To prevent biting, do not do excited play with your puppy. Excited puppies get excited and they bite, overstimulated puppies bite, hungry puppies bite, thirsty puppies bite, tired puppies bite, and bored puppies bite. It is guaranteed that your puppy will fit into one of those moments of time every day. Puppies learn a lot about the world around them through biting, it is a natural and normal behavior for them to bite; however, that does not make it an acceptable behavior. Calmly handle your puppy everyday so that they learn to be touched without biting. Touch them everyday from head to tail, hold each paw and gently put your fingers between the toes. Touch and play with the ears and mouth all while being calm, not excited, nor should you do this after your puppy has had a long nap and is full of energy. Do not allow licking, licking leads to biting.
Create a schedule like this or similar:
- Potty beak and offer water
- Play session
- Potty break
- Handle puppy all over or groom your puppy
- Potty break
- Crate time
Groom your puppy daily in the first few months. Place puppy on a table or stool and do a quick grooming to acclimate them to the process. When doing your daily handling of your puppy or grooming, offer kibble (not treats) throughout that experience making it fun for your puppy to have you touching and interacting with him/her while calm. Your vet and groomer will thank you!
Schedule play dates with other dogs or puppies so that he/she can bite and tumble with another dog to get it out of their system (they needs to bite). If scheduling a play date with an adult dog, only do this with dogs that enjoy puppies. A dog that will teach boundaries to your puppy and not harm him in the teaching process. Not all dogs like puppies or want to play with them, so have them on a leash dragging the ground when first meeting so you can grab the leash and safely separate as needed. Be careful with large dogs as they may not understand how big they are and can potentially hurt your puppy. If possible, find other puppies that are comparable in size and age. Have plenty of age and size appropriate toys for your puppy to chew on. Nothing with stuffing or anything that can be easily broken that can pose a choking hazard. Teach your puppy to tug and release on command, but not in an excited way. If you absolutely want your dog to lick you, once your puppy is older and past the chewing stag, then you can allow the licking when they have self control and are not sampling everything like an all you can eat buffet.
Be sure to give your puppy adequate crate time with things that he/she can bite and chew on while crated. Be sure to inspect toys daily for chips and cracks. Your puppies toys should grow with your puppy to maintain safety. A few examples of things to not put in the crate with your puppy would be soft toys, bedding and toys with stuffing are choking hazards for puppies and should not be put in a crate with your puppy. Remember to remove collars and tags when placing your puppy in his crate.
The Zoomies is the time of day that your puppy is suddenly running like their whole body is experiencing the most energy they have ever possessed. This may cause some chaos and destruction if not watched. Potty your puppy and crate him/her with something to chew on at this time as your pup is either tired, overtired, over excited, hungry, or trying to show you his energy hasn't been spent yet. Give them some down time to chill in the crate. After he/she calms down in the crate, and before you go to bed for the night, potty your puppy and put him/her to bed for the night as well.
Many people make the mistake of not giving their new puppy enough rest. Many times puppies are ready to retire for the night, but the family is done with dinner, chores, and they want puppy play time but your puppy gets the zoomies and needs crate time. Remember your pup is just like a baby at this stage and sleep is super important. He/she will outgrow this phase soon enough and will be able to play in the evening.
House Training is best managed by creating a schedule for water, food, potty breaks, play time, handling/grooming, and crate time AND adhering to it EVERY SINGLE DAY.
How long can a puppy stay in the crate? Initially, you can start with just a few minutes with the door closed when you are nearby. When crating overnight, the general rule is that a puppy can hold its bladder an hour longer than the number of months old he or she is. So, a 2 month old puppy should be able to hold its bladder for 3 hours. This is just a guideline and all puppies are different. Please adjust your puppies schedule to meet his individual needs.For more information, read our House Training guide.