Don’t ignore the excessive biting of your puppy. Here are possible reasons and eight solutions that will actually work!
Are you frustrated with your little fur baby biting your hands, legs, and other household things?
“How can I stop my puppy from biting?” is one of the most common queries asked by beginner pet parents as well as by experienced ones. You are not alone! as a dog expert I get asked about this ALL THE TIME!
You must have experienced that your puppy wants to bite anything that he comes across. New puppies usually chew and bite things, but sometimes they can hurt and destroy things inside the home.
So if you’re wondering how to restrict your puppy biting, you are at the right place. Here, we’ll tell you about the reasons for puppy biting and how you can prevent it.
A Few Possible Reasons Why Your Puppy Won’t Stop Biting You
There are many possible reasons why your puppy won’t stop biting you. But let’s start with a few common scenarios about excessive puppy biting.
Before you can figure out what to do about your puppy’s excessive biting, you need to understand what’s causing it in the first place.
Untrained Puppies Can Just Bite Instinctively
Always remember that training is essential for any puppy. The primary goal of training is to teach your puppy that people have sensitive skin and that biting them will hurt.
It can be challenging for pet parents to handle their puppy if a guest comes over or you take them out for a walk or shopping.
According to dog trainers, a puppy generally learns to bite while playing with other puppies. It’s a part of their play and natural behavior. So if puppies can learn to use their mouth softly, they won’t bite hard and hurt you when they play.
Puppies discover the world with their teeth. They’re attempting to learn how to engage with their environment. It’s just a natural reaction. They keep chewing and biting things.
They can seriously bite you hard in anger, pain, and when they are fearful. Here comes the training part, where you must train your puppy for each situation because training can lead to a position where you can control the excessive biting of your puppy.
Your Puppy Can Start Biting Quite a Lot While Teething
One more practical reason behind puppy biting is the teething process. The puppy’s mouth contains 28 small, razor-sharp teeth which can tear and cut things such as plastic and clothes.
Teething is an early process in puppies compared to human babies.
Finding blood spots is one of the signs of developing teeth. Adult teeth should have replaced baby teeth by the time your puppy is six months old.
During the development of their teeth, puppies go through teething stages, including painful gums as their teeth emerge.
To relieve the agony of teething, puppies may bite and chew on unexpected objects, such as baseboards and shoes.
So be aware that during teething, your puppy feels unpleasant and uncomfortable. Therefore, it will bite and chew whatever seems interesting.
It’s your responsibility to look after your dog and provide them with toys and chewable items. It would be best if you also took your puppy to a vet for regular teeth checkups.
Your Puppy May Bite You Out of Boredom or Playfulness
Physical stimulation is essential for puppies, especially in their early stages. Sometimes a puppy bite doesn’t mean to hurt you at all. It’s a sign by your little fur baby that it’s time to play. At the growing stage, puppies love to play the whole day.
It is pretty standard if you sit on your chair and your puppy suddenly starts pulling at your pants and biting your toes. They can’t speak like us. That’s why you need to understand their communication.
All their actions are to seek your attention and let you know that they need your time.
An adult dog can play alone, but a young puppy still depends on you for their play session. Puppies can be very destructive if you ignore them, and you have to face the consequences.
Puppies tend to learn fast. They can learn commands in a few days. You can teach your puppy some games that they can play independently.
But that does not mean you’re out of their playtime. You still need to be there while they play.
Your Puppy Might Start Biting Out of Anxiety
Puppies love to enjoy their own company and be with their favorite people.
However, loud noises and overcrowding near your pet will make them anxious. Puppies don’t feel safe at all under such situations. They might get fearful and threatened, leading to stress and anxiety.
Consequently, they will start biting, digging, and barking. So it would help if you never put your puppy in such fearful situations where they don’t feel comfortable or safe.
Furthermore, this is why it is crucial to socialize a puppy in public. You can achieve this by involving them in various activities with other pets and humans.
Regular interaction with people of all ages, including kids, will help them socialize. Remember, a non-socialized puppy can become aggressive and dangerous.
Eight Solutions That’ll Actually Stop Your Puppy Biting You
Now that you have understood the reason behind puppy biting, let’s talk about some workable solutions. Below we have listed eight solutions that you can apply to control your puppy’s biting.
1. Start Training Your Puppy from the Moment It Sets Foot in Your House
You should begin puppy training as soon as it steps into your home.
Proper training itself can reduce dog biting. Instead, your puppy will start obeying your commands.
The main aim is to teach your puppy to stop biting. You must also teach your puppy basic commands like sit, stop, lie, and stay. Puppies are fast learners, particularly in terms of socialization and handling.
You may think the breeder or the pet store where you bought the puppy has trained them well. But formal training starts at eight weeks.
While training and playing, when your puppy bites, start yelping if you are hurt and feeling deep pain. It will let them understand that they should stop biting hard.
If it doesn’t work, you can start yelping and then ignore your puppy for 15-20 seconds. It’s a great way to control the excessive biting of your puppy. Keep repeating it, and you’ll see your puppy will stop biting you.
Your puppy must understand that soft play can continue while painful play should end.
Keep playing until he starts biting again; if he does, repeat the steps. You can tighten and loosen up the rules accordingly.
2. Make Your House Puppy-Proof
The next step you can take is to make your house puppy-proof. Puppies at an early age don’t know what they can start chewing and biting on.
They can easily get ahold of sharp items, electronics, and other dangerous things. Such things can harm your little furry friend.
So if you don’t want them to hurt, you should ensure you keep all such things away from your puppy’s reach. Here are a few things you can do to ensure your house is puppy-proof.
- Allot a room for your puppy and make sure there is no trash or something the puppy can chew, bite, or destroy.
- If you let your puppy roam in other rooms, don’t leave any electrical cords or lamps exposed. Cover them with a cord protector or put them high enough so the puppy can’t reach them.
- Ensure that all medication, drugs, and human food are out of reach to make them safe in the home environment. These things can be poisonous to them.
- If you want your dog to go to the backyard and spend some time outside in the air and sunlight, you should ensure your backyard is free from harmful things.
- Remove dangerous plants that can harm your puppy. Also, ensure that your gym bag, clothes, and other metallic items are far from their reach.
- Because falling down the stairs might result in serious injury, ensure all stairwell doors are closed, and any additional stairways are blocked off with a pet gate.
3. Provide Your Puppy with Toys They Can Chew
We all know that puppies love to chew. So you should provide them with dog toys instead of allowing them to chew household things. While purchasing toys, you should ensure that they are safe and won’t cause any injury to your puppy.
Another thing you should consider is the size and durability. If you have a small puppy, get small, soft toys for them. Make sure that the toys are washable and long-lasting.
Teething toys help your pet relax. That’s why whenever you buy toys, read the manufacturer’s instructions and ensure that the veterinarian clinically approves the toys.
There are a variety of toys available in the market to choose from. Balls, plush toys, squeaky, and tug toys are some examples of puppy toys you can buy.
A good option is treat toys. These toys keep misbehaving dogs occupied by providing a sense of purpose and accomplishment.
Such toys can be stuffed with treats, kibble, peanut butter, and other foods that can keep your dog entertained for hours.
Whatever toy you choose for your puppy, keep an eye on them as they play and check the toys regularly to make sure they haven’t bitten off any pieces. And if you have time, stay with them when they play.
4. Take Disciplinary Measures
If you want a canine friend you can live with, you’ll need to put on your puppy parent mode and learn how to discipline your dog.
Disciplining your puppy can be challenging and takes time. But once you have enforced disciplinary measures, they will understand its value. And it will eventually reduce puppy biting.
Here are a few points you may consider while enforcing discipline in your puppy.
Be Consistent: If you find your puppy is being physically destructive and biting things or your body parts, redirect them with the command, “No.”
Try to be consistent and repeat this command as much as possible. You’ll see that your puppy will be trained enough to behave well even when you are not around.
Act Quickly: Don’t wait to punish your puppy if they do something wrong. Waiting will be ineffective as the puppy will forget what it did within a few minutes.
You can give them some verbal signs to understand that they are wrong. Never use physical punishment for your puppy. It’ll make them aggressive instead of socialized.
Don’t Be Too Harsh: Never choose physical punishment for your puppy. Try to go with positive reinforcement. If you are too harsh, your puppy will feel fear toward you and maybe misbehave and show aggressive behavior.
And when you need to scold them, never shout or scream. Instead, use a calm tone and be nice to them.
5. Create Avenues to Give Them Enough Exercise and Play
If your puppy still bites too much, you can try several games and exercises at home and surroundings. A puppy requires 1-2 hours of play and exercise every day. It varies depending upon your puppy’s breed, health, and physical condition.
For example, puppies like bulldogs are lazy, and one and a half hours of exercise or walking is enough for them. On the other hand, dogs like huskies and Dalmatians are so active that they may require hours of playtime.
Check whether you have any dog-friendly parks in your nearby residential area. If you have, take your puppy for a morning or evening walk.
And if not, you can provide them with exercise and training in your backyard. But dog trainers suggest that an open area is more suitable and convenient for puppies.
Puppies are way more active than adult dogs of the same breed. So you can play running, tug of war, and hide and seek games with your puppy to make them engaged and reduce biting.
Some other games that puppies love to play are hand guessing games and the shell game. And gently treat them with some treats when they win. You can treat them to their favorite food too.
6. Redirect Your Puppy’s Attention (aka Teach Them “Leave it”)
Just like you train your puppy with commands like come, sit and stay, you need to make them learn about “leave it.”
It is essential to practice this command to make them aware of biting, chewing sharp bones, or broken glass. We also see puppies run after birds and other animals. This command can be beneficial in such a situation.
Though there are many ways to make them learn this command, let us tell you the simplest way. You can place a reward on the floor and keep an eye on it with your toe.
Command your dog to “leave it” right away. If they go for it, use your toe to smash the treat. Similarly, you can reward your puppy with a treat from your open palm if they leave it.
Similarly, make them learn that this “leave it” thing also applies to other things. Keep repeating until your puppy gets used to it.
And afterward, whenever they try to bite you and chew things, a strong “leave it” command will work with your puppy.
Even if you have guests, they will behave gently and won’t even think of biting them.
7. Use Positive/Negative Reinforcement to Your Advantage
Usually, dog trainers suggest reinforcement in place of punishment. There are two types of support that we will tell you about in detail.
Positive Reinforcement: It includes praise, treats, and petting your puppy whenever they learn something new or any command.
Suppose you are training your puppy to sit down. And whenever they do it correctly, reward them with a treat.
Your praise will uplift them and build their confidence to learn more.
Most trainers praise the desirable behavior of their puppy by saying “good dog” in a high voice to show the dog that you are delighted.
Negative Reinforcement: Though most trainers don’t love to go with negative reinforcement, sometimes it is another way to train your puppy. Always remember, it doesn’t include any physical pain or punishment.
Imagine if your dog has sat down at a place and doesn’t want to get out of it, you can pull on their collar with a little force.
It is just a way to teach them that it’s time to get up and move forward. Similarly, you can remove treats to make them understand the importance of training.
8. Avoid Physical Punishment That Can Appear to Your Puppy as Play-Like
It would be best to avoid physical punishment because it can be risky for puppies. Generally, physical punishment is applicable when you don’t want your puppy to repeat a particular action or behavior.
Apart from that, your puppy will be fearful and may use his teeth to protect himself. For them, such punishment is a source of pain and stress. It will increase aggression and loss of trust in your dog toward you.
Here is when you need to implement positive and negative reinforcement in your puppy. Dogs respond to such actions. Always remember that your puppy doesn’t mean to disobey you on purpose. If they repeat the same behavior again and again, you can remove your attention or can go away for a few seconds.
No matter the situation, never scream at them in a loud voice or hit them. There is another reason for bad behavior. You may be training your dog when they are not comfortable. In such a case, they usually ignore or misbehave.
We hope you have got your answers to the question, “Why won’t my puppy stop biting me?”
You have seen that there are several reasons: maybe your puppy is untrained, biting because of teething, or boredom or anxiety.
We have also learned some solutions that work and reduce your puppy biting. It includes proper house training, making your house puppy-proof, buying them chewing and biting toys, making them learn disciplinary action, using positive reinforcement, etc.
1. Why does my puppy keep biting me aggressively?
There could be numerous reasons why your puppy keeps biting you aggressively.
The most common reason is they are curious or want to play. Another reason could be they are teething or may be fearful or anxious.
2. How can I stop my puppy from biting me?
You can apply several techniques to prevent your puppy from biting. The most important thing is training. You should train them for the command, “leave it.”
Besides chewing toys, implementing discipline and positive reinforcement will also help them understand and reduce aggressive biting.
3. Is my puppy biting me aggressively normal?
Puppy biting is a common occurrence and is considered normal behavior. However, you may find your puppy biting aggressively in some circumstances.
It may be boredom, anxiety, or maybe they are overexcited or overstimulated. So it is essential to understand the situation and the reason for aggressive puppy biting.
4. When will my puppy stop biting me?
Teething in puppies is a significant cause of biting. The period of teething starts at about two months old, and they get adult teeth by six months.
During this time, they tend to bite and chew things. Just like we communicate and explore the world with our eyes and hands, they do the same with their mouth.
So biting can start to decline at around six to eight months.
5. How should I discipline my puppy?
Discipline alone can reduce puppy biting. To achieve it, you can regularly train your puppy with commands and treat them when they follow them correctly.
If they show naughty behavior, you can go with negative reinforcement to make them understand the values of discipline.
Puppies are fast learners so they will learn in a few days. Just don’t punish your puppy while training.