Muzzle for a puppy?(8 Posts)
Our puppy is 5 months old, we're getting there with the training but the one thing she won't stop doing is nipping at the kids.
As she is getting bigger I'm worried that she will hurt one of them. Obviously I never leave puppy and DC alone together but even when I'm there she suddenly takes little bites at the DC, especially the youngest two.
I know we need to address this with training and we are working on it but in the mean time I keep thinking it might be a good idea to get a muzzle. I saw some soft material type ones in pet shop but keep think its cruel.
Just wondered if anyone had any advice really?
Just a note about muzzles if you or anyone reading this should buy one. The material tube type ones are only suitable for short periods of time under constant supervision - they should fit with the mouth kept totally shut so that they can not nip with the front teeth - the dangers of this though are that in hot weather they can not pant properly and therefore can overheat easily, and if they vomit when wearing them they can choke unless they are removed urgently.
In my opinion better for longer term use are the baskerville or basket type plastic muzzles. These cover the front of the nose/mouth too and unless you poke your fingers in then you will not get bitten through these. They allow the dog room to open his mouth and if needs be vomit safely through them.
Good advice above about teaching the dog the correct behaviour, though I would actually recommend not ignoring the dog afterwards, but instead after a firm no made clear to the dog then move onto an appropriate behaviour playing with a toy and give praise to the dog so that the unwanted behaviour is channeled into a good activity and in time this should then start to become the chosen activity in the first place.
i agree with mutt, a firm hand round the dog's mouth/nose and "NO" and look the pup in the eyes, then let go.
do it each time, and they soon get the message.
I agree that a muzzle is not appropriate in this situation. You would have to use it all the time and this is obviously not right. As you say, the dog has got to learn not to do the nipping, and with a firm and consistent approach she will do so I an sure.
thanks guy's, i kind of thought it wouldn't feel right to use one. She is just driving me mad with the constant nipping, we have been really wroking on it, just hope she stops soon! She is only 5 months though, someone please tell me they get easier?
memoo - are you making sure that everyone who has contact with the puppy is behaving consistently?
When a puppy nips, it generates a great response - kids squeal and yelp, and to the pup this is a brillian reaction - it's all a game!
The reason the pup does this is because it generates attention and excitement. So if you ensure the pup gets no reward (ie attention or reaction) for the behaviour, it will stop remarkably quickly. My experience is that punishing these pups confuses them and is rarely effective.
As soon as the pup nips, you must turn and walk away. Some people advocate yelping to show that you're hurt but IME this can be counterproductive. Walk out of the room and ignore the pup, closing the door for a moment if you need to - the aim is simply to stop giving the pup any attention at all. When the pup has calmed down a moment or two later you can return to the game and continue the interaction. Very quickly the pup learns that the nipping behaviour leads to withdrawal of the attention it so wants, and the biting will stop very quickly.
However, this only works if everyone in the house follows the same pattern. Fortunately even quite small kids seem able to grasp the concept. Sometimes it helps to explain to kids that you don't play with people who hurt you and the same goes for puppies - stop the game every time the teeth come out.
you need to teach your puppy it is wrong. a muzzle will not so much correct the situation as just hide the problem.
when puppy gets nippy turn so your back faces them.
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