A Bull Terrier puppy’s mouth is their natural tool for exploring the world around them. They simply love to get their tiny teeth into just about anything. For some people, one of the most frustrating things about raising a Bull Terrier puppy is dealing with nipping and biting. You don’t want your Bull Terrier puppy’s nipping turning into a lifelong habit.
The good news is that it’s entirely normal for your Bull Terrier puppy to want to nip and chew on anything they see and you can teach them to stop it. It’s important to help your Bull Terrier puppy learn to curb their mouthy behavior. There are various ways to teach your puppy to stop mouthing and biting people altogether.
Why do Bull Terrier puppies nip?
Usually Bull Terrier puppies live as if nothing is off-limits and want to put everything in their mouths. Here are some reasons for Bull Terrier puppy nipping and biting:
- Your Bull Terrier puppy wants to play!
- They're overstimulated due to activities happening around them.
- Your Bull Terrier puppy wants to chase something that's moving.
- They are bored and looking for something to do.
- Your Bull Terrier puppy is tired.
- Their teeth and gums hurt from teething discomfort.
- Your Bull Terrier puppy wants your attention.
- Your Bull Terrier puppy is hungry and get nippier before mealtime.
What should you do to reduce Bull Terrier puppy nipping and biting
Here are some useful tips to reduce Bull Terrier puppy nipping and biting. These practical tips will help you to keep it from developing into a habit.
- Give them distraction toys: Bull Terrier puppies love toys almost as much as children. Distraction toys are a great way to reduce Bull Terrier puppy nipping and biting. They serve as an incredible outlet for your Bull Terrier puppy's mental and physical activity. Distraction toys are interactive and entertaining for your Bull Terrier. This way, your Bull Terrier puppy doesn’t get bored and won't start biting you.
- Give them an alternative item to chew: Dental chews and chew toys reduce nipping and encourage healthy chewing habits from the start. It's a great way to satisfy your Bull Terrier puppy's natural urge to chew.
- Encourage noncontact play: In situations of excitement and play, your Bull Terrier puppy might start nipping or biting at your hands. You can play exciting games like fetch and tug-of-war rather than just squishing their face and rough play.
- Redirect your Bull Terrier puppy's energy: Bull Terrier puppies need activities in their lives. You need to keep your little furry companions physically and mentally stimulated. As your Bull Terrier puppy gets engaged in an activity or game, it redirects nipping and biting.
- Interrupt the nipping: If your Bull Terrier puppy nips you, use an interrupter cue. This can be an "ouch", "eek!", or "yip" noise. It's meant to be more of a startling sound, not something said in a harsh, negative tone. The goal is to interrupt the behavior and make the puppy pause their nipping. Even if your Bull Terrier puppy accidentally puts teeth on your skin, use the interrupter cue. Soon they will learn that humans don't tolerate any nipping or biting.
- Enroll in a Bull Terrier puppy class: If you are unable to devote much time, it’s better to enroll your little play biter in Bull Terrier puppy classes. Your Bull Terrier puppy will learn to be polite with their mouth and how to behave around other people.
Besides working on nipping and biting behavior as outlined above, make sure you start off with puppy-proofing your home to help keep your Bull Terrier pup out of danger.
How long does puppy nipping last?
Bull Terrier puppies tend to start teething between three to four months old. This process can last until they are 6 to 7 months old. For those three months or so, you will likely see an increase in nipping and biting behavior as your Bull Terrier puppy deals with the pain and discomfort of losing their baby teeth and their adult teeth coming in.
Your Bull Terrier puppy should grow out of inappropriate nipping if you're consistent with the management of nipping and reinforcing positive behaviors.
What not to do to reduce Bull Terrier puppy nipping and biting
Remember that Bull Terrier puppies interact with the world through their mouths. So, never scold your pups for being natural adventurers! Simply, divert the nibbling and biting elsewhere!
- Don’t pull your hands away: Avoid jerking your hands or feet away from your puppy when they mouth. Sudden movements will trigger your Bull Terrier puppy to chase after your fingers. It’s much more effective to let your hands or feet go limp so that they aren’t much fun to play with.
- Don’t squish your Bull Terrier puppy's face: It’s cute to play with your Bull Terrier puppy’s little face but waving with your hands in front of your Bull Terrier puppy's mouth will only encourage them to bite.
- Don't wear loose clothes while playing with your Bull Terrier puppy: Also think about the clothing that you are wearing when playing with the Bull Terrier puppy. Things that are loose and hanging are likely to be more stimulating for the Bull Terrier puppy.
- Do not yell at your Bull Terrier puppy: Yelling and shouting at your Bull Terrier puppy never helps and will only make them little fur babies confused and scared.
- Do not hit your Bull Terrier puppy: Slapping or hitting Bull Terrier puppies for playful mouthing can cause them to bite harder. They usually react by playing more aggressively. Physical punishment can also make your Bull Terrier puppy afraid of you and it can even cause real aggression.
Remember to be calm, patient, and understanding. Playful nipping and biting are normal behavior for a Bull Terrier puppy. Bull Terrier puppies learn at different rates so don't worry if your little furry kid doesn't pick things up straight away.
As caring pet parents, it becomes your foremost responsibility to look after the needs of your Bull Terrier puppy in the best possible way. If you want to keep your Bull Terrier pup healthy and entertained, give them high quality dog chew toys and treats.
Stay tuned for more posts on Bull Terrier behavior, care, and much more!