How to Use Havanese Training to Alleviate Mouthing and Nipping Habits by:Richard Cussons
Havanese puppy owners may have to expect puppy biting and nipping as one of the hurdles of puppy raising. A typical Havanese Training case study involves the magnetic and charming puppy that is socialized and mostly potty trained, yet very energetic and prone to mouthing and nipping once in a while. Every solution may have been tried already, yelping in imitation of littermates, scruffing the dog, and ignoring the dog, yet the mystery remains of the dog that refuses to give up on its unwanted behavior.
Note that this dog gets plenty of exercise in the form of mile walks early in the day and late afternoon, and play sessions throughout the day.
The question is obviously what immediate intervention needs to be done. True, the puppy mouthing/biting stage will truly end at some point, but this does not mean that mouthing/biting limits are not needed. On the contrary, so much learning may get wasted if the dog does not learn those limits.
One short run solution that has an effect is to abruptly pick the dog up and put it in its crate for a five minute "time-out", after which it may settle down a good deal. But even this is not enough to address the underlying causes and-or triggers of the biting, an example of which is screaming after being bitten, which seem to excite the dog.
First of all, there is a need to avoid trying too many things in so short a time. The ignoring routine does work, but there is a need to be consistent by indeed getting up, ignoring the dog (plus avoiding eye contact) for at least a minute. This will also have to be patiently worked on for days, in order for the dog to really understand what's going on.
Next, everyone needs to know that teaching bite inhibition is really something that can deliver results, provided it is consistently performed. Since its interaction with its littermates ought to have been the earliest "school" for bite inhibition, an owner will need to follow it all up by taking advantage of the puppy's nips and bites at him or her.
The Havanese Training basics of bite inhibition is that every time the dog makes attempts on the skin, clothing or whatever, the human needs to give the puppy-like yelp, and to exaggerate ignoring the dog and doing an about face. The dog will soon be coming over to make up. But when it does, the human needs to be ready with chew toys that will really catch the dog's attention, e.g. bully stick, calves hooves, or a plastic doggie teething ring.
About the author
Richard Cussons writes dog articles including havanese training advice. Find out more havanese training information by visiting havanesesavvy.com.