My Dalmatian is 15 weeks old and over the past week and a half wants EVERYTHING in his mouth. However, he doesn't really seem to be chewing or biting...more just rubbing his sore gums on the object. He will come up to me and it will look like he is about to chew my arm near my wrist but he will just put his mouth on it and open and close his gums on my arm. The only time it hurts is when I try to pull my arm away and the teeth scratch...but his actual teeth are not puncturing the skin. What should I do with this kind of behaviour? Should I class it as biting and try to stop or should I let him lightly chew on my arm/fingers so it eases the pain in his mouth?
Well it's always a bad idea to let your dog use you as a chew toy. But there's some things you can do to help. Freeze a 3/4 filled bottle of water in a plastic cocacola bottle and let him play with it. Or refrigerate some of his plastic chew toys, the coolness will feel good to him.
I noticed recently that he loved all these ice cubes I dropped on the ground but I picked up all but one because I thought he may choke on them and then carefully watched him eat the one I left. It must have been soothing for his little mouth...Poor baby. I will try your suggestions tonight and see if it helps. I was also thinking about getting some baby teething gel.....do you know if this would work?
Good point!!! You two seem so knowledgeable on all these questions....so here's another one (he he he). Can you tell me how long he will actually be teething for and going through this chewing stage? I haven't had a puppy in 11 years so I really can't remember if its a few months or until he's a year old or what!!!! The worst thing is that he hasn't even really started chewing things yet....just like having things in his mouth....the worst is yet to come!!!!
You will need to keep an eye on his teeth (and him!) for the next month or two. This is one of the crucial crating times, if your dog is going to start destroying stuff, it all starts with the teething phase. It's at this time that couches, table legs, doors, walls, and pretty much anything they can get thier little choppers on become fair game! Also, check his teeth periodically to make sure that the puppy teeth are actually falling out. Sometimes you will see the puppy teeth (which are small, grayish in color, and extremely sharp) and the permanent teeth that are coming in behind them. But sometimes a dog will retain it's puppy teeth even though the adult tooth is grown in, that's why I say check for it, so you can have a vet deal with this problem should it happen (it's more common in small dogs than large though). THe permanent teeth are less sharp, but they are a bright white color. If you havent started a teeth brushing regime with your dog, now is the time to do so to keep those pearly white teeth white!
This sounds crazy, but I read that puppies' bite instinct is naturally trained out of them by their moms, but are often taken away from their mom before this is fully trained out of them. So what we do with Beatrice (10 week boxer) is this... (and if there is a camera in our house watching us, we look like idiots), but, we yelp when she bites, and then we flip her over on her back and growl at her. Then we walk away. The reasoning in this is that she needs to learn that if she doesn't play nice, she doesn't play at all. Of course, we also offer chew toys, ice cubes, which also help. Sometimes though, she can have a thousand toys around and only want our fingers. Toes too. Crazy things...