How to stop a dog from nipping a child. This actually works.
One of the more questions I am asked is How to stop a dog from nipping a child. This is one of the more annoying habits that your dog may have for obvious reasons. However, this nasty habit can be stopped quickly and effectively by using a method that actually works, unlike others.
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Puppy nipping and biting is not only a normal behavior but also a common problem for puppy owners. It is among the top reason why most people surrender their puppies to a shelter. However, in order to stop a puppy from engaging in this behavior, you will need to understand why they do so.
Puppies, especially under the age of 8 weeks will most likely nip at literally anything and everything. Just like human babies, a dog wants to learn how the world works. They want to explore their surroundings and since they do not have hands, their mouth is quite necessary for this process.
However, this does not mean that you should excuse the habit. In fact, you should put a lot of effort to make him stop nipping. If you have a child, your puppy will most likely want to play with it. It might feel like he now has another puppy to play with. Let me take you a little bit back in order to understand puppies better.
Usually, puppies are born in a litter, and they grow and learn the world together before they are separated. It is actually important for puppies to socialize and play with their siblings.
During this period, puppies adopt good behavior from playing with their peers. As we all know, we cannot disregard the importance of mouthing for puppies. They will need to learn how to control the behavior nevertheless.
Nipping and Biting
There is no better way for the puppies to learn than with their peers. While playing, you may notice that puppies may bite each other playfully. If one puppy nips the other hard and painfully, the bitten pup will retreat. He will also produce a yelping sound to let the biter know that he is hurting him. Usually, most puppies will stop and enhance gentle play.
However, in some cases, some puppies will not stop biting on their peers. The bitten puppy will now withdraw from playing completely, which lets the other puppy know that his behavior is not acceptable. He may, actually, never want to play with the biter again.
A puppy that is nipping a child should be discouraged immediately, and especially if it hurts your kid. Punishing your puppy may seem like a solution but it may lead to future problems. This is why you will need to come up with safer and more effective ways of making your puppy stop nipping a child.
You need to take it into account that a child does not understand how your dog feels. In order to curb this behavior, you will need to understand why your dog is nipping your child, and under what circumstances.
In most cases, your dog will play with your child and it always ends with both of them happy. However, if your child does not know how to handle your dog, things may go south. We understand that dogs do not understand human behavior, but we do understand their behaviors.
As much as undesirable as these behaviors may be, we need to always come up with ways to handle them. It is unlikely for your dog to attach your child from the blues. Therefore, monitor the way your child behaves with your dog in order to teach them otherwise.
Usually, if your child hurts your dog, there is likely to be a commotion about it. Hurt dogs react with biting and thus you should encourage your child from doing so. The way your child handles the family dog is going to determine their relationship. It is therefore important to teach kids about how to handle and live with the dog.
My dog nips my child, what should I do?
If this isn’t among the top questions for dog owners with kids, I do not know what is. It is a common problem that almost every dog owner goes through at some point in life. However, do not panic as we are going to help you stop a dog from nipping a child;
Refrain from leaving your child alone with your dog
Well, like most dogs are, babies are also learning about the world and how it works. You should always watch your child whenever they play with the dog. Understand that both of them have no idea what they are doing, most times. Your dog can easily be provoked by a child and end up nipping them. Usually, your dog will develop some type of bond with your child. They will play with each other but make no mistake, if your kid hits your dog, he might retaliate.
Therefore, never leave them alone, even when they seem to be playing safe games. Whenever you are leaving the room, make sure to go with one of them. This way, you will not have surprises at home. Furthermore, if your dog seems to be more aggressive towards the child, you may separate the two for some time.
Adopt older puppies
We all want to have well-behaved dogs, don’t we? This is why some people tend to get young puppies as they are easier to train and also bond with. Furthermore, puppies are cute! However, puppies under the age of 8 weeks are still in need of their mother. This could be for kneading reasons or even learning reasons.
These puppies are still learning and picking behaviors from their mother as well as peers. They need to learn some things that we cannot teach like socializing and biting inhibition. We have already looked at how puppies socializing with each other may help them refrain from biting and nipping. This usually happens between the ages of 5-8 weeks and therefore do not need to be separated from their family.
A puppy that has learned biting inhibition from his peers will not necessarily nip on a child. This is why you should get an older puppy considered to the young ones who have not yet understood the world.
Teach your child how to handle a dog
Often, we fail to address this issue and assume that the kid can handle the dog fine. However, you should understand that your kid is learning and therefore may not relate well with the dog. If your kid startles or even hurts the dog, he might nip the child at the end of the day.
Well, with our busy lives it can be hard to keep tabs on every move your baby makes. On the other hand, your dog may take it as a sign of aggression from your baby. Below are a few tips on how you should handle your baby when you have a dog;
Deploy baby gates in the house – this is an important step when you have a baby and dog in the same house. Well, if you do have a toddler you understand that they are always on the move. One minute of distraction is good enough for your toddler to do something messy. This could be very dangerous for your child as just a simple play could lead to aggression from your dog. Therefore, it is important to install baby gates to prevent your child from moving from one place to another.
Do not put the baby on the floor with your dog – Babies move fast and like mentioned earlier, they are learning. This means that the baby is experimenting in order to explore the world. However, as much as this is an important thing for your kid, it might also turn dangerous when you have a dog that nips. Your unsupervised baby may provoke your dog to nip especially if they are both on the floor. In addition to this, your dog may be thinking that your baby is another puppy and thus may nip in efforts to initiate play.
Do not let your child anywhere near a sleeping dog – the same way you would hate to be disturbed in your sleep” href=”https://www.happyfitdog.com/why-does-my-dog-sleep-with-her-eyes-open-here-is-the-answer/”>sleeps-on-his-back-what-is-the-reason/” title=”sleep”>sleep, your dog is definitely not going to appreciate it either. Therefore, do not let your child anywhere your dog when he is napping. He may react aggressively towards your child.
Teach your child not to throw things at the dog – throwing things at a dog may seem like a playful thing to do but your dog may take it as aggressiveness. In this case, it is likely that your dog is going to react aggressively too.
Your child should not try to take something out of the dog’s mouth – kids are quite protective of their items. For instance, your kid is definitely going to be very protective of his toys. He is not ready to share them with your dog. This means that when your dog bites on the toy, your child may try to get it back. However, this is not a very good idea as your dog may nip them. Instead, teach your child to never try to take something from the dog’s mouth.
Provide a crate for your dog (See crate prices on Amazon)
How to stop a dog from nipping a child
By providing a crate, you are offering your dog his private place of his own in the house. This means that your dog now owns the space and no one should take that away from him. This includes your child, who should not go anywhere near the place.
This is especially good if you have a puppy that may need to rest every now and then. Therefore, his crate should definitely bring nothing but peace for your dog.
Toys are the best method to redirect your dog’s attention. In this case, you should always make sure that your child has a soft toy whenever they are playing with the dog. Get a soft and enticing toy and also teach your child how to use it. This way, your dog is definitely not going to mouth your child when he has an option.
Encourage gentle play between the child and dog
Your dog will respond to play with the same energy as that of your child. This means that when your child plays aggressively with your dog, he will also be aggressive. For instance, your child may run around the home with the dog chasing them. However, this might entice your dog to keep chasing, after all, they do have the wild hunting instincts.
Do not get me wrong, it is completely safe for them to play. However, teach your child and dog about the acceptable games and those that are not. Overexciting your dog may encourage nipping during playtime.
Put your dog on time out
We have been discussing the ways in which you can be able to prevent a dog from nipping a child. However, once this happens, you will need an immediate and effective solution. Observe how your dog plays with your child before actually acting on it. Once he nips your kid, put the dog on a time-out, let’s say 30 seconds where he will be alone. Refrain from letting the dog play with the child after he nips at him.
Alternatively, stop the playing immediately he nip the child. Your dog needs to know that nipping a child is unacceptable. The best way to do this is by your child refraining to play with him. Over time, he is going to learn that nipping a child is not acceptable.
Note that you cannot simply treat your child’s hands as they will also mouth their own hands. Therefore, deterring your dog from mouthing your child using chemicals is highly discouraged.
All in all, understand why your dog is nipping a child in order to be able to stop him. If your child initiates aggressive play, then you will need to teach them how to be gentle. Keep your dog’s crate or den out of reach from your child. This way, your kid will not be able to approach your dog when he is asleep and therefore you are limiting the chances of a dog nipping them.
In addition to this, you should always supervise your child whenever they are playing with your dog. This way, you will be able to observe and teach acceptable games. Teach your child to not hug the dog. This might be a sign of affection among humans but it is not the same case with dogs. They may actually take it as aggression and thus nip your child.
Gentle play is quite an important thing to teach when you have a child. Always make sure that your child has toys within reach whenever they play with your dog. Baby gates are also very vital to restrict unsupervised movement by your child. In addition, your child’s room should be inaccessible to your dog, and also your dog’s crate should be inaccessible to your child.