Mouthing, Nipping and Biting in Puppies
Updated: Feb 9
There are various ways, some better than others, to teach this lesson. The ultimate goal is to train your puppy to stop mouthing and biting people altogether. However, the first and most important objective is to teach him that people have very sensitive skin, so he must be very gentle when using his mouth.
Give your puppy an alternative item to chew
It’s a good idea to keep a at hand at all times, so you can anticipate biting behavior and substitute the toy for your hand or furniture. Doing so will let pups know what is OK to bite or chew. If they start nibbling at your fingers or toes while you’re playing, offer a toy instead.
What to Do if Your Puppy’s Teething
Puppy teething toys can be offered when your puppy is old enough to teethe. These teething toys ease sore gums and are typically made with softer safe materials so they won’t hurt the baby teeth or incoming adult teeth.
Redirect Your Puppy’s Attention With Training Cues
If you have started teaching your puppy some basic training cues, you can also redirect your puppy to perform alternate behaviors.
Every time your puppy bites, make a noise to distract them.
When you have a break in the biting behavior, immediately redirect them to perform nonbiting behaviors, such as sit, stay, come, etc.
Offer your puppy plenty of praise and tasty treats to reinforce those behaviors.
Anxiety takes many forms, but a fearful or anxious puppy may present some aggressive behaviours. Anxiety, related to being left alone, can trigger some nippy reactions. Both as your leaving and when you return, your puppy might bite. It's their way of telling you that they don't like being left alone.
Keep in mind that your dog is not a bad dog. Be willing to be patient and put in the effort to work with them to improve the situation. You’re well on your way to a calm and collected puppy.