Puppies lose their baby teeth around the age of four months when their permanent teeth grow. It is a very annoying stage and the puppies feel the need to bite to comfort themselves. They can also bite out of boredom or stress, which is why it is important to always cover our dog's basic physiological needs and avoid having a bored dog. We cannot deprive him of this need, but we must teach him what he can bite and how he should do it. Puppies are in a constant learning phase and it is important to educate the bite to avoid future problems.
Knowing that the bite of our dog is a necessity, we must educate it so that it can carry it out without any danger to the dog and without any harm to us. We will provide our dog with different types of toys. If they only have one toy and it is always the same, they can get bored quickly. If they are bored, they will look for ways to combat boredom by trying to bite other things that are probably not allowed. The ideal thing is to have several toys change over time so they do not get bored of them. One day we offer some toys and other days others. It is also interesting not to leave the toy available all the time, but only for a while to be happy when we offer it again at another time. The best thing is to offer the toys when we can not be playing with the dog.
We should not give them toys according to materials. They should be good quality, sturdy toys. Tennis balls, for example, are made of a material that can break with the bite and if our dog swallows it could have serious digestive problems. Nor should we give him toys that he can associate with things that we don't want him to bite. If we give him an old shoe to chew on, our dog will understand that shoes are a toy and will not distinguish which ones can bite and which ones cannot. We should also avoid cloth or wooden toys. The dog generalises textures, if we allow him to bite a wooden stick, he will understand that he can also bite the wooden leg of the table. An ideal material for our dogs is rubber. It is a suitable material for your teeth as well as being very resistant. And the discrimination of textures with rubber is very easy because at home you do not usually have objects of that material that the dog may be tempted to bite.
When the dog bites something that it should not or that we do not want it to bite, whatever it is, we will remove the object, we will use a dry and forceful "no" and we will present a new toy that it can bite. When you are biting the toy that we have provided, we will play with it and we will reward it a lot with play and petting. If they bite into a large piece of furniture that we cannot move, we will say a dry "no" to it, we will remove it from the piece of furniture and we will attract their attention to a toy and we will reward it when they start playing with the toy given.
Another method to prevent biting furniture or objects that we do not want to bite is to apply some edible, but unpleasant substance. Thus our dog will experience a negative experience and will not want to repeat it. There are products that can be sprayed on these objects and that make them unpleasant. This is a good technique especially when the dog has already adopted an unwanted pattern of biting something in particular. Although the ideal is not to allow a bad precedent to occur, something that can be achieved by using the dog gated area.
Dogs often play with their mouths, simulating a kind of fight, but to avoid further risks in the future, it is crucial to educate the strength of the bite of our dog when it is a puppy. That is something they learn in packs, playing with their brothers and their mother. They play and bite each other, but when a bite does more damage than it should the game is over instantly. That we can do. Play with him and allow him to bite us. When we feel any pain, we will have to stop the game immediately, stop paying attention to the puppy and leave. We will be able to play again when more than a couple of minutes have passed. This way, the dog will understand that when it exerts a certain pressure on its bite, the game is over. This way they learn to control their strength and we make sure that when they grow and have more strength in their jaws there will be no danger of biting while playing.
Environmental enrichment is a technique that aims to improve the quality of life of dogs by making the dog have a stimulated mind, which will provide good physical and psychological health. To do this, we must keep our dog's mind busy.
We should not confuse rest with boredom. Our dog can and should rest, but should not be bored. Boredom involves unwanted behaviours, such as biting things they shouldn't. For this, there are multiple activities that can be carried out: playing with him, having him play with his toys, training, canine skills or practicing tricks, exercising, walking or playing games dedicated to stimulating his smell, etc. They are all activities that enrich the mind of our dog and enforce good physical and mental health. Refillable toys are a handy object to prevent a dog from getting bored when we're not around (a tool that forces the dog to work and struggle for a prize).
Refillable toys are highly recommended if they are made of rubber because, although they are not indestructible, they are very resistant. There are different sizes and shapes, and we must take it into account according to the size of our dog. If we have a big dog and give him a small toy, he will not be able to use it correctly and will tire quickly.