Nipping and mouthing

1. Don’t play slap-play games with your hands with the puppy. She’ll only get used to your hands being chew toys.
2. Be careful with wrestling—same thing.
3. Pet her when she is being calm. If she starts to chew on your hands, get up and leave. Try again.
4. Vigorous petting may encourage her to nip at your hands.
5. Have a treat in one hand while petting her with the other to keep her attention on the treat and not on chewing your hand.
6. Put a treat in your hand and close the fingers over it. Put your hand in front of the puppy. As long as she nuzzles or licks, open your hand and give her the treat. If she bites, make a negative sound and pull your hand away.
7. Any time she nips at your hands, give the negative sound and turn away or stand up and turn away. You are ignoring the unwanted behavior. Then pet her again and repeat as needed.
8. If she’s too nippy and excited, she may need a time out in her crate or other spot for just a minute to calm down.
9. Teach alternate behaviors instead of nipping:
A. Play fetch, hide and seek, or other games.
B. Put several treats in the hand opposite of the one you will pet him with. Pet him one time. Before the puppy begins to nip the petting hand, present the hand with the treats in it and lure him away from the petting hand.
C. Say “GOOD” and give the treats.
D. Do this several times. As soon as he even looks at the treat hand when being petted, say “GOOD” and give treat.
10. Practice basic obedience exercises.
11. Make sure he has plenty of exercise. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT.
12. Don’t escalate the nipping by yelling or spanking or using other physical corrections.
13. Use a chewing deterrent on your hands or clothes. (bitter apple)
14. Startle him out of nipping by saying something like “Yikes!”
15. BE CONSISTENT WITH ALL FAMILY MEMBERS. The puppy will learn who lets him nip and who doesn’t.

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