An A-Z Guide on How to Stop Your Puppy From Puppy Biting

While bringing home a new puppy is extremely exciting and an awesome experience, it comes with a few minor headaches for some people. There is no getting around that the dreaded puppy biting can be a rather nuisance behavior and can definitely get frustrating. Armed with nearly 30 tiny teeth, wreaking havoc throughout your house and chewing on anything and everything is inevitable. Any toy laying around the house will certainly pique their interest and have at it. Without some training and utilizing these tips and tricks, it can turn into more serious behavioral issues down the road.

So now the big question – how do we stop our puppy from biting? Is there some top secret trick to get a well-mannered pup? Is there something we can do to stop the biting immediately? Or maybe you help from a professional puppy trainer. Continue on for our comprehensive guide below!

Why does my puppy bite?

Many new puppy owners who have not raised a puppy before can easily feel overwhelmed by the intense puppy biting and constant mouthing. However, owners who have been through it before know it’s common and will pass with time. It’s an extremely natural behavior for puppies to display and typically goes away after a few months. There are quite a few reasons they do this, so let’s take a look.

  • During the teething process, puppies may have some discomfort in their mouth and gums
  • Your puppy could be craving attention and is “demand mouthing”
  • Your puppy may want to explore new places while using its mouth
  • Some breeds are naturally more mouthy and it’s more natural for them to bite or herd
  • Some dogs take longer to learn bite inhibition 

With proper training and guidance, the puppy biting will stop. There are many different strategies and methods to try to minimize the behavior, however. To start, you should teach your puppy how delicate skin can be so they don’t bite too hard when playing. After teaching your puppy to lessen the force of their bite, it’s time to begin lessening the frequency. 

Training bite inhibition.

The defines bite inhibition as your dog’s capability to control how much force he/she puts into his/her mouth when biting or nipping. Learning this type of inhibition usually happens at an early age, typically when they are still with their littermates. Typically when the puppies are playing and prancing around, they will be able to gauge how much force to use before they hurt their brother or sister. If the other puppy yelps, they know the nipping was too much and they need to settle down before playing resumes.

Fast forward to when the puppy leaves their littermates and they are home with you, the human. It’s the same exact concept when they were playing with their brothers and sisters. During playtime, you can let you puppy teeth and mouth you until the pressure becomes too much. You can let out a gentle yelp or scream to startle your puppy, and let out an “ouch” or “no” to help teach them it was too hard. After a few minutes of backing off and being calm, you can show affection and resume play time. Praising your puppy often when being gentle will also help teach the bite inhibition quicker.

Take control of the biting.

It can get rather annoying with the nuisance biting when you’re doing household chores or other activities around the house and your puppy continues to jump on your feet while biting you. In order to prevent this from happening, we need to do some training right away. To do this, there are a few tricks below you can utilize:

  • Offer toys and chews to distract your dog and redirect them to something better to chew on
  • Use commands like “Off” to discourage the biting, then offer rewards once your puppy obeys.
  • Allow your puppy to socialize with other puppies to continue to learn bite inhibition
  • Utilize the crate to give your puppy the opportunity to nap and relax and reset

Rewards and punishment in dog training.

Training a puppy can be somewhat similar to raising a child – you’ll need to utilize certain punishments to help teach. You need to find the right balance between using rewards and punishments to increase your effectiveness when trying to communicate. 

For the most part, punishments such as timeouts and vocal reprimands will get your dog’s attention. It will certainly help to discourage certain nuisance behavior such as the biting and nipping. However, positive reinforcement strategies like using treats and physical affection will help boost confidence and work on obedience. 

Figure out the best way to communicate with your puppy and run with it. Use that method to work on the puppy biting. It will certainly take time to instill the puppy biting inhibition and controlling how hard/frequently they bite, so just continue to have patience. Never result to screaming or hitting your puppy, however, as that won’t solve the problem and will only make matters worse.

If you’re not getting the results you’re looking for, try adjusting your strategy and mix it up. Not every 2 methods will work the same, so you’ll have to do a little trial and error. It will be a bit of work, but once you find a strategy that works, just be patient and run with it.

Enrolling in puppy class.

There is no better way to work on mastering obedience with your puppy than enrolling them in a basic puppy obedience class.

A puppy obedience class can be great for all levels of experience with dog owners. Professionals will be able to cater training to your needs and get you to where you want to me. It will also help to eliminate all of the guess work when trying to work with your puppy, as they can create a customized plan to you and your dog’s needs. For example, at Delaware K9 Academy, their puppy students master various topics, including:

  • Basic obedience
  • Socialization 
  • Environmental exposure

Their mission is to help all puppy owners enjoy their time raising their puppy. Book your puppy’s training today or check out the rest of their offered services. 

Don’t get frustrated – you can fix the puppy biting.

Keep in mind that puppy biting and mouthing are almost certainly bound to happen and part of raising a puppy. They will outgrow those behaviors eventually, and you hold the power to expedite that process. The earlier you start disciplining your pup, the better. Remember, have patience and have fun!