The puppy’s first teeth appear between 3 and 4 weeks of age. These are called
“milk teeth”. The last of the baby teeth come in at around 6 weeks of age. Puppy
teeth are needle sharp so now is the time to teach BITE INHIBITION.
When your puppy bites down
on your hand, nose, etc. overly dramatize the pain, do not shout but firmly tell
puppy NO! One of the most effective ways to cure biting is to firmly grasp the
puppy’s muzzle and squeeze tight for a few seconds and then release. You may say
“NO BITE” to the puppy as you do this. This method will not harm the puppy (even
if it yelps, that’s okay) and will get the point across very quickly.
Do not play “tug of war”
games with a young puppy as this can promote aggression and possessiveness.
Make the puppy release the tug so you as the owner are always the winner. Tug
games can cause dogs to grow up to be biters and grabbers. It is perfectly
acceptable for two dogs to play tug games but not the puppy/dog and the owner.
Tug games promote bad habits!
Teething lasts from 4 to 7
months. This is the time when permanent adult teeth are coming in. Depending on
when the puppy loses its first tooth, teething will last for about two months
from start to finish.
Only offer dog-safe toys
to your puppy. DO NOT give old shoes or socks. Some puppies will swallow pieces
of these items and intestinal blockages can occur. Besides, dogs can’t tell the
difference between old shoes and new ones. Nylabones, Gumabones, and commercial
sterilized bones are wonderful and provide hours of SAFE chewing. Kong toys
with a bit of peanut butter spread around the inside are also good for keeping
puppies occupied while crated!!
There are pros and cons to
rawhide chews: they will keep a puppy entertained for hours but they can also be
deadly. Dogs of all sizes and ages have been known to choke to death or suffer
intestinal blockage from swallowing pieces of rawhide. If you choose to give
raw-hide make sure you are able to supervise your puppy and take it away when it
becomes too small or swallowed whole. Also when you purchase rawhides, make sure
it clearly states on the package “American Made”. Foreign rawhide is preserved
with lime and arsenic, which can cause illness and fatalities.