Puppy nipping is a phase momma dog helps her young pups outgrow. This becomes your role when raising a pup -- and it can be challenging at times. Vinegar water spray corrects this behavior by giving your pup something bitter to chew on each time he tries to nip.
Your pup isn't nipping out of meanness; this is a natural behavior for puppies. Your pup would nip and bite littermates too. However, if your pup continues to nip, your dog will grow up thinking that it's OK to nip friends, family and strangers alike. A vinegar-water solution and some behavioral training offers you an effective and gentle way to manage puppy nipping.
Too strong of a vinegar solution may irritate your puppy's skin. Try a solution of 1/8 part vinegar to 7/8 part water, such as 1/8 cup of vinegar and 7/8 cup water. You may increase the ratio to 1/4 vinegar and 3/4 water if the pup does not respond to training with the weaker vinegar solution. Avoid using more than 1/4 part vinegar. Only use distilled white vinegar for puppy training. Pour the vinegar solution into a new spray bottle that has never held chemicals.
Have the spray bottle nearby when you are playing with your puppy. If Puppy nips, say, "No nipping!" or "No biting!" and spray him in the mouth. Continue to do this as your puppy nips; consistency is key to this training. Avoid spraying the eye region, since vinegar can irritate the eyes. Keeping the spray bottle on a stream setting will help you avoid accidentally misting your puppy in the eyes.
Avoid accidentally tempting Puppy to nip by wagging your finger in his face when scolding him or roughhousing with him. Don't play tug-of-war games until your pup stops nipping; this can encourage him to see you as a littermate and try to play bite. If you have children, teach them to play gently with the puppy. The more consistent you are with the vinegar spray for nipping, the more successful you will be at teaching the pup not to nip.
- Stop That Dog Now!: An Owner's Guide to a Problem Free Dog; Sue Clauss
- Grover's Dog Pound: How to Stop a Puppy From Biting and Nipping
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