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Yelping And Punishment Can Make Puppies Afraid

If a puppy is punished for trying to play-bite a person, he can become confused and distressed. A very young puppy is trying to learn human ways and learning that you become an angry and aggressive when he invites you to play can have damaging repercussions for your future relationship.



Many trainers and behaviourists will recommend yelping loudly when your puppy bites you.  Unfortunately, this sudden aversive noise is a form of punishment and can make some shy puppies afraid to try playing with humans again in future.  Some bold puppies can become over-excited by the noise and may bite harder as a result.


The problem for the puppy is that it still needs to find an outlet for its desire to play.  Since the punishment has stopped them wanting to play with humans, they will find other less acceptable ways to play, such as chasing the children or cats, pouncing on shadows, or digging in the garden. 


So punishment may, in some cases, help to prevent your puppy play-biting, but the side effects often go unnoticed until they develop into a full-blown behaviour problem at a later date.  Far better, instead, to teach your puppy to play with you with toys instead and, later, let him know by withdrawing that it hurts when he play-bites your fingers.




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