So, you’re finally fed up with your puppy nipping and biting at your feet as you walk around. Aren’t we all?
If your pup is anything like mine was, I could not stand it anymore. I recently got myself an American Staffordshire Terrier and at the time he was about the same height as my ankles.
My ankles quickly grew to dislike him. He grew a bit since then. When he was a little tiny pup, I could not hold him without him trying to attack my fingers, if I rested him down, he went for my feet and needless to say he punctured every shoe that I wore around him.
I just really wanted to know what age do puppies stop biting? In hopes that the behavior wouldn’t last forever.
I wanted to stop him from biting, but I did not know exactly what the best way was in going about this. So, when in doubt then Google is en route (or something like that).
I searched for as many articles that I could find regarding puppy biting and how to stop a puppy from biting and watched countless hours of YouTube videos to try to understand why he was biting me and ultimately how to get him to stop.
All of my findings were extremely helpful but one program that helped me out the most with getting my puppy to stop biting will be included at the end. In order to save anybody some time from scouring the internet as I did, here is my version of “How to get your puppy to stop biting”.
The Reason Your Puppy Bites
- Your Puppy is Teething – This is when some of your pup’s teeth are coming in and they are growing at a rate that can sometimes be a bit uncomfortable for them. The pain can be a bit overwhelming, which causes your puppy to bite onto your fingers or toes in an attempt to soothe the pain they are feeling.
At this stage they will bite anything they are able to fit their mouths around. Unfortunately, it is recommended that at the teething stage you should allow your puppy to bite. This will allow them to be most comfortable during a very uncomfortable time in their lives.
Chew toys can be a good alternative for your puppy to get them to stop biting. Using chew toys not only soothes the dog’s teeth and gums but they also allow for your puppy to get in a bit of exercise by building those strong jaw muscles in the main time.
- Your Puppy is observing – Most animals, including dogs use their mouths and teeth in order to communicate with each other or to interact with objects around them. Your puppy could be biting simply due to the fact that he/she simply wants to figure out what something is.
Dogs are very curious and instinctual creatures. Their instincts tell them that sometimes biting onto something is the only way to interact with it. Though this can be annoying for humans at times it is something that can be fixed and controlled.
- You have an excited pup – Your puppy may just be filled with excitement and have an active and fun personality. This can also cause puppies to bite. Dogs play by softly biting each other’s face. They do not realize that sometimes it can cause a great deal of pain to people. If you think this may be your dog’s problem consider using Hemp Dog Chew and Calming Treats (link to Amazon) to get your puppy to be more relaxed, calm and bite free.
If you live in a household that contains kids and small children then getting your puppy to stop biting as soon as possible should be your number one priority. Although it may only be a tiny puppy, a dog’s teeth can severely injure a child by puncturing their skin and subsequently drawing a bit of blood.
If your puppy is a biter then it is best to avoid your puppy and kids encountering each other at least until the problem is solved and the threat is eliminated. If your puppy actually does bite a child in your household it is best practice to seek medical help as soon as possible to avoid the risk of any infections or underlying unknown diseases your dog may have been carrying.
Discourage The Behavior – If you believe that your puppy is not teething yet they still chew, nip, or bite at your fingers, toes, or personal items then discouraging this behavior is necessary. You must make it a habit of yours to stop your puppy from biting every opportunity you have.
Just sitting and watching them bite at objects in your house will cause your puppy to think that this action is okay and that there is absolutely nothing wrong with tearing apart a brand new couch.
Ways to Discourage puppy biting
- Use Stop Words – “No bite”. These are the words that I would sternly say to my puppy whenever he bit something he was not supposed to be biting. Whenever I said the words it would distract him from biting the object and he would immediately stop.
Though this method got him to immediately stop, a puppy’s attention span is unbelievably short so I would have to say the words “no bite” sometimes over a hundred times a day. You are more than welcome to use “no bite” or any other term that you like.
- Separation – A top 5 favorite of my puppy’s chew toys were a pair of sneakers that I can no longer wear in public. Separating your puppy from the object is another method that I used to get my puppy to stop biting. This will get your puppy to realize that there are simply certain things that are off limit and is just not supposed to be chewed on.
Eventually, your pup will realize things like shoes, drooping curtains, chair legs or any other thing you don’t want them to chew on is a big no-no. If you find yourself engaging in a tug of war situation with your puppy they will think that you are playing with them and that what they are doing is the right thing to do.
Simply drop the item, wait for a moment until your puppy releases the object then separate the object from the dog.
- Utilizing a Crate – Place your puppy in a crate or kennel and close it whenever they perform an action that is unwanted of you or that you want to discourage them from continuing. Using intervals of 3-5 minutes at a time is recommended.
A crate should be your dog’s time out spot and should not necessarily be used as a place for them to sleep or relax. The crate technique will get your puppy to believe that “I have done something wrong and that is the reason I am in here”.
This is a form of punishment or discipline for your puppy and will take a bit of time before your puppy realizes that them being in the crate is somewhere they do not ever want to be in.
Using a mix of these three methods should work like a charm to discourage puppy biting whether it pertains to your fingers and toes or personal items that you want them to remain intact. Performing these methods will take some time and it is important for you to remain patient during this time.
Your puppy will be new to the idea of biting certain things can be bad and it is up to you as a dog owner to work with them and take time each day to train them to act the way you want them to and for them to learn exactly what is expected of them.
Ways You Should Not Discourage puppy biting
- Physical Harm – Under no circumstances will physically harming your dog ever get them to stop biting. Trying to hit or physically injure your dog will only cause your dog to become afraid of you and bite you even harder. Biting is a dog’s only defense mechanism.
If a dog ever feels that his/ or her life is in danger then they will bark, growl, show their teeth and become very aggressive. Therefore, physically harming your dog will not get your dog to stop biting it will only encourage them to become even more aggressive biters.
P.S. it is not cool to hit, beat, or physically harm animals in any way. If you know anybody that is engaging in these atrocious acts please read this article https://www.aspca.org/take-action/report-animal-cruelty from the ASPCA to discover how to report the wrongdoer.
- Neglect – Neglecting your puppy whenever you see them doing an action you do not like is the same as training them to continue doing that unwanted action. It is imperative that you make attempts to convey the message that biting is bad and that it will not be tolerated.
Chew Toys – Tough rubberized bounce toys are preferred when selecting the appropriate chew toy for your puppy. Providing your dog with lots of chew toys will encourage them to chew on those toys and to leave your stuff alone.
Types of Chew Toys to avoid –
- Tug of war chew toys
- Toys using hard plastic (the plastic can break and severely injure your dog)
- A pair of old clothing (seriously)
- Any toy that has modifications that does not correctly match your dogs’ age, weight, height, or breed.
Program Recommendation – Before getting my puppy I was a complete dog newbie. I knew absolutely nothing about dogs. I didn’t even know what they eat. I thought that they could eat anything I ate. Boy was I wrong.
Interested to learn more about tips and tricks of taking care of your new puppy? Click Here.