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Pug Dog Biting

Biting Vs Nipping

It's common to use the word biting, however most puppies nip and there is a big difference. 

A nip is a quick snapping of the jaws....there may or may not be skin contact. It is done in reaction to one of several triggers:
  • Fear- Sometimes if a pup is startled he may nip in automated reaction. 
  • Play - Young puppies (and older Pug pups, if not taught) nip as they play. This how newborns interacted with litter-mates. Once at their new home, new rules must be taught that this is not an accepted form of behavior.
Pug dog biting as a puppy
Photo courtesy of owner Alf Dixon
  • Irritation - If a favorite toy is taken away, if a puppy is too possessive of his "belongings", if a pup has not yet learned his place in the family "pack" and other triggers can cause a young Pug to bite or nip. 
Before we dive into training for this, let us make note that the above is a nipping problem and not an actual biting issue.
Biting is reserved for when a dog aggressively bites, there is a locking of the jaw...

There is skin contact and often broken skin. It is a dominant, aggressive action that warrants much different training. The Pug dog is an even tempered, good natured dog breed and very rarely will a Pug actually bite as opposed to nipping.

Training for This 

All dogs find comfort and security in knowing that they are living in a pack. Today's modern dog's pack is his human family. By taking proper care of a Pug, an owner shows him that it is the human who is the leader (Alpha).

Proper feeding (giving the sit command first) and training for commands are the 2 main ways that a dog truly understands who is in charge. When a dog of any age is ignored by his leader, this sends a very strong message.

Canines do not take this lightly and any action that seemingly lead to the brief social isolation is quickly put into the "do not do" category. This does not mean that an owner should ignore the behavior... quite the contrary!

What an owner should do, is to immediately take action by purposefully ignoring the puppy to such as extent that he worries that his action damaged his place in the pack....

If both owner and dog are sitting down when the bite occurs, the owner should raise. If both were on the floor, the owner should stand or sit on the sofa. The idea is to physically separate from the pup and maintain an authoritative physical position. 

The next step is to completely ignore the Pug, this means zero talking and no eye contact. It will be a brief banishing in which the puppy is essentially invisible. Everyone in the house should follow this training no matter who was the "victim" of the nipping. 

And it is important that everyone is on the same page, since it does little good for a biting puppy to be ignored by one of his humans, but able to move on to the next to play and to possibly nip again.
This training should last just about 10 minutes, but it should extend even longer if the pup has gone about his own business and is not focused on his owners. One key element the 10 minutes must be a time in which the Pug is very aware that he is no longer receiving attention. 

Once that time is up, allow interaction, and any time that the Pug nips or bite, immediately begin again. It is important to be very consistent with this....if someone in the household does not do this, or if an owner only follows through some of the time, lessons will not be learned. When done each and every time, training can be successful in as little as 2 weeks.
Pug nibbling on snack

Is Teething an Issue?

Your Pug may be biting due to teething. While most owners do refer to this as biting, this is actually a gnawing in an attempt to sooth the pain and discomfort that a pup will experience when his teeth are growing in and gums are very sensitive and sore.

At this stage in life, a Pug will chew on just about anything that he can get his mouth on. He or she will not care if it is your fingers, your new shoes or electrical cords! 

There are several ways to help your Pug dog get through this time without damaging your home and belongings. One element that separates this from the above biting issues is that a puppy should be given an option. When chewing on an un-approved object, that object should be taken away and replaced with a chew toy. If the dog seems to be having a really hard time, ice cubes (plain or flavored) can offer great relief.

In addition, toys chilled in the freezer can take the edge off.

Always praise good chewing habits while discouraging bad ones. And if the Pug pup nips at hands or feet, immediately follow the training previously explained for biting.

In regard to any household items that you absolutely do not need on floor level: remove them or place them high enough so that your dog cannot reach them.

Be sure to cover electrical wires with plastic shielding. Allowing a your Pug dog to have an ice cube will be very helpful. Placing dog toys in the freezer for an hour or two, and then offering them will help.
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