How to Stop Puppy Biting?

How to Stop Puppy Biting?

Author WDF Staff

09.03.2021.


Getting a new puppy means a lot of playtimes we have been waiting for. They are very fun to be around and play with, but puppies can also bite. We must teach them to stop biting while they are still young so that behavior doesn’t become problematic later in their life. Their jaws are still small, but they have 28 tiny, razor-sharp teeth that can pierce your skin pretty quickly. Here are a few tips on how to stop puppy biting.

Bite inhibition learning

The most important thing to teach your puppy is to control the bite force. You can see dog owners playing with their large, powerful dogs. Breeds like Cane Corso or Kangal have powerful jaws, and a single full-strength bite from them would mean agony for their owners. These dogs learned bite inhibition since they were puppy biting their owners.

When puppies play with each other, and the biting gets too intense, they will make a loud yelp or whine that will let the biting puppy know they are crossing the line. Their mother will intervene, or the other puppy will stop playing. You should do the same if your puppy bites you too hard. Make a sound that will let your puppy know they are hurting you (which shouldn’t be a problem since their teeth can be pretty painful). A clear “ouch!” or “ow!” will let your puppy know they are too intense and should ease off.

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Puppy biting means the end of playtime

When you notice your puppy biting you too hard, stop the playtime immediately. You need to be consequential and relentless. They might protest, but puppy biting should be a clear sign that playtime is over.

puppy showing teeth

Make sure you don’t punish them or push them. That will let your puppy know you are giving them a response and can cause them to bite you even harder next time. Instead, AKC’s in-house dog trainer Kathy Santo advises tucking your hands in your armpits and putting the puppy in their crate to cool off. Make sure they learn biting gets them nowhere.

Exchange

If you notice your puppy biting things they aren’t supposed to bite, like your fingers or furniture, you can offer them an alternative item to chew. Biting is OK, but the puppy biting needs to be aimed at something they are allowed to bite. Keep a chew toy for puppies at hand at all times, and when they focus their attention on your fingers, offer them a toy instead. However, if the puppy biting of your fingers continues, stop the play immediately.

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Pouncing

Pouncing is fairly common among puppies. It is considered playful behavior, but it is not something dog owners should encourage. The best way to prevent that behavior is to hold a treat in your hand. The puppy will focus on it, and there will be no puppy biting while you are holding a tasty treat. Leash walking can be taught the same way.

Time-out

Time-out is an excellent raising technique. If the puppy gets overly enthusiastic about playing and puppy biting gets too intense, gently place them in a time out. Their crate can be the right place for a time-out. Never use the crate as a punishment, just as a place your puppy can cool off, and learn that biting gets them absolutely nowhere.

Other needs

Your puppy biting you can have different meanings. Sometimes, they are just play-biting, but other times, puppy biting can mean something entirely different. They might want to let you know they are hungry, thirsty, or need a potty break. Santo mentioned that puppy biting can be a sign of an overly tired puppy, and the only thing they need is a quiet place to take a nap.

Crates can be a “safe” place for puppies to nap, but not all puppies are fond of crates from the start. Here is how to teach your puppy to their crates - Puppy crate training.

Energy

Puppy biting can be a sign of cooped-up energy. Your puppy can start excessively biting because they have too much energy to spend. The current activity isn’t providing them a decent outlet. Take them out in the yard or a dog park and let them run and play.

Enforce the good behavior

Dog owners often forget to reinforce good behavior. When the puppy is peaceful and playing nicely, give them additional encouragement. Give your puppy a treat and some cuddles. Make them feel good about being good.

Hitting is forbidden

Hitting is the worst thing you can do to your puppy. They will get used to aggressive treatment, and most of their reactions will become aggressive too. If your dog seems to have behavioral issues, enroll them in a doggy school or ask a professional behaviorist for help.

World Dog Finder team

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