CONFUSING PUPPY TEETHING WITH AGGRESSION

A lot of people when looking to add a puppy to their family don’t always consider all aspects of how big of a commitment it really is, a good is example when their puppy goes through a teething stage. This stage is completely natural and normal for all puppy breeds, your puppy’s ancestors were wolves and you can see the similar natural instincts. It is our job as there owners to educate them how, what and when is appropriate to keep them in check, it’s the same with children we have to make sure they are set on the right path from a early age.

Ross and I as professional breeders know how important it is to only breed off 100% perfect temperament dogs, we have young children ourselves and would never in our wildest dream ever breed from any dog that isn’t 100%. We have many years’ experience in the breeds we specialize in and before breeding we did extensive research before having our first litter, we can reassure you that as long as you being a responsible owner keep on top of your puppy and teach them the right and wrong ways to play during the teething stage we can guarantee there is not a bone of aggression in our puppies, people unfortunately jump to the conclusion if a puppy bites while playing they are aggressive, we can’t stress this enough that this is normal and natural behavior. The teething stage is a particularly important stage, and this must be carefully considered before buying any puppy. Pomskies and Chowski puppies being a husky mix they do tend to teeth a little bit more but this always passes, at around 12 weeks old there puppy teeth start to fall out and permanent teeth start to erupt, normally by 6 months of age all permeant teeth have erupted and puppy teeth have fallen out. Play biting is a way to relieve pain for our furr babies, could you imagine how painful this would be for us?

All puppies will play and sometimes you will hear growing, this is normal and is actually a sign of excitement, this is not a sign of aggression so please don’t panic. As mentioned, when a puppy will play with their new family members the more excited, they get the louder the noises will be, this is how they would interact and play with there siblings from 3 weeks old. Play biting is also common when playing. We have so many families contact us around 2-3 weeks after they collect their new family member saying ‘you’ve sold me a piranha’, ‘my puppy is aggressive’ and we can’t stress enough that this is normal, natural and not aggressive behavior. Some puppies while playing during the high level of excitement can draw blood and this again is very common in puppies, a lot of people will be concerned but the fact of the matter is that this is how puppies interact and while during teething stage this is very normal for a 2-3 month old puppy with sensitive teeth, play biting is not a sign of aggression, as a responsible owner you must teach your puppy to be gentle when playing, this won’t happen overnight but gradually over the next couple of weeks the worse will be over with. It’s also important to mention that not all puppies will go through this stage as some puppies will deal with things differently.

There are 3 steps we can use when your puppy starts to get too excited and starts to bite too hard:

Withdrawing attention

When your puppy starts to bite too hard the first step is to inform him that he or she has hurt you, giving a ‘OUCH’ or ‘AH AH’ and then stopping playing immediately. You must not keep playing or react to your puppy biting you through excitement, some puppies will stop and know that you have given them a warning that this play is too hard while other puppies may find it exciting and keep going, you need to find a word or noise that your puppy will react to as a warning. You do not need to keep playing with your puppy when they start to bite, the more you do this the more over the next couple of weeks your puppy will realize that there not getting any attention from you and the playing stops when they do this.

Redirection

If you can pre-empt when your puppy is likely to get over excited and start to play bite you must redirect their attention to an appropriate toy. End the playing and give them a chew toy to bite down on, frozen carrots, nylon bone, frozen kong stuffed with peanut butter or kong treat stuff paste, lick matt, natural bone or chew for example. If your puppy doesn’t quite get the message you have to put him or her into their crate or play pen with the chew toy so they associate this being unexpectable and the end of playing. Keep this up for a few weeks and you will soon see the results.

Overexcitement

The more over excited your puppy is the more likely they are to bite through playing, maintaining excitement levels is especially important, you must recognize when your puppy is becoming over excited and help calm them down. Pick your puppy up holding them firmly, take them away from anything that’s causing the excitement and gently speak to them in a calm voice, if this doesn’t help place your puppy in their crate to calm down.

Please don’t give up on your puppy just because they go through a bad teething stage as this is expected and a natural behavior for puppies, all responsible dog owners must do research prior to buying a puppy.

Below I’ve listed a couple of essentials items you will need to have for bringing your puppy home:

  • Puppy pads
    • Old towel/blanket
    • Crate or harness and seatbelt adaptor
    • Small travel bowl
    • Water bottle
    • Wet wipes
    • Poo bags
    • Small toy

I know you may want to cuddle and hold your puppy for the car journey home but we must think of the puppies safety first, Rule 57 of the Highway Code states: When in a vehicle make sure dogs or other animals are suitably restrained so they cannot distract you while you are driving or injure you, or themselves, if you stop quickly. A seat belt harness, pet carrier, dog cage or dog guard are ways of restraining animals in cars. Failure to do so could cost you up to £5,000 worth of fines!

Making car travel more comfortable for your pet:

Before leaving to collect your puppy I would recommend getting the car set up, a crate in the back with puppy pads (incase of any accidents), a little bed or blanket and toy will help make the whole experience comfortable, secure and cuddly for your puppy. Having a little box or bag with all the items listed above will make the journey easier for you, having everything on hand incase you need it.
Some puppies have no problem travelling in the car and others will at first hate it.

  • We don’t feed our puppies the morning of the day they are going just incase they get car sickness. Its always best to feed them after a car journey, this gives the puppy’s a chance to digest their food.

 

  • Take a break. If you’re taking your pet on a longer journey, make sure they have a chance to have a drink of water. Especially if it’s a warm day or if you notice your puppy is dribbling a lot and panting heavily.

 

  • Keep them cool. Be aware of your puppies temperature, because they covered in hair they get warm easily, to help with this you can put the air conditioning on or open a window little to keep them cool.

 

  • Don’t your puppy in the car. Puppies and dogs can’t cool themselves down the same way we can, and the last thing you want to happen is your puppy overheating. Winding down the window and parking the car in the shade is not enough to keep them cool.

 

  • By starting young. Puppies who are used to travelling in the car from a young age are much more likely to be relaxed and happy during car trips. This is part of ‘socialisation’. Introduce them to the car as early as you can. Start out with introducing them to the parked car and getting them used to sitting in it with you, then start making short trips. Build up to longer journeys, but make sure they usually end in something fun like getting a treat or a walk. Make these experiences as positive as possible, with lots of treats and fun days out.

Training your Pomsky, Chowski or Shiba Inu Puppy to its new home environment…

Toilet training Teaching your dog to ‘go’ in all the right places, sometimes house training a puppy or newly adopted dog can seem difficult and be very frustrating. However, many puppies and dogs can be house trained in around two weeks, as long as you stick to the following rules.


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  • The key to house training your puppy well and quickly is to give him as many opportunities as possible to get it right. It really is that simple! The more times he is rewarded for going to the toilet in the right place, the quicker he will learn.
  • However, equally important is that you must ignore any mistakes that he makes during this training. If you give him attention (even though it isn’t ‘nice’ attention) when he gets it wrong, you’ll only confuse him and training will take much longer.

How? – the basics
• First of all, find somewhere that you can confine your dog where you don’t mind ‘accidents’ happening but this is only for times when you cannot supervise him during training. This could be an indoor kennel or an area penned off in the kitchen. It should be somewhere that he will still feel part of the family. This has to be a relatively small area, which will discourage him from going to the toilet there. Place his bedding and water in his safe area and also use this space to feed him in.

  • First thing in the morning, take your dog outside, stand with him and wait for him to go to the toilet. When he ‘goes’, give him lots of praise as he finishes (being careful not to interrupt what he is doing) and give him a treat. He should need a wee and a poo, so wait for him to do both.
  • When he has gone to the toilet, you can take him back inside and have a play or cuddle. Let him have full access to the room that you are in – but only as long as you can give him your full attention and watch him – otherwise return him to his safe area.
  • Take your dog out every hour on the hour from morning to last thing at night, to give him the opportunity to go to the toilet. You will also need to do this after exercise or play and after meals.
  • If he goes to the toilet, praise and reward him and then write down the time of day that he went and what he did. If you keep a record of this every day, you will find that a pattern of when he goes appears. You can then use this to predict when he’ll need to go to the toilet, so after about a week you shouldn’t have to take him out as often as every hour.
  • Any time that you cannot watch your dog, place him in his safe area with something to do with a chew toy for example. You should also put him here when he is sleeping or resting during the day. It is far kinder to put him in his safe area when you cannot watch him, than to tell him off if he toilets in the wrong place.

Make it easy for them
• Do take your puppy outside as often as possible to give him the chance to toilet in the right place. Do not leave him unattended in his safe area for hours on end.
• By rewarding your dog at the right time and ignoring mistakes, your dog will soon get the idea and be ‘accident’ free in no time at all.

  • If you put him in his indoor kennel in the bedroom with you overnight, he’ll let you know when he needs to go outside and this will help speed up the process.
    Some young puppies can find it very daunting to toilet outdoors or they may only be used to and have a preference for certain types of indoor surfaces. Having a fully vaccinated, friendly older dog to visit and ‘show them the way’ can be very helpful and speed up the process.

What if accidents happen?
• Make sure that you remove any smells left by accidents by cleaning these areas with a solution of one-part biological washing powder with four parts water, or a purpose made cleaner from the pet shop. This will take away any smells and stains. Make sure that you do not use cleaning products that contain ammonia as this smells like urine to dogs and will encourage them to use the same spot again and again.

  • When an accident happens don’t make a fuss – your dog has not done it on purpose. If he is still going in the wrong place, then it may be because you are not watching him carefully enough. If you can’t watch him, he should be in his safe area. It is not fair to let him get it wrong.
  • If you find an accident, then quietly put your dog away from it in a secure place, whilst you clear up the mess with the biological washing solution. Then let your dog back in and forget all about it!

Disciplining your Puppy?

Play biting is a common, natural behaviour seen in puppies usually from teething, but it can hurt and if encouraged can cause behavioural problems later in life. It is important that your puppy learns from you what it would normally learn from its litter mates and other dogs, that biting hurts and hard biting means that all the games stop.

  • DO NOT engage in rough play with your puppy e.g tug-of war games. Wear gloves to allow hard bites or encourage the puppy to attack or bite hands or feet.
  • DO NOT punish your puppy by smacking it on the nose. Scruffing it or forcefully rolling it on its back, as this can make the puppy fearful and worsen the problems.
  • Puppies that receive lots of exercise and stimulation will have less energy with which to play attack family members.
  • Soft, inhibited bites during play should be permitted, but any bite that has enough force to be uncomfortable should be addressed by yelling ‘OUCH’ immediately stopping play and walking away from the puppy.

It may also be helpful to teach your puppy to stop play biting on command. By giving a command such as ‘Enough’ as the pet is biting. If it stops then the puppy should be rewarded. If it continues biting the command should be given again but loud enough that the puppy backs away but is not frightened. Eventually the puppy will stop biting on command. And the teething Phase will end.
For these techniques to work it is important that all members of the family are consistent in their response and that punishment is not used as this is not the way and just confuses your pet, making them anxious and slowing learning.

Our puppies have fantastic temperaments but some of our puppies will play bite from teething to relive the pain. It is necessary that all the above is listened to during this stage and not to condone it.