How to Stop My Puppy from Biting

Welcome to today’s short form podcast where we answer your dog training questions. I’m your host Nicole Forto and todays question is, how can I stop my puppy from biting?

When it comes to your puppy biting we want you to first understand why. Remember your puppy is just that, a puppy, a dog, it is an animal with a full mouth of teeth and when they are young puppies those teeth are as sharp as razor blades. Puppies instinctively use their mouths to discover and explore the world, they are tasting things and observing the reactions of the things they’re biting. In your young puppy they could be throwing a temper tantrum.

You could be holding them and they want to be let go, your play escalated to a level where they are fed up with being bothered. This is when a simple light mouthing bite turns into a, full on biting puppy.

The difference being in the amount of tension held in your puppies face and the harshness of the bite from your puppy. More often than not your puppy is doing natural mouthing trying to explore it’s world in one of the ways they know how. It’s important to start early on teaching your puppy that when playing they should bite and aim for their toys and not you.

There are a few key things when it comes to working on your puppies biting habits. Firstly, try to observe and learn to anticipate your puppies next move of biting you. That could be watching them prepare to bite and telling them no, or ending the play time in that same moment that way they begin to understand the fun stops if they bite you.

Secondly, guide and teach your puppy that when they want to bite and chew, they get to do so only on a toy. It’s key you catch them in the moment of trying to bite you or something they are not suppose too like your furniture and replace it with a toy.

You may need to make the toy fun and engaging, by wiggling it or squeaking it to activate your dog’s natural prey instinct. Repetition is key in training like this, the same sequence of events every time a bite happens in order to create a new habit for your quickly growing pup.

Now your puppy will stop biting as long as you keep up the training and redirection when biting occurs. However that does not mean your puppy won’t make mistakes or even try every so often to keep up the biting habits. Puppies can go through teething which causes them to mouth up until seven months of age. As your puppy grows it’s increasingly important to understand when you are or aren’t engaging their natural prey behaviors.

When you are playing with your pup and quickly pull away that kicks in their drive to chase and catch. If they bite and you encourage it by using your hand as a toy that confuses your puppy and makes it even harder to stop biting behavior as they get older.

The other key is that a biting puppy doesn’t win what they want. If you are going to give your puppy a treat and they chomp on your whole hand do not give them that treat. They only get the treat when they wait calmly and take it from you gently.

If they are chasing you and bite onto your pant leg your first instinct may be to tug your pants away but that engages their prey drive and want to win, instead tell them to leave it and offer a replacement to your pant leg. This could be a toy or treat, but once they leave your pant leg and make a better choice on what is appropriate to bite praise them very heavily and engage in some play with them with that toy.

These are all tips on your puppy biting you directly however, if your puppy is biting furniture, their crate, or even the side of your house while in the yard the same basics still apply but you may need to add in an extra deterrent.

This could be stopping them and telling them leave it when they go for your furniture and giving a replacement to that with a toy. It could also be utilizing a product with a bitter taste. Such as, the bitter apple spray or even your own homemade concoction using apple cider vinegar.

Some puppies won’t care about the nasty taste and will keep up their chewing. If this is your case you’ve got to be more vigilant with your commands and replacement of objects they are chewing. Your puppy likes the way the hard wood off the kitchen cabinet feels against their throbbing teeth so give them something equally hard and pliable for them to enjoy. Puppy biting can easily be gotten over but the consistency is the key here. Keep up what is and isn’t allowed and always follow through. We hope these episode are helping you all out. Keep posing your questions to any of our socials, who knows your question might be on the next episode. For Dog Works Radio I’m Nicole, and I’ll catch you guys in the next episode.


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