How to Stop a Puppy from Biting | Puppy Biting Training | Pet Palace

How to Stop a Puppy from Biting and Nipping

how to stop a puppy from biting

Anyone with a dog can understand the troubles of dealing with puppy biting and nipping. And while it may be funny or cute when they are young, it can certainly turn into big issues down the road if not taken care of.

Key Takeaways

  • Puppies nipping is normal early on, but it’s still vital to determine the reasons they are doing it, and whether it’s connected to playing, teething, tiredness, or exploration.
  • If you’re planning on getting a puppy, or you recently adopted one, it’s important to be prepared for this issue and follow the tips on how to stop a puppy from biting. Your actions matter and will impact your dog moving forward, shaping their future behavior.
  • We’ve supplied some frequently asked questions below where you can learn about the typical age puppy biting should stop, what breeds are known for the practice, and when to get help.
  • Pet Palace has also created training programs for all skill levels of obedience training. We believe happy dogs learn best, which is why we focus on positive reinforcement in all of our courses. Develop a bond with your dog through our Columbus dog training.

Reasons for Puppies Nipping

It’s very normal for puppies to use their teeth as they grow, but it’s something you obviously don’t want to continue into their adulthood. Some of the reasons for why your puppy is biting include:

  • Playtime – Some puppies may nip or bite because they want to play with you. This is a normal behavior and through seeing the responses of other puppies or your reactions, in time they can learn to bite softer or not at all.
  • Teething – Your puppy’s adult teeth start to grow around 12-16 weeks. During this time their gums may be a bit sore, which is why puppy biting may increase. You’re likely to see an increase in them chewing on objects.
  • Tiredness or boredom – A common sign that your puppy is tired is when they exhibit overly nippy behavior. Puppies need roughly 16-18 hours of sleep and, much like babies, can become fussy when overly tired. Also, just like babies, they may not have the self-awareness to recognize when they are tired and need a nap.
  • Exploration – Puppies tend to learn a lot from biting things, which can include objects, their pet parents, or other puppies. This is why the response to their actions matters, as depending on the feedback they receive they will either continue, change their pressure, or stop entirely.

Tips to Stop Puppy Biting

1. Give an Alternative Item

One way to stop a puppy from nipping is to give them a toy or bone when they try to bite on you. You’ll want to determine whatever your puppy finds the most enticing and use it as a distraction. It might change throughout the day, of course, so being stocked up on toys throughout the house will help. The key here is to offer it before they start targeting you or an object they may damage.

2. Teach Them to Be Gentle

Learning the force of their bites is important for all dogs, so teaching them to be gentler is key, which is referred to as bite inhibition. With bite inhibition training, dogs begin to understand not to bite down too hard if they put their mouth onto you or someone else.

Puppies nipping at each other is totally natural, but if a dog is bitten too hard, it’ll yelp out, giving the other dog a warning sign. You can reinforce this idea yourself by making a high-pitched “ow!” if they bite you. Be careful, though, as some dogs may get more riled up when doing this. If so, you may want to just turn around or walk away to give them time to calm down.

3. More Exercise

One of the key ways you can stop a puppy from biting is by exercising. Most times you see a puppy act out it is due to a lack of either mental or physical stimulation, so getting them moving is vital. The amount of exercise needed will be dependent on their breed and age. For example, a 4-month-old puppy can exercise for 20 minutes twice a day.

FAQs on How to Stop a Puppy from Nipping

At what age do puppies stop biting?

While this definitely varies by puppy, you can typically see puppy biting last about 3-6 months. However, every dog is different, and you may be dealing with different challenges, behaviors, and success rates.

Are specific breeds prone to biting more than others?

Some breeds tend to be stronger and that’s why puppy biting training is more necessary with them. A bite from a strong dog could do major damage to yourself or others, so it’s important to stay safe. These breeds include pit bulls, German shepherds, rottweilers and chows.

How should you respond to a puppy biting?

Never, ever hit your dog as a response to puppy nipping or biting. Additionally, never punish them and use a crate as a form of punishment. This will make them associate the crate as a negative place, and other forms of punishment can send the wrong message as well.

When should you be concerned with puppies nipping?

While puppy nipping can be normal at the beginning, you should definitely seek help from a professional if your puppy:

  • Snaps or growls at children
  • Is consistently breaking and biting skin
  • Stiffens and stares at the person prior to biting
  • Is growling, biting, or snapping when a person comes near a resource (food, toys, or anything else)
  • Barks, nips, or growls (not in play) at new people entering the home

There are trainers that you can get help from on these matters, and enrolling in a puppy training class can also be a good idea. Of course, if your dog is showing any sort of aggression toward other dogs, a trainer who can give you advice one-on-one may be the route to go.

Choose Pet Palace for Puppy Biting Training and More

Pet Palace is happy to offer puppy biting training and much more at our Columbus facility. We focus on positive reinforcement and ultimately bridging the communication gap between you and your dog. Our training services include:

  • Polite puppy program – This 10-day course is focused on puppies eight months and younger. The training program gives your pup the opportunity to develop basic obedience skills while helping them learn to socialize in a day care setting. Socialization is a big factor in helping stop puppies from biting, so this is a step in the right direction.
  • 10-day basic adult program – This program is available for dogs eight months and older. The sessions can be a bit long for adult dogs, so they will spend each day doing one-on-one training with a trainer to get the best results.
  • 20-day advanced adult program – This is a 4-week program, available to dogs over eight months. This results-driven course is designed to give participants the most consistent training possible and is customizable to their needs.

In addition to our training, we also offer other services that you can take advantage of at all of our locations, which include dog and cat boarding, doggy day care and grooming. Regardless of which service you come to us needing, Pet Palace will treat your pet like royalty.

Be Proactive in Puppy Biting and Contact Us Today

If you’re struggling with determining how to stop a puppy from nipping, contact our team today. Puppy biting training and help with other skills is beneficial for any dog, regardless of age. Our trainers are ready to assist you in establishing good habits early on!

Lora Shaw

About the author

Lora Shaw

Lora Shaw is currently the Vice President of Operations at Pet Palace.

Categories: Dogs, Tips for Your Pets