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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone! My mama dog recently gave birth to a healthy baby boy and he's going 2 months now! He's very playful and hops like a bunny. He's so cute! My only concern is his mouthing and biting. Often times, he plays with my foot and aggressively biting it. I call him out a couple of times not to do it. Can you please recommend me good chewing/ biting toys or treats for a puppy? I have not had this kind of issue with my mama dog when I first got her. Thank you so much!! :D
 

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This is a pretty common problem with singleton pups. Most dogs start learning that their teeth hurt and they have to control their jaws to be allowed to keep playing from their siblings, so when you have only one in a litter, they fall behind on that learning curve. They can still learn, of course! But be prepared to put extra work in.

Figure out what your dog likes to chew. Safe chew toys can be rubbery or hard (usually nylon), textured or smooth, maybe with holes or grooves to stuff food into to encourage chewing. There's even some options like the Dogwood toy, which is safe nylon mixed with real wood particles, so it smells and tastes like wood but doesn't splinter like a real stick (my younger dog's favorite, and saved our furniture, haha). Always have a toy around so you can give that to the puppy as an alternative to your feet, hands, etc. Praise and fuss over the pup chewing a toy instead of you, whether or not you had to encourage him to make the right decision. Soft/rope toys can work too, but they should only be given when a puppy is supervised, since they're easier to destroy and take apart in chunks that can be dangerous to swallow.

When the puppy decides he'd really rather chew on your foot and can't be persuaded otherwise, leave. This may require setting up some baby gates or a pen you can step over so the puppy physically can't follow you. Wait five seconds, return. If the biting starts again, you immediately leave. Rinse and repeat. Essentially the idea is to teach 'you don't get playtime or interaction with the humans if you bite'. It'll take time, especially with a singleton, and you need to be consistent, but puppies do get it eventually.

You might want to do it in stages, by first allowing the puppy to mouth you, and only removing yourself when he causes actual pain, then move to pressure, then teeth on skin/clothes at all. This has the added benefit of teaching more nuanced control over their jaws than just "biting or not", so if they ever do bite as an adult (out of excitement, fear, pain, what have you), they are far more likely to bite with restraint and do less (or no) damage.

And lastly, if the puppy just seems absolutely wild and unmanageable, ask yourself when they last slept and how much they've slept total that day. An overtired puppy is a terror, just like an overtired toddler, and if he's been up for a while, there's a good chance he needs to be popped into a quiet area like a crate or pen until he's had a proper nap.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Wow!! This is great!! I've learned a lot from your tips!! I've never experienced the aggressive biting/nipping with my mama dog cause I think she was and still an introvert. LOL. She just plays with her toys most of the time and likes walking around our neighborhood.

With her baby, it's different and I think you were right with him being a singleton. He can't release all the energy he has and he eats a lot too. Maybe that's why. Your tips are really helpful for me and will be trying it and keep you updated! I'm so happy to post here!

I've looked for some toys I'm going to buy and these have some good reviews. What do you think?







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What a cutie!

I'm not familiar with the SafeMade brand (I think I've seen one or two products here in Norway, but haven't ever tried them), or the other toys shown here, so I can't speak to them. Always try new chews out while supervising anyway, just in case they're not right for your dog. Kong is another brand to look for - it's available internationally (I can't guarantee it's in your country, but it's in many) and has a very solid reputation. The 'Kong Classic' is one that's often touted as the standard for safe, stuffable food toys. Bonus because you can put kibble or wet food inside and feed your dog's meals out of it, if you want, and it's freezer safe for an added challenge. But they have all kinds toys beyond that one that I've had good luck with my smaller dogs.
 

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Why does the dog bite?
Dogs do not have tenacious hands, so they mainly act with their mouths: they kill the victim with their teeth and gently transfer their offspring with their teeth. When the puppy grows up and becomes more active, he begins to bite his brothers and sisters in the game. Like a child, a puppy cannot always calculate the strength of the bites. By playing with other puppies, mother and owners, he learns to control his body.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I let him play with me but when his bites get aggressive, I call him out. He is a singleton puppy and her mother doesn't always play with him cause my mama dog isn't that playful. I bought some chew/bite toys so he can play with it. :D
 
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