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Puppy Nipping Behavior

(credit:  Alex Wong/Getty Images)

(credit: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - Puppies are adorable but the nipping and teething, which are perfectly normal behaviors, can become a bit of a problem. Keep in mind that it’s a form of social interactive play and a way for your puppy to learn.

Puppies should never leave their litters before seven or eight weeks of age. That’s the crucial time when they learn sociability by interacting with their littermates. The mother and mates will curtail this behavior immediately and thus the puppy quickly learns what’s acceptable behavior. Redirect nipping behavior by providing safe, acceptable chew toys like Kongs, which can even be frozen and filled with cheese or peanut butter providing hours of safe, healthy chewing and plenty of interactive play.

Always praise your puppy in a non-excitable way whenever he/she is calm and relaxed. If your puppy does nip, say “No” immediately and quickly turn your attention away; even leaving the room if necessary, without ever touching the puppy. Then return and gently try to touch the puppy again in a non-excitable way. Keep consistent in this routine until your puppy understands that nipping results in less attention. And remember to always praise and reward your puppy whenever he/she is focused on you or calm and relaxed.

Reported By Nan Talleno, KYW Newsradio