My puppy has taken to playing by biting other dogs' (and cats') ears. Do I need to get him to stop? And if so, how?
About 2 months I adopted a 9 month old Havanese/Pomeranian mix that I named Mr. Dog. Obligatory adorable doggie photo.
I take him to the dog park almost every day. He's taken to biting ears as his form of play. Not hard, just nipping playfully then dodging back, then going in again, and he keeps that up for quite awhile. Obviously since ears are so sensitive for dogs, some dogs are bothered by this. Some are just mildly annoyed, but others start to get kind of pissed. Some growl a bit at him right away, some put up with it a little bit before doing it. Either way, he doesn't seem to take the hint. A dog can actually snarl at him and he doesn't seem to get that that means "Hey, cut it out!" He also does the ear biting to his "doggie best friend" that lives in my apartment complex, as well as the outdoors cat that lives here.
I'd really rather he didn't play this way. I'm concerned that one day he's going to keep nipping at the wrong dog and end up bitten for real. But I don't know how to stop him. If I tell him "no" he just thinks I'm saying "Don't play at all" which obviously isn't the case.
I don't want to stop taking him to the dog park. He loves it there. He loves playing with other dogs. He just sometimes can't take a hint.
Is this something he'll just grow out of? Should I try and stop him, or can I? Or does he just have to have that one bad experience to know not to do that anymore? That sort of "ouch, that hurt, I won't do that again" learning so far doesn't seem his forte.