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I recently adopted a puppy (10 months old at the time, now 6 months) and he is showing survival instincts toward my other dog (3 and a half years). They play well together and he's full of great energy, but when it comes to eating or interaction with me and my wife, things are a bit different.

He eats food quickly and doesn't leave his bowl until he's done. I'd like to try and break him of this quick eating habit. He eats 3 times a day, about a cup and a quarter each time. I tried hand feeding, but he can't eat it fast enough. I assume he's just being a puppy, but I figured I'd get some opinions.

Another part of my question is trying to get him to approach people without nipping and mouthing them. He has all of his teeth, so the teething stage is pretty much over.

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Some dogs will never really get over the scarfing down food thing ... which is fine IMO, and doesn't cause anybody any harm. Feeding large meaty bones in my experience teach dogs to chew a bit more. When all they eat is kibble, they often eat as fast as possible.

The mouthing can be handled with normal corrective behaviors, such as a firm "NO" when he nips, or holding the mouth closed when he nips. Sometimes this is playful, other times the dog is trying to assert dominance. Judging by the age of the dog, and the fact that you already have an adult dog, he is probably being playful.

If you could describe the survival instincts a bit more, we might be able to offer some insight on that problem.

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  • I know it's in the comments under the question itself as well, but for a gentler (and more effective way) to teach your puppy not to bite, see the answers under the question Teaching a young puppy or dog not to bite. The techniques will work on dogs of all ages. – ThomasH Jun 18 '14 at 10:49

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