Husky puppies are absolutely adorable. Little fluffy bundles of cuteness! The first few days in your home are relatively calm as the pup acclimatizes to its new surroundings and the new humans in its environment. But, by the end of the first week, you begin thinking that it’s not a dog, but a little fluffy land-shark!
But, don’t worry, this is quite normal for a puppy. Especially a Husky pup, Huskies are a mouthy breed. So, you are not alone in wondering how to stop the razor-sharp teeth from ruining all your clothes, skin, and furniture! A simple ouch and removing yourself will deter your puppy.
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Why Do Pups Nip or Bite
All puppies nip and bite, and it is quite normal. Like babies, pups use their mouths to investigate their environment. Puppies also use nipping and biting to get attention and initiate playing. If you ever see puppies playing, they use their mouths a lot! They will grab each other and pull. It’s not uncommon to see them bite each other’s legs, tails, ears, or even exposed genitals.
Puppy play can be rough, where the pups learn a certain amount of bite inhibition. If the bite is too hard, the other puppy will yelp and stop playing, so the pup learns not to bite as hard. This is also why it’s an excellent idea never to get a puppy younger than 8 weeks old.
We got our own Husky Luna when she was 12 weeks old. She had those extra weeks with her mum and siblings. Yes, she was still a land-shark, and we had Luna love bites on the cuffs of our trousers and top sleeves, but it was easier to teach her bite inhibition and not to bite us because she had already started learning this with her mum and siblings.
Pouncing, biting, and nipping are also ways of learning and honing their hunting skills. Play fighting, stalking, and pouncing are innate traits. So even though our domestic canines receive their food from us, they still practice when they are pups.
Nipping, biting, and chewing is also very common when your pup is teething; this normally happens between 12-16 weeks old. Breeds and dogs vary, but most have adult teeth from 5-6 months old. So the earlier you teach your pup bite inhibition and not to bite humans, the better. Puppy baby teeth are razor-sharp, but adult teeth are stronger and can do more damage.
Is My Pup Showing Dominance By Biting Me
Some people still think that dogs do things to try to be the boss or alpha in the home. However, dominance and alpha roles have been scientifically disproven. These notions are based on a flawed experiment carried out in 1947.
The scientist Rudolph Schenkel who conducted the original flawed experiment in 1947, was quoted by Dr. Mech in his book, which gave rise to the popular notion of dominance and alphas. Dr. Mech has been trying to get his publishers to stop printing this, as he has disproven the investigation and its findings. He is now a founder of the International Wolf Center.
In short, your puppy is not trying to dominate you. Instead, they are trying to get your attention, initiate play with you, or simply teething and need something to chew on.
How To Stop Your Pup Biting
The key to teaching your Husky anything is consistency; it’s never or always. If you aren’t consistent with your training, it will confuse your pup; this means everyone in the household has to uphold the same rules. It is also a good idea for the entire family to attend puppy classes. It ensures that everyone uses the same cues and learns how to interact with your puppy.
My children attended the puppy classes with us, and it was invaluable. It helped them to interact with our Husky safely and appropriately. In addition, we had a positive reinforcement trainer who was so good and gave us lots of tools to help us train our Husky. Positive Reinforcement goes a long way with a Husky.
One of our main problems with our Husky was that she always grabbed my youngest daughter’s ponytail and pulled it. My youngest daughter played with Luna the most, but she would get on the floor with Luna. At the puppy classes, we learned that she had to stop playing on the floor with her. And if Luna climbed on the back of the sofa and grabbed her hair, she had to say ‘ouch’ loudly, then stand up and leave the room. Luna soon learned to stop pulling her hair.
When your puppy nips or bites you, give a loud ‘ouch’, remove your hand/foot or whatever has been bitten, and turn away from your pup. If your puppy is persistent and nips again – and Huskies are a persistent breed – a loud ‘ouch’ and then leave the room for a minute. Puppies figure out quite quickly that nipping and biting doesn’t get the desired outcome of attention and play.
It is always a good idea to reward any calm behavior you observe your Husky pup doing. For example, when Luna was a pup and would be just laying down, I would praise her and pet her. If she came and sat beside me, again, I would praise her and pet her.
It also helps to be proactive with Husky pups. For example, I would set aside a portion of her dry food and use it to reward any positive behaviors I wanted to embed. If she came into the room, I would give her a ‘sit’ cue and reward this too. By doing this, you are getting your puppy into the habit of sitting in front of you. This becomes a hard-wired cue that can be used to calm them down. Consistency is the key to successful training!
For teething chewing or biting, it helps to have a toy or frozen carrot handy. A firm ‘no’ and give your puppy either a toy or something frozen to chew on. They will soon learn what is acceptable to chew on. Remember, they aren’t being naughty; they are trying to soothe their gums as a baby does.
What Is Bite Inhibition
Bite inhibition is simply teaching your puppy the acceptable amount of pressure that can be put on a person. It sounds counter-productive when you teach them that biting and nipping aren’t permitted. Trust me; you want your dog to have a soft mouth.
You want to keep your fingers when you give your dog a treat or have to take something out of their mouth. Teaching your puppy good bite inhibition can be the difference between your dog instantly relieving pressure on your hand while playing or you needing stitches and a tetanus shot for an accidental bite while playing. Puppyhood is the perfect time to teach them since the process has already begun with their mum and siblings.
How To Teach Bite Inhibition
Bite inhibition can be taught easiest at the beginning of teaching them not to nip or bite for attention. If it isn’t too painful, say’ ouch’ when your puppy bites your hand and leave it there. Your puppy will bite down a bit softer, say ‘ouch’ again but leave your hand there. Continue this until your puppy puts an acceptable amount of pressure on your hand. Be consistent! Then you can add in the removing attention to stop the biting or nipping. However, you should find that your puppy’s grip is a lot softer.
Final Word On Husky Pups Nipping
It can often feel like you have a pirana instead of a dog with a puppy. Pups will go for any moving parts, such as hands and feet; this is natural. However, teaching good bite inhibition and that humans are not chewing toys is essential, especially if there are children around.
Children are naturally high-pitched and fast-moving, just like Husky prey. Of course, the pups wouldn’t consider a child prey, but they make excellent practice targets for them, fast-moving arms and legs. So the sooner you get your puppy taught, the safer for them and everyone around them. A well-trained puppy makes a well-behaved adult Husky.
We hope you found this article helpful.