Whenever a dog bites, it will always hurt a lot and there's no way around it. When it comes to your Shih Tzu biting or nipping, their tiny but sharp teeth can be a hazard to anyone. However, this behavior should not be confused with aggression.
Shih Tzu Biting and Nipping – Early Stages of a Shih Tzu Puppy
During the early stages of a Shih Tzu puppy, they experience a few things that might be inconvenient for you. In order for you to handle these things correctly, it will be best for you to be equipped with the proper knowledge to help you understand your Shih Tzu puppy.
Shih Tzu Biting and Nipping – Teething
Nipping or biting especially with young puppies is a normal behavior because dogs use both their teeth and mouth to explore their environment. This behavior goes along with chewing different things around them.
A Shih Tzu dog's permanent teeth show up in approximately 16 weeks. By the time the puppy reaches 6 or 7 months, he will be finished teething. During teething season, nipping at the human skin feels good to their sore gums but you should not allow yourself to become your dog's chewing tool.
Shih Tzu Biting and Nipping – Lessons Learned from Parents and Siblings
One of the very first lessons that a puppy should learn from his parents and siblings is biting inhibition. Their siblings can either become their best friend or their sparring partner. Whenever they play, puppies can get too loud that you might think they are trying to kill each other but this rather rough play has a purpose. During this stage, the puppies are learning how to use their mouths correctly by playing without hurting their playmates. If they don't learn it from their siblings, their mother is most likely to meddle and teach her puppies that they are already hurting their playmate. A number of this lesson usually begin when the puppy turns 6 weeks old. At this age, many of his baby teeth emerge and this will continue as a puppy grows up.
Puppies that remain with an attentive mother and siblings will learn their lessons before being introduced to their new family while those that leave their home early might not master these skills. This is considered true especially to those puppies bought from a pet's store. These puppies usually leave their mother's care before 8
weeks which causes them to miss out on the important bite inhibition training from their mother and siblings.
Shih Tzu Biting and Nipping – What To Do When Your Shih Tzu Puppy Displays Biting or Nipping Behavior
Even though a puppy displays mouthing, biting, or nipping, most of these behaviors will lessen as the puppy grows up, loses his baby teeth and obtain his full set of adult teeth. Even if this behavior disappears on its own, it will be best to not encourage or tolerate it.
If you own a puppy who loves to use his mouth on you, it would be best to stop this behavior the soonest possible. Also, if you have children, you should teach them how to avoid getting nipped by your puppy.
When your puppy does nips, squeal loudly in a high-pitched tone copying the sound of another puppy. When you are hurt, remove your hand and turn away from your puppy. This way, you are acting the same way another puppy would if bitten which is to cry and to leave. In some cases, numerous reminders should be done in order for your puppy to get it. This is with the ultimate goal of them understanding immediately that they bit too hard. Losing you, which is his favorite
playmate, is a punishment your puppy will never forget. When a couple of seconds elapse, go play with your puppy once again but this time, use a toy instead of your hand.
Shih Tzu Biting and Nipping – Helping Your Shih Tzu Puppy Avoid the Behavior
Avoid waving your fingers or hands in front of your puppy. Also, try not to wrestle in any way. Avoid any gesture that gives him the idea of grabbing your hands. Teach your kids to pet your puppies gently but never let them use their hand in any way that would make the puppies think that your child's hand is a chew toy. Purchase lots of toys to be available for your puppy to use. When you play with him, always use a toy and not your hand.
One thing you also need to consider is that your puppy should have enough exercise. If nipping becomes an issue at certain times of the day, make use of those times to give your puppy additional exercises such as playing fetch or just simply taking a walk. Some dogs like to play tug so also keep a few tug toys with you. Don't go into the habit of holding a dog's muzzle closed because it will make them think that you are playing with them. It might also make them scared or angry. Your dog should at all times associate human hands around his muzzle as a soothing experience.
Shih Tzu Biting and Nipping – Don't Make the Matter Worse for Your Shih Tzu Puppy
There are a few things that you need to avoid when teaching your puppy about biting. In any situation, avoid hitting the dog, shaking the dog, holding his mouth shut while shouting, screaming, and holding the dog down.
These ideas should work with most of the puppies or even adult dogs. However, if you have an issue with an adult dog biting excessively, a more intense approach should be applied. When your adult dog still nips, especially when you play with him, it is considered to be more of an attention seeking behavior. When this happens, turn back from your dog and immediately stop playing with him. While puppies should be given a second chance, adult dogs should not be given the same amount of patience. Do not play with your dog again if he won't calm down. If these methods do not work, you might need professional help.
Worried about Shih Tzu Aggresisve Biting or Shih Tzu Puppy Biting? Check out this great video