So you've brought home your new puppy and everything they do is impossibly cute. The tail chasing, the little whimpers for attention, the excitement over new toys, exploring the world with their mouths. While mouthy behavior is not unusual for puppies, it can easily transition into a much unwanted, and painful, behavior. So, how to put a stop to it without yelling?
It's never too soon to begin training your puppy. Their mother and siblings would normally help curb unwanted behaviors, so it's our job as the pet parent to address these social skills. The first skill you should teach your new puppy is to "sit" on command. Not only is this one of the easier tricks to teach, it also is a useful tool to help calm your rambunctious your little one.
Once you have mastered "sit" you can progress to teaching your puppy that calm behavior is the wanted behavior. A great game for teaching self-control is “Go Wild And Freeze.”
When your puppy "sits" reliably, add some moderately exciting “wild” movement – make funny noises, wave your hands, hop up and down a few times. Before your dog becomes overexcited, freeze, stand tall, and tell him, “Sit.” Reward when he does. Make some more “wild” movements and sounds, then stop and have him sit for reward again.
Repeat, increasing the time and wildness of your actions. Do not add more excitement than your dog can tolerate without starting to play bite.
Once your dog learns to play Go Wild And Freeze this way, start including it as part of your fetch games and tug games, too. You will be able to use this freeze-and-sit skill, taught as part of your games, any time your dog starts to get overexcited both while playing and at other times.
My name is Jamie and I am the proud owner of Happy Pets NYC. I started this company in 2009 by doing all of the walks and pet sitting myself. After a year, I hired my first pet care provider. Now, over 10 years later, we employ a full team of dedicated providers who share my passion and love of animals.