. Gauging what it can do and what it can't, usually, it'll pick up these skills with its litter mates, but sometimes they need a little more time to "get it". Which means scratched toes and bleeding fingers.
They're discovering their mouths.
A dog's mouth is one of the most necessary tools for a dog. They eat, play, fight and defend with their mouths. So when they're puppies, they have a lot to discover when it comes to their mouths.
Your puppy is finding out how vital a mouth is to them. Think about babies; babies often stick things in their mouths because of textures, and to find out if things are edible, your puppy is the exact same. They want to know whether they can eat or chew the new "thing". It's all about discovering what they can.
Your puppy is teething.
Do you remember when you were teething? You literally put everything in your mouth! You probably don't remember it, but you know what I mean. Your puppy goes through teething at around 3 weeks. Their canines popping out first, followed by their premolars. As you probably know, this isn't the most comfortable of experiences. It's painful and uncomfortable and can make your puppy feel a little sorry for itself.
This is when your puppy will start to nibble your toes. Trying to soothe its teeth while playing with your appendages (toes).
What can you do to stop your puppy from chewing your feet?
Setting boundaries on what your dog can and can't chew is one of the most important lessons you'll teach your pup. It's also a great way of creating a bond that will lead to success when training your new puppy.
Giving your puppy toys and chews is a fantastic way to show them what is acceptable to chew. Hundreds of products are designed to help your puppy with its teething, each chew created to ease the discomfort your puppy will be dealing with.
Here's a list of puppy toys we recommend.
- Rosewood puppy teether
- Kong Puppy Classic
- KONG Goodie Bone
- Benebone Puppy chews
All these puppy chew toys are safe for your puppy's teeth. Using natural materials that are gentle on their teeth will allow your puppy to get the full benefit of each while promoting healthy gum and teeth development.
Be patient with your puppy if they're getting a little out of hand; remind them that toes and fingers are not chew toys. Positive reinforcement is the best way to teach your new puppy this, by turning their attention to their new toy will help them develop the bond between the right things to chew and the wrong things to chew.
It takes time. If you need help, there are classes that can help you train your puppy and support you during your puppies development. We recommend Help With Hounds.
Help with Hounds is run by one guy called Mark, and he has helped loads of people train their puppies. He's fully qualified and has lots of experience working with dogs at all lifestages. Click this link to discover more about Help with Hounds.