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Rough play and teasing can lead to aggression and unwanted behaviors.

Updated: Jul 18, 2022

I get many calls for young dogs that are possessive and guarding toys and food to the point where they are nipping or biting.

In most cases, the owners encouraged this when they first got the pup at a young age.

Pups at that age are becoming very outgoing, and inquisitive, they are playing and chasing (inner prey behavior) and 99% of families think the behavior of playing rough and tug is fun until the dog starts to learn that its bite/nipping gets it to have the reward of the toy/food.

By the time you start seeing the aggression, you would have been teaching an unwanted behavior through so-call play.

My recommendation is unless you know or are involved in a bite sport and know what you're doing, not to encourage this type of behavior, either through play or otherwise.

I am not saying don't play with your puppy/dog, I am saying, be aware of how you play with your pet.

Teach your puppy to play/chew toys, rawhide, and other dog bones when you are around to monitor them, (this is to prevent choking) this way, the puppy will not be mouthing your hands or feet.

Teaching your puppy to give up toys or food is very important when it's young and easily controllable. Puppies learn quickly and form behaviors that stay with them their entire lives. Make sure you're imprinting good, manageable behaviors in your puppy. Teach your children to respect your pets, they are part of your family.

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