Safely Play With Your Dog Using a Hand Puppet Toy: Debunking the Concerns of Teaching Bad Habits

One concern when people first see our hand puppet toy for dogs is that it might teach their dog the bad habit of play biting their hands when they're not wearing the toy. Why has this behavior never been observed with our hand puppet?


If you're worried that using a hand puppet toy with your dog or puppy will encourage them to bite your hands or teach them bad habits, you can rest assured that this is not the case. We've tested our puppet toy with dozens of dogs of various breeds, including orphaned rescue dogs and puppies, and have consistently observed that they do not want to bite the hand after the puppet is removed.

There are a few possible reasons for this. One is that the dogs understand the concept of object permanence, meaning that they understand that objects continue to exist even when they're not in sight. In the case of the hand puppet, the dogs see it as a separate toy and continue to want to go for the puppet instead of the hand when it's removed.

Dogs see the puppet toy as something separate from you, while understanding the concept of object permanence. That means they don’t go for your arm or hand after the toy is removed. Better yet, it can be used as a tool to help train puppies to inhibit their bite as they go through teething.

Another example, when playing hide and seek with my dog using a treat, I've seen firsthand how he uses his nose to sniff out the hidden item. This demonstrates their understanding of object permanence, as they know the object continues to exist even when it's not in sight. Similarly, when my dog gets excited upon seeing me return home after being away, it shows that they understand that people and objects continue to exist even when they are not immediately present.

For a simple analogy, when you put peanut butter on your finger - most dogs will not continue to go after your finger once the peanut butter is gone. 

Personally, when I play with my dog using the puppet at the park, I often have to bring a tote bag with me. When I want my dog to stop going for the puppet, I simply hide the toy in the tote bag and show him my hands so he can see that I don't have it anymore. And even though my dog loves playing with the puppet, he never tries to bite my hands after it's hiding in the bag.

Saul co-founder of Milunova plays with Pupr Pals Nutjob and dogs at park holding a tote bag

Another possibility is that the dogs have learned through positive reinforcement that biting the hand without the puppet, or while playing other games, is not a behavior that is rewarded or encouraged.

It's also important to consider the individual personality and behavior of each dog. Some dogs may be more prone to biting than others, and this could affect their behavior when the puppet is removed. As always, if you have a puppy or adult dog showing signs of aggression, seek professional help.

However, in general, we've found that even orphaned dogs with little or no training, do not try to bite the hand after the puppet is removed. Even so, we always say that each pet parent should determine if the toy would be right for their dog. Pupr Pals provide a layer of protection during playtime, but they should only be used with either teething puppies, or adult dogs that have already been trained with bite inhibition. The padding will protect against sharp teeth, but not against strong bites since the fabric is not impenetrable. Introducing the toy slowly to your pet, as listed on the instructions, is the best way to ensure they understand the game and inhibit their bite from the beginning.

Instructions for introducing Pupr Pals toy hand puppet for dogs

In conclusion, you can feel confident that using our hand puppet toy will not encourage your dog to bite your hand or teach them bad habits. It's always important to be cautious when interacting with dogs and to pay attention to their body language and behavior, but you can rest assured that our toy has been thoroughly tested and has consistently proven to be safe and effective. And as always, providing proper training and socialization for your dog will help them learn appropriate behaviors and how to interact with humans and other dogs in a safe and positive way.

Try Pupr Pals and see for yourself! We offer a 30-day hassle-free happiness guarantee. We recommend to hide the toy when not in use to prevent it from being destroyed and to keep your pup excited for it over time. If you are not satisfied with Pupr Pals' performance or durability, we will refund or replace the toy. Simply contact our team. Limit 1 item per customer.