Does Your Puppy Bite You? When to Worry

Learning proper behaviors for life

Puppies tend to have an incredible amount of energy around the clock. They are young, learning new behaviors, and exploring life every day.

However, it is important that you teach your puppy appropriate behaviors while he is still young. It can be very challenging trying to go back and correct poor behavior and quite a long process. Now that you finally have the adorable little furry friend you must train him.

Puppies grow up more quickly than you might think. As your puppy gets bigger you will also realize how much stronger he becomes over overtime. A puppy typically can have all of their grown-up teeth by the time they are 7 months.

Once your puppy grows up and has a mouth full of 28 teeth, you do not want him biting hard. As a result of his growing size, you do not want him to obtain bad habits.

These bad habits could potentially hurt you, other humans, or other dogs in the future.

Understanding your puppy

Firstly, it is very important that you understand your puppy. You need to know the difference between your pups “play biting” versus his real biting that is hard and painful. Your puppy is young and sure to mouth you.

He will most likely nip you gently as he is discovering his mouth and figuring out how to use it. This behavior is completely normal as they are exploring around and figuring out how to be a puppy.

Typically puppies will bite harder when they feel emotions of fear or anger. The nipping or play biting may initially be cute.

However, over time as your puppy grows, you will not want him to form a hard bite. Therefore, you will need to take steps in order to teach him hard biting is not acceptable and must stop.

Set your puppy up for success by teaching him to bite inhibition

It is very important to teach your puppy about the power he holds with his bite. He should understand the strength and force his small body and mouth has. Bite inhibition means that your puppy learns the proper amount of force to put behind his bite.

Along with bite inhibition, he also learns how to control the pressure he applies when deciding to bite. When having playtime and your puppy goes to bite you, you will need to react quickly. You will want to pull away from your hand immediately and yell loudly.

This communicates to him that he has hurt you and that he cannot continue to be as rough when biting. He will also learn bite inhibition as he plays with other dogs. Canines love to get rough and play around.

However, some pups can get carried away and bite too hard. As a result, the other dogs will pull away, yelp in pain, and playtime is placed on hold.

By learning his strength he will be able to control the pressure he applies for different bites. Ideally, once bite inhibition is learned he will be able to enjoy playtime with other humans and dogs.

Do not reward biting

If you are finding your puppy having a difficult time not biting you may need to begin using negative reinforcement. By negatively reinforcing the bite you are communicating to your puppy that biting will not be tolerated. It may sound odd; however, it does work.

If your puppy is trying to play but ends up biting you than you may pull away. It can be beneficial to also yell and even nudge him away as more punishment. This all signals to him that he bit too hard and you will not allow playtime to continue.

During playtimes, find new ways to play to promote positive reinforcements and help your puppy control their biting.

Offer fun chew toys

You may find that your puppy is just a natural biter. Do not worry because there are toys you may offer him. If he is a natural bitter you will want to invest in different toys to offer him to chew.

Offering these chew toys means you are providing your puppy with an alternative chew item. You can train your puppy to only make mouth contact with these toys. He will quickly learn that he is only allowed to chew on the toys and not humans or other dogs.

Give your puppy a good old time out

There is nothing wrong with giving your puppy the good old time out when he will not stop biting. Actually, this method could be very helpful to get him to decrease the undesirable behavior of biting.

When you are playing with your puppy and he bites you need to react immediately. Begin by pulling away and making a loud vocalization. Next, you scold him and tell him ‘playtime is over’ or ‘no, we’re done because you blew it’.

You will need to make it clear that you are giving him a time out because of his actions. He will quickly understand that you will not accept the biting behavior.

Burn off that energy

If your puppy will not stop biting than you may want to try taking him outside. Puppies are full of extra energy and taking him outdoors provides him the ability to burn off some energy.

It may be that he just needs to get outside to exert a little physical and mental energy. If you are inside and your pup wants to go out he may bite you to take him outdoors.

Get him outside and play with him, take him on a walk, or chase him even. Do anything to get him to burn off that built up energy.

Invest in your puppy

Whether your puppy is play biting or actually biting you, it is not a behavior you want him to continue. The biting will only get harder and more constant as he grows.

Therefore, it is important to teach him bit inhibition, train him well, and redirect him.

By doing so you will be able to eliminate the bad biting behavior and reward good behaviors. He will be ready for puppy play dates, hanging out with humans, and all-around socializing in no time.

All you need is just a little time, some treats, and lots of love!

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