Copyright 2008 - 2010 © Noble Picard Kennel Reg'd..
Picardy Shepherd Kennel
NOBLE PICARD
How to raise for your Picardy Shepherd
Necessary phase
The puppy, just like the human baby wants to explore and
discover his world, one uses mainly his mouth, the other his
hands. It would never come to ones mind to stop the baby
from using his hands to explore then why would we do so with
the puppy. We teach young children what they can touch, that
some things are fragile, some are hot, some are dangerous;
puppies need to have, in my opinion, the same teaching. The
puppy that has learned bite inhibition from an early age will
become a dog with a soft mouth. He will control the strength of
his bite in all circumstances and know what he's aloud to chew
on.

His first lessons
The puppy learns bite inhibition with his mother and the other puppies of the litter. He
must now learn that humans have a much lower tolerance to bites than his peers and to
distinguish between them.  When the puppy starts to play with his mother she is the first to
teach him to control the strength of his bite by very gently taking his muzzle in her mouth
and holding him for a second to until he calms down. And then comes the turn of the litter
mates to help the puppy learn self control. When puppies play with each other they often
reach levels of excitation in which they no more control the strength of their bite; this is
where the learning starts. When a pup is bitten to harshly he yelps in a high-pitched
scream that will effectively stop the wrongdoing thus ending the game. If the belligerent
does not stop he is likely to be bitten in return and often the mother will intervene and put
an end the game. Gradually the puppy will learn that this behaviour is not self rewarding
because the game stops and the behaviour will disappear

And learning goes on...
The first step towards the bite inhibition will have already been made with the puppies
raised at Noble Picard when they leave for their new home. It will be important that the new
guardian and all members of the family continue to show the right behaviour to the puppy.
By pushing a high-pitched scream and stoping the game as soon as those baby theeth
apply the sligtest presure unto your skin you will be using the same language the other
puppies used with him before. If this is not enough you can gently put two fingers of the
muzzle of the puppy for few seconds while scolding with a low pitched voice until he calms
down. Please do not retreat when the puppy bites you, you will be teaching him that by
biting he will be left alone, stand your grounds but stop all play and ignore him, after all
you need time to lick your wounds... If this is still not enough leave the room for a few
minutes and on the way out tell puppy how disappointed you are. Hitting or pushing the
dog will not help because he will believe that this is part of the game. When the puppy is
too excited, a “time out” period in the crate with a Kong allows everyone to relax. The
teaching of bite inhibition should be done with confidence, calm and discipline. Puppies
have an urge to chew and you must provide lots of safe chew toys, when caught chewing
inappropriate things he should be gently redirected towards his chew toys. A piece of your
old jeans tied in tight knots, soaked in water and put in the freezer for a few hour provide
an excellent pacifier for the teething puppy. Be careful to never leave the pup unattended
with toys that are not absolutely safe and that can be thorned to pieces and swallowed.

The lack of jaw strength is more than offset by the sharpness of small puppy teeth and
bites though not very dangerous are very painful. That's why it is very important to teach
bite inhibition when the puppy is still young. At this stage of life the puppy is in his  
socialization phase(before 4 month) and he learns very quickly.

An alternative
If by the techniques described above do not stop the biting you can teach him "no bite or
don’t touch" method.  The
"don’t bite" consists in teaching the dog to retract his muzzle
on command.  The consequence that the behaviour has on the dog determines its value,
therefore, for the method to effective it has to be taught with a lot of positive
reinforcement. The new behaviour will be more rewarding for the dog than the one you
are trying to get rid of. We all know how rolling in something really stinking seams to be
pure delight for a dog while it is not exactly what we would put at the top of our list of
favourite things.... So when you choose what will be the reward for this new behaviour;
don’t forget to think dog!

NB: For guardians of a Noble Picard puppy simply click on
" don't bite" and enter your
password to access the step by step illustrated technique!