Much like human babies, puppies explore the world with their mouths. At 12-16 weeks their adult teeth will also start growing, causing them discomfort and the need to chew even more to relieve the pain.
Puppies are not bad on purpose. If you watch your puppy playing rough with her puppy siblings; biting, chasing and wrestling, you’ll see that after a yelp the playing usually settles down a little or might even stop for a bit!
When teaching your puppy to stop biting, it is important to understand how dogs naturally behave. Below are some useful things that will help you to get a puppy to stop biting.
- Teach your puppy what they can and cannot put in their mouth
- Show your puppy that biting you hurts
- Get your puppy used to moving things
- Keep it consistent
Teach your puppy what they can and cannot put in her mouth
Instead of telling your puppy off for biting various things, give them something they CAN bite. Have some toys and treats at hand to give to your puppy when they start biting. Just make sure they are safe for your puppy to chew on.
Show your puppy that them biting you hurts
Your puppy has to learn that they cannot play with people the same way they did with their siblings. You’ll have to teach them that human skin is very sensitive and cannot be bitten, even by accident.
If your puppy is sensitive, a high squeal that you make when their teeth touch your hand is usually enough. Right after squealing, get up and leave without saying anything or even looking at them. This way your puppy will learn that all the fun stops the minute their teeth touch your hand.
Get your puppy used to moving things
Dogs are naturally interested in things that are moving. That’s why things like people’s pants or shoes are so tempting for them to grab!
Get your puppy used to things moving past them and reward them when they do something nice (e.g. wait patiently or play with you) instead of reacting to the moving things.
Keep it consistent
Finally, like with any skills you teach your puppy, make sure you stick with the same rules from the beginning. If you let your puppy tug on your clothes or bite your hands on some occasions, it is much harder for them to understand later on, why they can’t do that as an adult dog. This is why it’s important to always stay consistent, and never let the puppy bite or chew anything you wouldn’t want them to bite as an adult dog.
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