How to stop your puppy from biting your hands

Niki
October 18, 2023

Hello, fellow dog enthusiasts! It’s us, the team from OneMind Dogs, here to share some tips on a common issue all puppy parents face: those tiny teeth nipping at your hands. You know, it’s all fun and games until it’s not! But don’t worry, we’ve got your back. In this article, we’ll help you stop your puppy’s hand-biting habit and ensure your fingers stay safe while enjoying playtime.

Before We Begin: Remember, puppies explore the world through their mouths, and biting is a natural part of their development. You’re not doing anything wrong and your puppy won’t be a landshark forever. Be patient, stay positive, and always prioritize their well-being.

We will share some tips on stopping puppy biting below, or you can choose to watch our free 30-minute webinar on puppy biting here: 5 steps to stop puppy biting and chewing.

Let’s get started!

Teach Bite Inhibition:

The first few weeks your puppy joins your family are crucial for teaching this all-important life skill! Puppies need to learn that their teeth can cause discomfort, and this starts with teaching bite inhibition. If your pup gets too nippy during play, gently yelp or say “ouch” to signal that it hurts. Don’t pull your hand away (this will just make them lunge after it for round 2), just hold it there and wait for them to stop biting. As soon as they back off on the bite pressure, use verbal praise “that’s better, good puppy”. They’ll start to understand the concept and learn to be gentler with their jaws.

Take a break to reduce puppy biting:

If your puppy gets carried away with biting despite your best efforts, don’t be afraid to take a break by leaving the room or placing them in a separate, puppy-proofed space. This teaches them that biting leads to the end of play, and they’ll soon associate it with an undesirable outcome. Puppy pens are perfect for this, as often puppies are just tired and that makes them snarky! 9 times out of 10, your puppy will actually go an have a nap if they were biting out of frustration.

Offer Chew Toys:

Provide plenty of safe, appropriate chew toys for your pup to sink their teeth into. Whenever your pup tries to nip at your hands, redirect their attention to a toy. This not only helps with teething but also channels their biting energy into something more productive. You can also use safe chews such as marrow sticks, yak chews, antlers, hooves and bully sticks for this purpose.

Socialization and playdates:

Puppies learn from their peers. Encourage playdates with other well-behaved dogs. This interaction can teach them valuable social skills and boundaries, which can result in less hand-biting in the long run. This is especially important in the first few months of your puppy’s life, when they are more receptive to feedback from other dogs.

Consistency in training to stop puppy biting:

Establish clear boundaries and rules for your puppy. Everyone in the family should follow the same guidelines to avoid confusion. Puppies thrive on consistency, so be sure to remain steady in your training efforts.

Reward Good Behavior:

When your puppy refrains from biting and uses their mouth appropriately, reward them with praise and treats. Positive reinforcement goes a long way in reinforcing good behavior.

Professional help for puppy biting:

If you’re facing persistent challenges, consider enlisting the assistance of a professional dog trainer or behaviorist. They can provide specialized guidance tailored to your pup’s unique needs. When you join OneMind Dogs online Puppy Training, you have 24/7 access to help via an online chat bubble! No more googling required and you know that all advice comes from professional, experienced dog trainers.

Patience and Love:

Above all, remember that puppies are learning and growing. It’s essential to be patient, kind, and show them love and affection. Hand-biting is a phase that many puppies outgrow with time and consistent training. Please don’t ever resort to punishment, punishing biting will result in fear, stress and more biting with less warning in future!

OneMind Dogs is all about creating harmonious and happy relationships between dogs and their humans. So, keep these tips in mind, and soon you’ll have a well-behaved, bite-free puppy who brings endless joy into your life.

Keep those hands safe, and enjoy every moment with your puppy – they grow up so fast! 🐶❤️

Until next time 🐾

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