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Pet Tip of the Week: Puppy Mouthing (

Misha2by Dawn Watson (


   Mouthing, when applied to a dog’s behavior, is the application of teeth onto flesh without the intent to do harm.

   As puppies, dogs are taught appropriate behavior by their mothers. If a puppy should mouth its mother, the mother would put an end to the behavior by scruffing the puppy (grabbing it by its skin at the top of the neck). However, most dogs are removed from their mother and litter mates before the age of 12 weeks and the teaching of good manners is left up to the human that purchases or adopts the dog.

   When a dog mouths you can correct that behavior with a loud exclamation, such as “No!” or “Leave it!” Then, stop the playtime altogether for a period of time. Gradually, the dog will understand that mouthing is unacceptable. Never punish the dog with a physical correction—violence toward animals causes defensive behavior and that is a no-win situation for everyone!

   If you have any questions about your dog’s behavior please call me at 856.981.8957. There is never a fee for a phone consultation!


Wado udohiyu (thank you very much in the Cherokee language)

Dawn Watson

Owner and Lead Trainer

Brother of the Wolf, LLC