Puppies’ mouths have like 28 super tiny razors that just love to find your fingers or toes. It’s what dog trainers call “play biting,” but it can be annoying and even hurt when your fluffy little friend is all teeth. Don’t worry, though; this is totally normal for puppies when they’re teething. It’s actually good for them, and you can teach them to stop with just a few simple tricks.
How Long Does Puppy Biting Last?
So, how long does puppy biting last? Well, it kind of depends… but usually around 3 to 6 months. Yeah, I know, that’s a good chunk of time!
But hey, just like people, every dog is unique. They all have their own background, where they live, what breed they are, and so on. I’ve got two Lab pups from the same parents (but different litters), and they’re as different as night and day, each with their own quirks and challenges.
So, don’t sweat it if your pup takes a bit longer than six months to get over the biting stage. Focus on the little wins, use the tips I’m about to share, and most importantly, keep your cool.
And just a quick heads-up: If something seems really off and you’re worried about it, reach out to a local dog trainer. Look for one who’s clued in on the latest science and starts with positivity first.
Alright, here we go! I’ve got some tips to help stop your puppy from biting. Remember, what works like a charm for one dog might do zilch for another. So, experiment and see what clicks with your little furry friend. Happy training!
Teach Your Puppy Not to Bite Too Hard
Learning to control biting is crucial. Imagine if your puppy gets hurt or scared – you don’t want them biting down hard on someone. Puppies naturally learn this by playing and biting each other, and if it’s too hard, the other puppy will yelp. You can mimic this by making a high-pitched “ow!” if they bite you too hard. Just be careful because some puppies get more excited, not less. If that happens, you might need to put them in their crate for a chill-out time. And remember to reward them when they get it right.
Teach Your Puppy that Biting Ends the Game
Biting during play needs to mean the game’s over, instantly. You might think yelling or hitting them would teach them a lesson, but it might just teach them that biting gets them attention. Instead, just calmly stop playing and ignore them for a bit. Kathy Santo suggests turning away and tucking your hands into your armpits. This shows them that biting leads to boredom, not fun.
Give Your Puppy Something Else to Chew
Chewing is natural for puppies, but you can guide what they chew on. Keep a chew toy around, and when they go for your hand or the furniture, switch it with the toy. This teaches them what they’re allowed to chew on and helps protect your stuff. If they keep biting your hands, you might need to end playtime or redirect them to another command like ‘sit’ and then reward them with the toy.
Stop Them from Jumping
Puppies love to jump, but you don’t want them doing it on people. Santo recommends holding a treat by your leg to guide them into walking beside you. It’s a gentle way to teach them manners and can also be used when teaching them how to walk on a leash.
Sometimes puppies just get too wound up, and you need to give them a time-out in their crate. But remember, this isn’t punishment; it’s a chance for them to calm down. Keep it chill, and when they’re relaxed, let them back out.
Quiet Time or Potty Break
Your puppy might be biting because they’re tired, need the bathroom, or are hungry or thirsty. Pay attention to their needs, and you might just solve the biting problem with a nap, snack, or potty break.
Burn Off Some Energy
Puppies are full of energy, and sometimes, that energy turns into biting. If they won’t stop, even after you’ve tried redirecting them, it might be time for a romp in the yard. Let them run off that extra energy, and they’ll likely be much calmer when they come back inside.
Reward the Good Stuff
Positive reinforcement isn’t just for tricks; it’s for good behavior too. If your pup is being calm and well-behaved, tell them they’re good, give them a pat or a treat. They’ll learn that calm behavior gets them nice things, and they’ll want to do it more.
Don’t Ever Hit Your Dog
Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, never hit or physically punish your dog. It doesn’t teach them anything and can harm your relationship. If your dog is biting out of aggression, not play, it might be time to consult a professional. A vet or dog trainer can help you understand what’s going on and how to handle it properly.
When Does i Turn in Agression?
Most of the time, a puppy biting is just them being a puppy. But sometimes, it can be a sign of fear or frustration, and that might mean trouble later on with aggression.
You know how toddlers have tantrums? Puppies can have ’em too! It might happen if you’re trying to do something your pup doesn’t like, like holding him still or touching a spot he doesn’t want touched. Tantrums can also pop up when playtime gets a bit too wild. (Hey, even human kids can throw a fit when they’re playing and things don’t go their way!) A puppy tantrum is different from regular playing, but it can be tricky to tell them apart. Usually, a playful pup will look relaxed, maybe a bit wrinkled around the muzzle but not tense. If it’s a tantrum, your puppy might look really stiff, show his teeth, or growl. And trust me, those bites will hurt way more than the usual nibbles.
If your puppy starts throwing a fit while you’re holding or handling him, don’t yelp like it hurts – that could just egg him on. Stay chill and emotionless. Don’t hurt him, but keep holding him firmly (without squeezing) until he calms down. Once he’s cool for a sec, let him go. But if this keeps happening, you should definitely call in a pro. Your puppy won’t just grow out of this, so it’s a good idea to get someone who knows what they’re doing to take a look as soon as possible.
Where to get help?
If you’re worried about your puppy’s biting and not sure if it’s normal or something more serious, it might be time to call in the pros. They can figure out what’s going on and help you deal with it the right way. If you think your puppy’s biting might be because they’re scared or angry, definitely talk to an expert like a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist (CAAB or ACAAB) or someone with a special vet behavior degree (Dip ACVB). If you can’t find someone like that near you, a Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT) could help too. But make sure to check if they’ve got experience with fear and aggression problems, since not all trainers have that background, even if they’re certified.
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