Puppy Nipping: Teaching your puppy not to nip is actually a lot easier than most people realize and it involves only one simple method.
Hello, my name is Amy Arthur. I breed, train, and sell, purebred Doberman Pinscher puppies for service or protection work and as excellent quality family pets. Our dogs are personality tested and certified under Tackleberry Solutions and recommended for specific tasks depending upon their individual score results.
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When you're raising puppies, especially when you have service work or protection work in mind, you want to make sure that their environment is right for optimal behavioral development. One of those factors is teaching your puppy not to nip.
Disclaimer: This article is written as an opinion piece only and is not to be taken as fact, legal or medical advice. Your results are in no way guaranteed and will depend on several factors including your willingness to plan ahead, study and train.
The Importance of Not Nipping
When it comes to protection training, I often explain to people that dogs are a lot like lion cubs. What I mean by that is for survival, lion cubs will tussle.
To expound, no one explains to a lion cub that they're practicing for real life scenarios when they play. And most certainly, no one explains to them how they can tell the difference between a real-life fight and play.
Yet somehow they know all of these things. Furthermore, the more that they play, the better equipped they are to handle a real-life situation in which they have to defend themselves or their pride.
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While this does seem off topic, it directly relates to protection training and teaching a puppy that nipping is bad. When they know the strength of their teeth, not only are they able to play without hurting each other, but they're also aware that a stronger bite can cause damage.
Accordingly, this is a big factor as to why Dobermans and other smart breeds make such excellent protection dogs. Because they have the intelligence to pick up on the differences between bite training and an actual threat (just like lion cubs playing vs fighting).
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Side note: Not every dog can tell the difference. Which is why personality testing is so important - to make sure your canine is compatible with protection training.
As an example, we have a large boxer mix that has watched us train our Dobermans. At one point, he came up to our decoy in a playful manner and gently mouthed his arm. You could tell that he wanted to play, and he didn't have any intention of hurting anyone.
However, it was also obvious that he lacked the insight on how it worked. Which is exactly why Max will never be trained in protection work. While he is an excellent guard dog and very sweet natured, he does not have the capacity to understand that type of training.
Conclusion on Nipping
In reality, a puppy nips when it has not had enough time/ability to socialize with its siblings and parents. When they are together and interacting amongst each other, they teach each other crucial manners. One of which is how sharp their teeth are.
When a puppy nips, they aren't doing it out of aggression so much as they don't understand how sharp their teeth are. By allowing them to eat off of one piece of meat among each other, they are better able to learn where/when it is ok to bite and where it is not. This by default will bleed over to their interaction with people.
So, the next time you've got a puppy that is nipping, try giving them more social time among other dogs and puppies and see if it helps.
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