How could you ever get upset with your irresistibly cute Shihpoo puppy? I’ll tell you how. When he or she won’t stop biting you and nipping at you all day long for weeks on end. You worry that your beautiful little cuddle bug is turning into a menace and a biting bully.
How can you stop your Shihpoo puppy from constantly biting you?
Use the natural response your puppy understands to tell him or her the biting hurts. Yelp like a puppy when you are bitten, then stop playing or interacting with your puppy for 10 to 30 seconds so she or he learns the boundaries of what type of biting hurts and what doesn’t.
Why Your Shihpoo Puppy Bites
Like other dogs in their pre-teething and teething stage around 12 to 16 weeks of age, Shihpoo puppies look for anything they can to soothe their sore and sometimes painful gums as their baby teeth begin to fall out.
As her or his adult teeth push toward the gums’ surface, your Shihpoo finds comfort in chewing and biting since it places pressure on the area causing soreness in your puppy’s mouth. Biting and chewing is the dog’s equivalent to humans rubbing their arm or leg after bumping into a corner of their cupboard.
How to Tell Your Puppy You Don’t Want Him or Her to Bite
Hopefully, your Shihpoo stayed with his or her mama and littermates for at least eight weeks, providing time to learn how to be a puppy and to gain social skills.
One of those skills involves your puppy’s ability to tell another puppy to stop doing something that hurts. When one littermate bites another too hard, the natural reaction of the puppy in pain is to yelp loudly and to stop playing. This is how you too can tell your puppy to stop biting you. Here’s the scenario:
You are sitting on the couch and your puppy wants to both play and soothe her or his gums, so you start to feel nibbles and then actual bites on your fingers and arms. If you do nothing or continue to play with or even wrestle with your Shihpoo, she or he will not learn they just past an unacceptable line with their biting.
Steps to Stopping Your Shihpoo’s Biting In His or Her Tracks
- Your Shihpoo bites you.
- You YELP loudly and quickly in a high voice. “Ay!” “Ya’ee!” Don’t worry about the neighbors. They’ll recover. Your dog, on the otherhand, will stop and realize that they just did something you didn’t like.
- You stop what you are doing. Don’t look at your puppy. Don’t talk to or yell at your Shihpoo. Don’t grab your dog and for heaven’s sake, don’t swoop it in your arms and cuddle with him or her. Your dog will generally stand by actually worried that you got hurt and won’t play again.
- Wait a minimum of 10 seconds but 30 would not be too long before you look up and start interacting with your puppy again.
- Repeat steps 2-4 until your puppy learns how much is too much. Some Shihpoos learn faster than others. If your puppy is accustomed to biting you are part of their normal playtime, it may take many yelps and quiet times for them to learn, but they will learn.
Your Shihpoo loves playing with you. Shihpoos are extremely social and affectionate dogs, and they do not want to jeopardize that fun and rewarding time by biting you when you don’t want to be bitten.
Products You Can Use to Stop a Biting Puppy
If your Shihpoo is biting furniture, cupboard corners, chair legs, and anything else that will fit in their mouth, this has everything to do with teething and comfort than with playtime. Balls, rings, and other chews can draw your puppy’s attention from your hands and fingers, especially if you play fetch, catch, or tug-of-war with your dog.
Most Shihpoos will contentedly move from biting your hand to chewing on toys once they finish teething.
In our home, we have used the Bitter Cherry chew deterrent spray by Out! to successfully keep our two Shihpoos from chewing on everything from week furniture to our carpet. It hasn’t stained anything we’ve sprayed it on.
Reviews are mixed on this Out! product. Some puppies are such strong chewers, though, that a taste of bitter cherry doesn’t deter them. Fortunately, the spray is very affordable, and you shouldn’t be out more than a few dollars.
Will Your Shihpoo Stop Biting after Teething?
Most Shihpoo families find that their sweet but biting puppy begins to settle down a bit after both teething and puberty, both in the six to eight-month range. However, depending upon you and your Shihpoo play together, your puppy may continue to bite and nip future.
Hard biting, though, should disappear during all play time. Our oldest only tries to nip at us when we try to clip his nails, and only then if we have not properly restrained him.
Behavior to Avoid for Stopping Your Biting Puppy
Some Shihpoo families swear by yelling “no” at their Shihpoo. I am not going to say it doesn’t work. Your puppy might just be hearing a familiar enough yelp in your “NO!” to associate it with stopping his or her biting.
Other families have stopped their puppy from biting by swatting them on the behind or worse. Again, this may stop the unwanted behavior, but I highly recommend using the language described above that your Shihpoo already understands and that does not insert any fear into your relationship.
At what age does a Shihpoo puppy stop biting?
Typically your Shihpoo should have lost all her or his baby teeth and grown their adult teeth around age 8 months. Biting due to teething should decrease, though it may not stop until you train your Shihpoo not to bite.
Why is my Shihpoo puppy growling at me?
Your Shihpoo puppy might growl for several reasons, from playing (the most common) to being irritated. If your Shihpoo has his or her rear in the air, chest on the ground, and front paws out in front, he or she is asking you to play. Toss a ball or play tug of war.