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Puppy Won’t Stop Biting? Here Are 6 Tips to Help

Laura Day

May 15, 2019

Puppy Won't Stop BitingAlthough the positives of having a puppy far outweigh the negatives (I mean, who can resist a puppy?), you cannot deny that biting can be a frustrating negative. Why do puppies bite so much in the first place, you may ask? Well, for the same two reasons that human babies do. First, it’s their way of exploring the world around them. Second, they’re teething, so their gums hurt like nobody’s business. If it didn’t cause so much destruction and havoc (not to mention some hurt human fingers), it would definitely be easier to just let them nip and chew and bite. However, that is not the reality, and we often find ourselves exclaiming “no!” too often, which doesn’t solve the problem. If a simple “no!” won’t work, how can we stop our puppies from biting everything in sight, especially when they play? To help, here are six tips to help teach your puppy and help manage his behavior.

1. Don’t Let Your Pup Bite You – Even Play Biting

Some people like to roughhouse with their puppies. After all, it’s fun for both of you! However, it’s never okay for your dog to bite your skin. If they are allowed to do this at any time, they are going to have a very hard time distinguishing when it’s okay to do so and when it’s not. As a general rule, your puppy should never bite human skin. While you may not have particularly sensitive skin, your pup is bound to come into contact with someone who does, whether it’s an adult or a small child. Once you establish that humans are not for biting under any circumstances, you have tackled the first hurdle.

2. Spoil them with Toys

Your pup will adore getting a new toy to add to his ever-growing collection. It is incredibly important that he has a variety of toys that he enjoys playing with. After all, this is what he is going to be redirected to whenever he is chewing something he’s not supposed to. Buy him toys that are engaging and entertaining, or simple toys that you already know he loves. He needs to learn that toys are the only thing he should be biting—not your furniture, not your clothes, and, most definitely, not you! Teething toys are particularly satisfying and helpful for your dog and help to massage and soothe sore gums.

3. Replace “No”

You’ve probably caught on by now that a simple “no!” rarely—if ever—works when trying to train your pup not to bite. You ultimately want your pup to learn by positive reinforcement, and not by scolding him every few minutes. So, what can you say? A high-pitched squeal definitely works! Now, your dignity may or may not be comfortable with this, but I promise you, it will have an effect on him. Whether it’s a high-pitched squeal, or just an “Owwww!” in an audibly higher-pitched voice than your own, I promise you, your pup will take notice—and he won’t like it. After doing this, immediately redirect him to one of his toys. Pups aren’t fond of high-pitched noises, and they will start to make the connection that anything other than them biting their toys is going to elicit this kind of sound.

4. Socialization and Exercise

Socialization and ExerciseIt is important to give your pup plenty of socialization and exercise for many reasons—and biting is no exception. Your pup may be excessively nipping at you because this is how puppies play with each other. You can’t blame your pup for missing the sort of roughhousing he used to enjoy with his brothers and sisters. Making sure he’s regularly socialized with other dogs and puppies can help significantly in getting this at least a little more out of his system. Tiring your puppy out with exercise is also useful in keeping the biting at bay. I’ve noticed that my puppy will start biting everything in sight when he’s bored, and not just give the occasional nip, like usual. Puppies need to burn off energy as much if not more than adult dogs do, so make sure you take your pup for walks as much as possible! Even if your pup doesn’t love being on a leash now, he will grow to love it with practice and patience.

5. Teach Your Pup “Leave It”

“Leave it” is an incredibly useful trick for lots of reasons. Directing your pup away from what he should not be biting is one of the top reasons. This command can also help keep your dog away from a potentially life-threatening situation, such as when you’re on a walk and he’s about to put something harmful in his mouth that he found on the ground. They are many ways to teach leave it.  One method is to wait until you catch him chewing on something he shouldn’t be, assist him by gently taking it out of his mouth, firmly saying “leave it” a few times, and providing a small treat and some loving praise as reward. It is a command that both dogs and puppies pick up quite easily over time. Always give your pup a reward and some love, and redirect him to what he should be chewing: his favorite toy.

6. Puppy-Proof Your Home

While this may seem like an obvious one, many people do not puppy-proof their home, and then blame the pup for chewing up something that they weren’t supposed to chew. You need to remember that your puppy is really just a baby. He is not going to be perfect straight away, and he should not be expected to be. Obviously, you can’t avoid having anything at all on your floor, especially if you have children. However, you can at least cut down on what your puppy could be putting in his mouth, and set him up for success (or at least the possibility of success).

It is important to keep in mind that puppies are, well, puppies. They aren’t going to be perfect, no matter how many steps you take to eliminate their biting. They’re always going to nip once in a while, as this is their way of figuring out the world around them—they don’t have hands, after all! Cutting down on potential hazards and teaching them not to bite human fingers are absolutely necessary steps, and following these tips is a great place to start.

Bringing a new family addition into the home is extremely exciting! Becoming a new puppy parent comes with a ton of new joys, challenges and responsibilities. PupBox was created to help new puppy parents like yourself, by providing all of the toys, treats, accessories and training information you need, when you need it. CLICK HERE to learn more about PupBox.

And remember, puppyhood is fast and is gone before you know it. Make sure to savor the time when your pup is young, and take lots of pictures along the way!