Here’s a short video of Cynder practicing some of her fun tricks! She’s working hard for her new favourite ball that we got as a present from VCA World! It’s the Starmark DuraFoam ball and she absolutely loves it!
One of the single most important lessons your dog will learn as a puppy is to develop bite inhibition and a “soft mouth”- that is, the ability to softly bite.
An important lesson that all domestic dogs must learn is to inhibit the force of their biting towards all animals – especially towards other dogs as well as people. Dogs develop teeth and jaws in their adult years that can hurt and harm.
Bite inhibition doesn’t mean stopping your puppy from biting altogether, instead it means learning to inhibit the force of their biting. The more that your puppy bites and receives appropriate feedback, the safer their jaws will become.
Dogs also explore with their mouths and so mouthing and biting will always be a way they learn and interact with one another.
For puppies who do not grow up with the benefit of regular interaction with other dogs, it is the responsibility of their owner to teach them bite inhibition. How to inhibit the force of bites
Step 1: Teach your pup that their bites during play can hurt; a simple “Ouch!” is usually sufficient. When your puppy backs off, take a bit of a break from play to recover and when your puppy has calmed back down you can resume play.
Step 2: If your puppy doesn’t respond to the yelp by either easing off or backing off, leave the room and shut the door behind you. Allow your puppy a couple of minutes at time-out and they will learn to associate their biting with the departure of their human playmate. Then, return to your puppy and make up- it’s important to remind them that you still love them, but their bites are not favourable.
Step 3: To help eliminate bite pressure entirely, even though the bites may not actually hurt anymore, wait until a play-bite (that is, a bite slightly harder than the others) and respond with an “ouch!” as if it really hurt. Your puppy will soon learn that they will need to be careful and gentle when playing with people.