I read this article on how to survive teething puppies by Barbara Fitzgerald on The Modern Bark. Barbara reminds us that teething puppies are not having the best time in their life. They are generally feeling pretty uncomfortable. So this is not the best time for them to learn new tricks other than basic puppy manners.
Teach the puppy the “leave it” command by playing tug with a toy your puppy likes. With your other hand, hold a treat when you say the word “leave it”. The pup will leave the toy for the treat. You reinforce this behavior by saying “GOOD leave it.”
Find a way for your puppy to feel “right” when you correct him.
Here’s an excerpt from the article:
Soft Mouth Training for Your PuppyI like to be able to put my hands in my dog’s mouth whenever I need to give her a pill or remove something from the back of her throat that I don’t want her to swallow. Teaching a soft mouth and eliminating biting at an early stage in the puppies development is critical. A cute nip or bite from a puppy can become a dangerous liability in a grown dog.
Teaching a soft mouth can be done by lying on the floor with the puppy and playing a little tug. Remove the toy and gently play with the lower jaw. It’s okay to let him gently “mouth” your hand, but if he bites down hard make a sharp, high pitched “ouch.” Then clamp is mouth shut gently but firmly for 2-3 seconds. If he bites again, say “no” and clamp the mouth again for 2-3 seconds.
This action mimics his mother’s method of correction, and has a calming effect on the puppy. When the mother sees behavior she does not like, she will snap the puppy’s mouth closed with gentle bites in quick succession. You can use this technique to stop nipping and barking as well. Snapping their mouths shut has been equated to sticking the puppy’s head in the toilet, so don’t go overboard, or hold their mouths shut for more than 2-3 seconds.
You can read the entire article here.
Article source: The Modern Bark
Image source: Jodie Wilson on Flickr.com