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How To Choose A Trainer

Academy Rewards

What to Do For a Poisoned Animal: Be Prepared

Foods to Avoid Feeding to Your Pet

Toxic Plants

What is Puppy Class?

Puppy Play Biting

Recommended Reading for Positive Reinforcement Dog Training

A Rough Guide to Kids and Pets

Reconsidering the Dominance Model in Dog Training


We can train your dog and help you train your puppy to get optimal results.

Puppy Play Biting

Why is my puppy biting so hard?
Almost all normal puppies play bite. They do it to other puppies, to adult dogs who will let them and to their owners, especially children. As puppies, they do not know how hard a bite really is – so they need feedback from all sources to tell them.
The ability to bite without force is rehearsed in puppy hood during - play biting! Puppies are programmed to play bite so they can learn about their jaw strength. When one puppy bites another too hard with those needle sharp teeth, play grinds temporarily to a halt, which provides a potent consequence to the biting puppy. If you watch puppies play together, when one bites too hard, the other YELPS and then walks away from the biting puppy (essentially a time out). Over time, the puppy learns that in order to keep play going, the bites must be consistently gentler. Without this constant feedback about their jaw pressure, puppies are at higher risk to grow up without acquiring the capacity to inhibit the force of their jaws.

What Should I Do About Puppy Biting?
The best policy for owners of young puppies (age 6 - 18 weeks) is to allow play biting provided it is not too hard. Hard bites should result in very loud “ouches” or mother’s yelps and time-outs, (leave the puppy alone or put him in a "penalty box" for a minute) – as a consequence. Only when the puppy has gotten reliable about biting more softly should play biting be phased out altogether, by re-directing the puppy to toys and giving consequences for all bites. It is critical to train your dog to bite nicely, instead of screaming “no” every time they bite. This way, the dog has a much better chance of growing up with good bite inhibition and possibly doing minimal damage if they ever bite. Free-play with other puppies and friendly adult dogs is another good forum for puppies to develop bite inhibition.

Is my puppy aggressive?
It is important to be able to identify play biting from aggression. Aggression biting would be when a dog threatens (growling, snarling, snapping at hands) and/or bites over possession of food, toys, people etc or when a dog is uncomfortable in a situation. Puppies can be aggressive and if your puppy is showing signs of aggression, we can work together to diagnose what is causing the aggression. Many kinds of aggression can be resolved and I can work with you on a case by case basis.

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Wag This Way, Proprietor Nicole Corson, CTC, CPDT (Certified Pet Dog Trainer)
Positive Reinforcement Dog Training
Salt Lake City ~ Utah
(801) 673-9247    nicoleATwagthiswayDOTnet