I try to write my posts as unbiased as possible and recommend the products I consider to be useful and the best. I use affiliate links, this means that–at no extra cost to you–I can make a commission on a purchase you make after clicking on them. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Stop Puppy Biting!

Stop puppy biting and teach your new furry friend to play with its mouth gently. No more scratches in your arms or your kids arms! This is actually one of the most important skills to teach your pet, to moderate how they use their mouth around skin.

Puppies are born with sharp teeth and like to play and use them a lot, this is because they are learning to use their mouth, they are figuring out how much pressure they can do before inflicting pain.

Puppies don't like to inflict pain, even though your arms may tell a different story. The problem is that you may not have been communicating with your dog correctly, to stop puppy biting you must speak a little puppy yourself.

The following exercise will help your puppy keep playing with it's mouth, but gently. It may also prevent serious dog bites in the future, if for some reason your dog feels the need to defend himself.

You can't stop puppy biting but you can soften it

  • Puppy mouthing is a normal behavior. This is how young dogs explore and learn about the world. It is also how they naturally play and interact with people and objects.

  • Most dogs will grow out of mouthing and biting, but puppyhood is a critical period to teach them how to properly use their jaws. Stop puppy biting must happen now! Dogs can actually learn to apply different amounts of pressure depending on the circumstance. When playing with humans they need to learn that the pressure should be minimal.
  • As everything I have told you on this website, practice is key! You might get bored repeating the following exercises, but believe me, it will pay off!
  • Everyone in the family should be involved in training your new puppy, so make sure everyone understands the rule. The more consistent you all are, the better your pet will understand.

Teach your puppy to play with toys instead of furniture or skin

Dog Toys by Dog Training Excellence

1. Get lots of puppy toys! different textures, squeaky, non squeaky, some to pull apart and others to freeze and help sooth those growing teeth.

2. Take your puppy to socialization classes. Playtime with other puppies and dogs will also teach your furry friend to properly use its mouth.

3. Have a clicker and treats near by! Perfect timing is a must when training a dog. If you don't want to use a clicker, teach your dog the meaning of good dog!

Stop puppy biting exercise

When you take your pet to a play group you will notice that puppies will yelp when they have been hurt. This is a signal to the other dog and he will learn to play more gently next time.

Your goal is to act the same way. Yes, YELP like a puppy!

While playing with your canine friend, if you feel teeth in your skin (even if it doesn't hurt) YELP loud and act offended (look away). If your dog backs away, then he understood. If he doesn't you need to find a different sound, something that startles him (Ouch! or AYA! with a high pitch voice).

Your goal is to do 2-3 training sessions a day. On each training session you will play with you pet, as soon as you feel teeth yelp and get away from your puppy. Wait until he is calm again (a few seconds to minutes depending on your dog) and go back to play. Keep playing until you have made 5-10 yelps! With many training days, the number of yelps you have to do will become less and less.

It is important to praise your dog for good play behavior and for settling down. Use the clicker when you want to tell your dog that you had a great play session, click and treat!

Aditional excercise: Repeat the above but when hand-feeding your pup. This will also teach him to eat while people is around touching his food. It will prevent resource guarding, when dogs get aggressive if someone approaches their resources, in this case, food.

To stop puppy biting, avoid enticing him to play with any part of your body. If this happens, re-direct your pet to appropriate toys instead.

If your furry friends starts trying to play-bite at you every time you reach out to pet him, retract your hand and only interact with him when he is calm. Try petting him in a soothing way, long strokes along his back instead of rough petting that can arouse him.

Always click and treat for playing nicely!

When your puppy dog learns...

You will notice two things:

  1. Play-biting will be less hard, with many days of training it should not leave ANY marks on your skin.
  2. The time between you yelping and your pet settling down shortens.

Troubleshooting stop puppy biting

  • My puppy keeps wanting to bite me even after I yelp, he even chases after me!

Solution: Your dog is in "play-mode" so anything you do will entice him to continue playing. You can try standing still like a tree and look away. This might discourage him because there is nothing to chase or bite.If he continues biting your pants or shirt you need to give him a time out.

A time-out means putting your puppy in a small and confined area for a few minutes (30 seconds to 2 minutes max.). Then let the puppy out and start over. You can repeat time-outs until your dog learns to stop playing after you Yelp.

Be aware though, using punishment is not the way to teach your pet appropriate behavior. You must tell your dog when he is doing something correctly. So, as soon as your puppy learns to calm down click and treat!

> >

New! Comments

Questions? Anecdotes? Tips? Leave me a comment in the box below.
Enjoy this page? Please pay it forward. Here's how...

Would you prefer to share this page with others by linking to it?

  1. Click on the HTML link code below.
  2. Copy and paste it, adding a note of your own, into your blog, a Web page, forums, a blog comment, your Facebook account, or anywhere that someone would find this page valuable.

CCPDT KA logo new orange
CGC logo
PPG logo