Teething time; Puppy or land shark?
Human children often explore the world by putting their hands all over everything and depending on their age, sticking it in their mouths.
Puppies don’t have hands so straight to the mouth it is.
Human children start teething around 6 months old and are finished teething by around 12 YEARS old with their 32 teeth – and some wisdom teeth don’t appear until 17-21years of age.
Puppies go through teething with ten more teeth and in a much shorter time frame. For them, teeth begin to emerge around 2-3 WEEKS old. The process is usually complete around 7 MONTHS ending with a total of 42 adult teeth.
For these young canines, teething peaks around 12-16 weeks of age which also coincides with the socialisation period, exploring the world and being in their new homes.
During the time of the landshark, management is key. If you don’t want it wrecked, then put it away. Have LOTS of appropriate things for them to chew on. You don’t have to give them all in one go – having a variety of shapes, sizes, flavours, temperatures, textures and rotating them will help keep the chews interesting. 100% of the time actively supervise and manage every interaction between children and puppies. If you can’t, then keep them safely separated e.g. use baby gates, crates, gates, fences, closing doors. Never smack a puppy, hands must predict good things and provide instructions (visual hand signals).
The breed of puppy you have can influence how long and how intensely they chew and bite. Humans have selectively bred some dogs FOR their biting ability, others to purposely have a softer mouth – for example there’s a reason German shepherds are the go to for police dogs, Border Collies can move sheep and Labradors gently bring ducks back.
Puppies usually bite when their mouth hurts, they are bored, to get attention, something caught their eye so they bite, or they are over tired. Many times it's because they are puppies and that's what they do.
While supporting them through this rapid growth stage, redirect on to appropriate items and teach kindly. It doesn't last long.