How to train your dog not to bite

How To Stop Your Puppy From Biting | Pawfect Pet Facts

October 17, 2022

Is your dog’s bite worse than their bark?

It’s no fun when your dog thinks of you as a chew toy they can bite, nip or gnaw at — especially during playtime. It’s even more embarrassing when your pet does it to someone else! These may not even be aggressive bites and your dog may only be play biting, but the situation could go downhill fast. 

While it’s common in puppies, who are teething, to bite on things they find, well… biteable, it becomes a problem when this behavior carries over into adulthood. And we absolutely don’t want that!

To know how to stop your pooch from using their teeth on your skin so much, it is important to understand why your little ankle-biter is showing such behavior. 


Why is my puppy biting me?

To begin with, puppies’ mouths are fitted with 28 teeth (also called baby teeth or milk teeth) that these cuties use to explore their world. When they are teething, they’ll bite, chew, gnaw and chomp on anything and everything they can find. Including you! 

Puppy mouthing is normal. It may show up as biting during play with either you or other pets in the house. 

Is it painful? Not really. Will it get worse? Probably.

When do puppies stop biting, you may ask?

The thing is – they may not unless you don’t teach them how. Your pup’s baby teeth will be replaced by adult teeth at about 6 months. When those big sharp snappers grow in, it won’t be as fun when your dog bites you – even if playfully. It’s therefore important to curb your puppy’s biting behaviors as soon as you can. 


Why it’s important to curb puppy biting

If your puppy thinks it’s okay to bite people, even if playfully, there’s a high chance their biting tendencies may continue well into adulthood. And have you ever seen or heard of pleasant experiences surrounding dog biting?  

News headlines tell us about dogs snapping at strangers, resulting in unfortunate and often avoidable incidents. With timely training, dogs can be taught to interact gently with people (especially new people) for better human-animal harmony. 

With puppy biting, there is also the risk of increased aggression, especially as the animal grows older. A dog, whose biting behaviors were never kept in check as a puppy, may turn hostile if one tries to suddenly begin restraining them. We’ve all heard – old habits die hard! 


Nip it in the Bud: How to stop a puppy from biting

Reversing puppy biting may seem like a daunting task. But the wonderful thing with dogs is that with regular training, you can have your furball be on their best behavior! 

We love our pets even at their naughtiest — no matter how many table legs or clothes they may chew away at. But knowing how to teach a dog not to bite when playing becomes a rather critical skill, where socialization is concerned or when it comes to encouraging mutual happiness during playtime. 

Here are some certified ways how to train your puppy not to bite


  1. Bite Inhibition

Bite inhibition

This refers to the force of a dog’s bite and is something puppies are intrinsically able to do. You may have seen loads of nipping but no pain when pups play together. If your puppy bites too hard though, some training would be necessary – especially when it comes to interacting with humans.   

Teach bite inhibition by expressing pain through sound (a pained ‘ow’ will do the trick) when your puppy bites down on you. If done enough times, your puppy will take it as a cue to be gentle when play-biting.  


  1. Change Focus

change focus of pets

Puppies have teeth of steel — pawrents will know just what we mean! As small as they look, little pups have the ability to latch something between their teeth and just not let go easily. Those chompers of theirs have some serious power! 

Distracting a puppy that is obsessively chewing, biting, or nipping is often a go-to for parents – and it works rather well as a temporary cure! Bring out toys or treats your puppy loves, so their focus changes from biting to something better.   


  1. Chew Toys

chew toys

Your body is not a toy — and your dear puppy needs to be taught that! One of the best ways to prevent untoward incidents involving dog teeth on human skin is to invest in some durable chew toys that your pup can bite down on. 

Puppies love chewing on anything they can find. But we need to make sure they’re chewing on the right things. It’s best if all that pent-up energy between your dog’s teeth is released through toys built for that very purpose. What’s more, chew toys also help greatly in looking after your pet’s dental and periodontal health.  


  1. Positive Reinforcement

positive reinforcement with pets

To correct aggressive behavior in dogs, people often take the route of trying to reverse the situation after it has already happened. But rewarding good behaviors can be an equally effective way of teaching your pooch how to be a good boy/girl. 

Pop your furbaby a treat when they deserve it — when they greet people gently or are sitting calmly. This should tell your pet that these are behaviors you desire and will get them some well-earned rewards! 


  1. Time-out

Time-out for pets. Say no!

When the teeth come down hard, tell your pup the game’s over! Either walk away from the room or put your puppy back in their crate, temporarily distancing yourself from them. Ignoring an overexcited or riled-up puppy often helps in containing their energy levels and calming them down. 

Don’t think of this as punishment – because it is anything but! It’s a gentle way of reinforcing better behaviors in your pet. So make sure that your pet doesn’t begin associating their crate with prison!   


What not to do to curb puppy biting behaviors

Now that we know how to train a dog not to bite, let’s also look at what not to do when reinforcing calm behaviors in your doggo. 

Firstly, remember not to shout or scream at your furbaby. Dogs understand anger, of course, and may end up reacting negatively to it. Your screams may provoke them further and they may end up becoming aggressive or sad. That’s the opposite of what we want! More reasons why never shout at your dog.

It’s understood then that hitting your dog or using physical force to stop them from biting is not going to work either. Aggression on both sides is not a solution for sure! 

If the biting gets intense during playtime, avoid making sudden jerky movements that may excite your pet even more. The best thing to do when your pup is using their teeth too much or is getting worked up is to calm down — at least one party has to! Freeze and gently free yourself from their chompers. 

Give your floof something worthwhile to chomp down on — and by that we mean pawfectly made meals or treats! 


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It really doesn’t get any better than this — and your pup’s happiness will tell you as much! Give your floof a healthier life, order pawfectly made now!

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