How to get your puppy to stop biting

How to get your puppy to stop biting

If you're reading this, then chances are you've got a little shark on your hands. The good news is, that there are many things you can do to stop this behaviour. 

The first thing to understand is that puppies use their mouths for exploring the world around them. Everything is new to them and they want to know what it tastes like, smells like, and feels like. That's why puppies tend to mouth and chew on everything from your fingers to shoes to furniture.

Puppies also mouth and nip as a way of playing with other dogs and puppies. It's how they learn about dog-dog social interactions and communication. Puppies who don't have an outlet for this natural behaviour can become frustrated, which can lead to destructive chewing or even aggression. Chewing can also be helpful for pups while they are teething. 

So what can you do about unwanted nipping?

Here are a few tips:

1. Set up for success - First and foremost, set your pup up for success. That means, don’t leave them alone with nothing to do. Keep especially tempting items like shoes and pants (they love the smell of the pheromones) out of reach, especially during their teething period. 

2. Offer Alternatives - Offer your pup chew toys or chews to gnaw on instead of fingers, toes, or furniture. Puppies need to chew, so redirecting their biting behaviour rather than punishing it is best.

3. Enrichment - Enrichment activities offer their brains and senses a place to explore without getting in trouble or bored. Try smearing some peanut butter into the ridges of one of our slow feeders, place the bowl in a box and then let your pup open the box and explore everything inside. Think of it as a treasure hunt for your dog.

4.  Ignore them - If your pup does mouth or nip you, yelp loudly and then walk away from them. This will teach them that biting leads to the loss of playtime and attention, which isn't what they want. Have patience and consistency here. 

Puppy biting is normal behaviour but it's important to help your pup learn how to control their bite. With a little patience and training, your pup will outgrow this phase and be the well-behaved dog you always wanted.

Be sure to always consult a professional dog trainer if you’re struggling with training. ♥️ Good luck!