Puppies are cute and playful, and often explore the world with their mouths. But those adorable little mouths are filled with about 28 teeny-tiny razor sharp teeth, and when they close on your hands or fingers, it can be both annoying and painful. Biting is a normal part of puppy development, but there are ways to control and manage it, and ultimately train them to stop doing it.
Why Puppies Bite
Puppies bite new things as a way to explore the world — to learn how hard they can bite something, what it tastes like and whether they should bite it again. They also bite around 12-16 weeks of age, when their adult teeth start to come in. Their gums may be sore, and biting brings them relief.
Puppies also bite during play. If you observe puppies who play together, you will notice that they bite each other all over. With proper training, puppies can learn to stop biting. Here are some techniques to use.
Puppy Bite Inhibition
This is training the puppy on the force of their bite. If they bite too hard on your hand, make a loud yelping sound or “Ow!” to signal that it hurt, and immediately stop interacting with them for a brief period of time. Repeat this every time your puppy bites you, and they will eventually learn that if they want you to play, they have to ease up.
Substitute A Toy
If a puppy is biting you or chewing on your belongings, provide them with something they are allowed to chew on such as a toy or bone. You could also encourage non-contact forms of play like tug-of-war or fetch.
Playing with other friendly, vaccinated dogs is good for your puppy’s development and social interaction. It’s a great way for them to burn off energy and learn their biting limits. Dog parks, doggie day cares or even playful dogs in your neighborhood can provide your pup with the socialization you are looking for.
Praise Good Behavior
When your puppy is calm, quiet and behaving nicely, reinforce that good behavior with lots of attention, pats or a small treat.
Use Some Energy
Puppies sometimes bite while playing because they have energy to burn. Try taking them for a walk or let them spend time socializing with friends where they can run around safely.
Encourage Quiet Time
Puppies can also bite when they are overtired. Sometimes a quiet room or a comfortable crate is all that is needed to help your puppy relax and recharge.
Dog Day, Every Day! is a West Chester, Ohio-based doggy day care, and we know puppies! We love to help them learn, grow and play in a safe environment with their other dog friends. If you are interested in socializing your pet and would like to learn more about our day care services, contact us at 513-860-3647! We care about each and every one of our canine friends, and enjoy watching them mature and thrive! For more pet care tips and our latest updates, check us out on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest!