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How to stop a puppy from biting – 7 suggestions to try

dog-biting-a-finger advice
© Unsplash

When your new puppy arrives at your home, he will have a few habits that you need to resolve. One of the first you need to tackle is how to stop your puppy from biting everything and everyone.

By Dawn Parrish

Why does your puppy bite?

When a puppy is first born, its mother controls him when feeding. However, when a pup reaches between 6 to 8 weeks they are very often removed from the bitch. Their socialisation skills begin with their siblings when they find their place in the litter by nipping. Because a young pup has a fluffy coat, this nipping action through play-fighting doesn’t really hurt the other pups. Likewise, this will help to quieten him down and learn his place in the litter. When he comes into your home, your pup is uncertain about his role in the family. He will often sink his needle-sharp barbs into your hand, even when playing.

dogs fighting Puppy socialisation begins in the litter with their siblings©collins.lesulie, unsplash
 

Puppies explore their surroundings, just like human babies do, with their mouths. The only difference is that babies feel things with their gums – puppies have teeth like sharp needles! Here are our 7 suggestions that may help you to resolve your puppy biting issues.  Hopefully, these hints will help to keep you away from the bite of the tiny, demon monster.

No 1. Keep your hands out of the way

It’s all too easy when your cute pup is rolling on the floor, to approach him to give him a tummy rub. As a result of this sudden approach, your puppy will strike with those sharp pins. It’s probably best to use a cuddly toy for puppy playtimes. It won’t matter if he sinks his teeth into this instead.

No 2. Call a halt to his game

When you feel the pup’s mouth on your skin, even before he sinks his fangs into your skin, stop your game. Move away from the pup very quickly. Your puppy will understand very soon that when he uses his mouth, his playtime stops and you, his playmate, departs. This should stop your puppy from biting you.

No 3. Prevent your puppy from biting and following you

Does your pup persist in following your every step, but bites at your feet when you walk? Try this confinement action. Using his collar and leash, tie down the pup so he is unable to follow you. Move out of his sight and wait until he is calmer. At this point, don’t leave the room when your dog is constrained, for the pup’s safety. Once the pup is quiet, return back to him and begin the playtime again.

No 4. Remain quiet

Some dog trainers suggest that you make a “cry” noise like another one of the litter when your pup bites. This is supposed to deter your puppy as it would when playing with a sibling pup. However, as hunting dog breeds listen out for this “prey” cry noise, your shouting too might just encourage him to bite even more.

No 5. Let him bite on a toy instead

puppy bites toy Let your puppy bight on a toy instead of your hand ©justin.veenema, unsplash
 

To prevent your puppy from biting everything in his sight, provide a toy that he can chew. Likewise, when he places his sharp teeth onto your skin, replace your hand with this toy. Your pup will soon understand exactly what he is allowed to chew and bite.

No 6. Don’t engage in rough playtime

You aren’t one of the pup’s siblings, so don’t act like one. If you don’t want to get bitten, keep your playtimes tranquil and calm. Don’t make any rough actions. You don’t want to confuse your puppy who is still studying the rules.

No 7. Put your pup in time-out

When your puppy is over-excited and just won’t calm down, chances are that he is biting at everything too. First of all, try the walk away/stop playtime routines. If he is still wound up, give him a break. Place your dog in the puppy pen or in his crate to stop him from biting. Offer him a chewy stick or another treat. You aren’t punishing your pup. He could just need a nap and time to calm down.

pup biting Stop your puppy biting everything ©sarah.sharp, unsplash
 

Safeguards you should take when trying to stop your puppy from biting

# Don’t wave your hands around in front of your pup’s face, Likewise, try not to swipe the sides of his cheeks enticing him to join in playtimes. Your pup is even more likely to try to bite your feet and hands.

# Playtime with a young puppy encourages a bond between him and his new family. Above all, you want him to learn how to play in a gentle manner, not to stop playing altogether.

# If your puppy is gently “mouthing” your hand, don’t jerk and pull away from him. He will probably attempt to grab at your hand as he jumps towards you. Another option is to let your hands hang loosely so he loses interest in them.

# Likewise, never use any hitting or slapping, physical punishments towards your puppy. As a result, he will only be afraid of you and become aggressive. Finally, never use any chastisement that will hurt your pup. Certainly, don’t hit him on his nose, or shake him by the scruff of his neck.

Summary

Teaching your puppy to stop biting isn’t an enjoyable process. It not only takes a lot of consistency and tolerance, you also need to remain quite patient too. Some canine breeds take longer to educate to break free from this nasty habit, but don’t give up!