How to Stop Your Puppy from Biting

You brought home a puppy. Great! But is it a puppy or a shark? It just keeps biting and nipping. Don’t worry we can help you!

Eros the Chihuahua as a puppy. Small Merle long hair Chihuahua sitting in a slipper.

Puppy biting is normal. Puppy like babies are trying to explore the world and figure out how it works. Human babies will grab everything with their hands, even if it is your hair and pull. Puppies explore the world with their mouth since they don’t have hands. They bite fingers, pant legs, sleeves and anything else they can get their mouth on. My dog Jupiter as a puppy loved trying to bite my earrings. They also don’t know their own strength so often they bite us too way to hard and might even break skin.

Certain breeds are breed to be more mouthy as well. Dogs like golden retrievers and Labradors who are bred to retrieve wild game, love to put things in their mouth and are bitey as puppies. Other breeds like German Shepherds and Malinois are breed for biting either for the police or for bitesports and are very mouthy and bitey as puppies. Don’t be surprise if you have one of these breeds if your puppy is extra bitey.

Don’t get mad at your puppy for biting. Instead follow these tips

Don’ts

  • Don’t yell when the puppy bites you hard. Either the puppy will become more excited by the noise and bite harder or you will scare your puppy which isn’t good for building confidence in the long run.
  • Don’t punish your puppy for biting like with hitting, slapping, pinching the puppy’s tongue or putting his lip between his teeth. This is painful for the puppy and will create a dog who is scared of hands coming near his face because it was painful in the past. We need our dogs to be comfortable with our hands on them for grooming and vet visits.

Do

  • Make sure your puppy is getting enough sleep throughout the day. Puppies need between 18-20 hours of sleep each day and if they don’t get that they can get over tired and bite more often. You might notice your puppy bites more in the evening and that is likely because he is getting tired.
  • Have a toy on hand and wiggle the toy around to get the puppy interested in that instead of your hand to teach them where is appropriate to bite.
  • Have a playpen or other puppy safe area set up to put the puppy if he gets really bity. If the puppy is hurting you or annoying you put them in here.
  • If you are playing with your puppy and he starts biting you instead of they toy you can stop the game and walk away and come back in a couple minutes.
  • If the puppy is biting your ankles carry a long toy and have the puppy bite the toy instead of you.

If you have any questions about puppies or other puppy problems reach out! Our private lesson puppy package can go over common puppy problems and skills to teach your puppy to give them a great head start on life.

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