Here is Part 2 of our bite sized breakdown into why puppies bite.
Puppies bite because they're bored
Puppies have a really short attention span – and just like a cranky toddler, once they get bored, they start looking for mischief.
Now that mischief can take many forms, but a lot will involve their teeth.
Whether they are chomping down on your fingers or toes, or they've found a cushion to destuff, the reason is the same, and so is the solution.
How do you stop your puppy being bored?
Enrichment activities are your friend here. Here are a few different enrichment activities that you can try with your puppy.
Don't forget, keep the sessions short so your puppy is engaged.
You might spend a couple of minutes on a simple training exercise, such as sit, drop etc. Teach your puppy to roll over, play dead, high five.
There are lots of videos on YouTube which will give you ideas. I would caution against treating a young puppy to beg or sit pretty - physically they aren't developed enough for this.
You can access our Trick Training PDF download here.
Reward your puppy generously when he offers the behaviour you are asking for. If he doesn't understand what he is being asked to do, check that your cues are clear.
Scatter feeding or a snuffle mat are invaluable – a tiny handful of treats scattered for pup to find.
Using their sense of smell is both satisfying and tiring. You can use a small amount of their daily food allowance if you are using kibble – you can even use this method as a way of feeding one or more meals each day.
We recommend Snuffle Em's - these are made by a registered beagle breeder so you can be sure of the quality. You can also buy them at Aussie Pet Collective if you are lucky enough to be on the Gold Coast.
Puzzle Games/Interactive Feeders
Some of the best dog puzzle toys are from Nina Ottoson - they can be found in a number of online stores. But if those are out of your price range, K-Mart often have interactive toys available.
The toys come in a range of difficulties, so start with something simple like the toy shown above, or a simple treat ball which dispenses treats as the ball is moved around.
Scatter Feeding/Treasure Hunts
Using mealtimes to encoourage your dog to use their nose is a fabulous way of keeping them engaged and tiring them out.
You can read our blog post on this subject here
Your new puppy has an incredible sense of smell. Dogs have 300 million olfactory receptors their noses - we have 6 million.
Did you know that beagles were trained to detect covid on humans- they could detect the virus through the body odour of the person. How amazing is that!!
By using scatter feeding for mealtines you are also ensuring that your puppy will eat slowly, which is beneficial for their health.
Once your puppy is a little older you might consider taking up Nosework with him - this is a great sport for dogs, and once you have got the bug you might even like to compete at trials to earn titles.
If you don't mind the mess, shredding up some paper or cardboard is very satisfying for a pup.
The key here is that, just like with all the other training, you are in charge of it and directing the behaviour. Pup is only allowed to shred the piece of cardboard GIVEN TO HIM.
You can also pop treats into a toilet roll inner and fold the ends over or give an empty water bottle to chase (always supervised).
So - that is my quick list of ways to keep your puppy occupied without relying on physical exercise. See the blog post here about how much exercise is recommended for puppies - it's much less than you think.
In part 3, we'll look at puppy biting because he's teething.