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Hi! So for the first 2 days Jaanu was home it was evident that his biting was for play and to try to interact with me (he also was such a velcro dog). I have introduced him to a lot of toys to curb his chewing and biting and he likes them for sure, but it does seem like he is a bit less affectionate with me. Is this normal? It's probably good that I am not the center of his world right now (he can self-entertain and is unlikely to develop separation anxiety), but I do feel a bit like the mom of a moody teen. Also, when I try to pull him onto my lap or to restrict him when he is wide-awake he will start biting at me (also if I am trying to brush him). This doesn't seem like play-biting, but instead like he is biting to try to get his way (to get out of my lap or to stop the brushing). Is this kind of biting normal or expected, I am a bit worried about this kind of biting. He will stop and refocus on a toy if say no and give him a toy so at least that's a relief.
 

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Yes, it's pretty normal. Puppys, like any young creature, are incredibly selfish. They are mostly interested in getting their wants and needs met; the rest of the world can go hang. Affection will come with maturity. I think brushing over-stimulates them; they really struggle to contain themselves until they get a handle on how to cope with the sensory overload. Self control is a skill they need to practice before they master it. With patience and good handling they will mature and become more cooperative.
 

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Puppies that have been recently separated from their litter will stay verrrry very close as a matter of self-preservation. We're their whole world!

It's natural that they will then explore wider and wider circles as they grow stronger and more confident. So it sounds like you're doing a great job helping Jaanu grow up. :)

Peggy just assumed I was trying to play when I groomed her. She still sorta does! The only other time I hold funny looking things near her, they're toys!

So be calm and patient, gentle but firm. Do a very little bit at a time, when you're both relaxed, and then increase from there.

As far as restraining him goes, this is another thing to take slow. It's so important our dogs are comfortable with this, especially for veterinary care.

Try gently holding him until he stops struggling, then immediately release. Or try laying him out on his back in your arms and stroking his chest and belly until he fully relaxes, pause, then release.

I still practise this occasionally with Peggy, but be sure not to overdo it. There's a lot of trust involved.

And remember: His teeth are basically his hands, and right now he's like a toddler, just wanting to grab and explore. Redirecting to appropriate toys and chews is perfect when he's bitey.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks so much @cowpony and @PeggyTheParti Your responses have really helped reassure me! @cowpony wow that makes sense, I did not think of brushing as a form of sensory overload, but yeah it makes sense that when he gets overstimulated from the brushing he would want to go after the brush and make a game of it. If I give him a good chew or a chew toy it does seem to help a bit, sometimes he also bites his blanket (instead of me or the brush) in what seems like a kind of self-control.

@PeggyTheParti I am so glad to hear that. I have been following Ian Dunbar's long and short term confinement schemes pretty well so he has really learned to self settle. The first few days, he wouldn't know what to do other than sleep if he was by himself. Now he can play with toys on his own and be very comfortable with it. He has a lot of confidence and while that might make him a handful now it will make him a great dog in the long run. Glad to know that this sort of change in personality is expected and good. I will try doing some of the holding exercises remembering to take things slow. He is so smart sometimes that I forget that he is an infant and some things won't just immediately click and sometimes he will forget. He's also so cute sometimes that I forget that it's completely expected that he will sometimes go looking for trouble.

Thanks so much for all of your help and your advice, you really help take away some of the worry and the stress and that makes the experience raising Jaanu so much sweeter.
 

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He sounds so wonderful! And you do, too! You're really doing such a great job.

Peggy still will grab a blanket or soft toy to occupy her teeth when she's completely overwhelmed, but it took her much longer than Jaanu to develop that self-control. What a good boy.
 
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