Your Pet Question:
My new puppy is so cute and sweet one minute and then right out of the blue she turns on us, growling, snapping, and biting! We’ve tried holding her mouth closed and putting her in her dog bed as punishment, but I’m worried about having her around my grandchild. How can I prevent this Jekyll-and-Hydeish behaviour?
Heidi, Hamilton, Ontario
The Expert Says:
To discourage biting and prevent your precious puppy from turning into a little monster, freeze all motion and avoid eye contact to show her that you are non-reactive. Grabbing the snout incites dogs to become even more physical! Then, put her in a quiet, covered place and leave her alone to chew on the consequences.
Puppies often instinctively bite to get a reaction (this is how they test the strengths and weaknesses of their pack) and they also get snappy when over-stimulated from too much handling. Don’t leave your grandchild and puppy together without supervision, but if you practice patience and consistency they can grow to become good buddies.
Barb Cooke of Garibaldi Highlands, BC, is the Director of Training for Bark Busters Canada