How to Stop Puppy From Biting

Welcoming a new puppy into your home is an exciting experience, but it comes with the inevitable challenge of dealing with their biting tendencies. Puppies, in their early stages, explore the world through their mouths, a completely normal behaviour.

How To Stop Puppy From Biting
How To Stop Puppy From Biting

However, understanding why this happens and how to manage it is important for a harmonious relationship. Let’s dive in and show you how to manage your puppy biting.

Why do Puppies Bite?

Puppies naturally use their teeth during play and exploration, which is a crucial part of their learning process and socialization. This behaviour is especially evident when they are teething. Here are a few reasons why puppies bite:

  1. Exploring the World

Puppies gain valuable information by biting objects, including other puppies, their pet parents, and inanimate items. The feedback they receive, such as taste and texture, helps them adjust their bite pressure and behaviour accordingly.

  1. Teething

Between 12 and 16 weeks, puppies start growing adult teeth, leading to some discomfort in their gums. This period often results in increased chewing, including on you and your clothes.

  1. Play Behaviour

Puppies may bite during play to engage and learn bite inhibition, a crucial skill. Through interactions with other puppies, they understand the consequences of biting too hard – playmates may cry out or refuse to continue playing. This helps puppies adjust their bite pressure for gentler play.

It’s normal for your puppy to try engaging in play by biting you, as it mimics typical dog behaviour. In response, it’s essential to provide clear and gentle guidance to help your puppy learn appropriate bite inhibition during these playful interactions.

How to Get a Puppy to Stop Biting 

To address your puppy’s biting and nipping, it’s crucial to understand the underlying reasons. Here’s how to stop your puppy from biting for common reasons:

If Your Puppy’s Chewing Your Belongings

  • Ensure your puppy gets enough exercise, playtime, and mental stimulation.
  • Allow uninterrupted sleep time for your puppy.
  • Provide a variety of puppy toys and remove household items within their reach that shouldn’t be chewed.
  • Calmly redirect them to a toy if you catch them chewing on inappropriate objects, and praise them when they engage with the toy.

If Your Puppy’s Teething

  • Use puppy teething toys designed for sore gums, like the N-Bone Puppy Teething Ring or Nylabone Puppy Chew Freezer Dog Toy.
  • Always supervise play to prevent the puppy from chewing off small pieces.

If Your Puppy’s Biting You to Play

  • If your puppy bites during play, immediately get up and remove yourself from their area.
  • Stay away for about 30 seconds, then return with a toy to resume play.
  • Repeat this process if needed and be mindful that tired puppies may bite more, so encourage naps.

General Tips

  • Never encourage nipping by enticing the puppy to chase your hands or toes.
  • Recognize that as your puppy grows, their teeth will get sharper, turning what used to be harmless nipping into potentially painful bites.

By addressing these specific situations, you can guide your puppy towards appropriate behaviour and minimize unwanted biting. Consistency and positive reinforcement will help shape good habits as your puppy matures.

Tips for Stopping Puppy Biting 

Dealing with a biting puppy is a normal part of their development, but it’s crucial to handle the behaviour properly. To successfully stop your puppy from biting, consider the following tips:

  1. Avoid Harsh Corrections: Refrain from using harsh verbal or physical corrections as they don’t teach your puppy proper behaviour. Instead, positive reinforcement is key. Use praise when your puppy behaves well and avoid punishment to prevent fear and anxiety.
  2. Provide Age-Appropriate Toys: Offer a variety of puppy-safe toys, such as rubber toys, a puppy-sized ball, a rope toy, and a stuffed toy with a squeaker. Encourage play by interacting with the toys.

If your puppy bites your hand or clothing, stop playing and leave. Return after a brief pause, engaging them with a toy. This helps them learn that biting toys is more enjoyable than biting you.

  1. Puppy Socialization Classes: Enroll your puppy in socialization classes where they learn to understand other dogs’ cues, bite inhibition, and appropriate play behaviour. These classes create a controlled environment for positive interactions with other puppies.
  2. Dealing with Adult Dogs: Teaching bite inhibition is easier with puppies as their jaws aren’t fully developed. If your puppy continues to bite hard with adult teeth, seek professional help. A certified behaviour consultant, applied animal behaviourist, or veterinary behaviourist can assist in managing the behaviour.

Remember that consistency and patience are key in addressing puppy biting. If you find yourself frustrated, consider seeking guidance from a certified professional to ensure a positive and effective approach to training your puppy.


At what age do puppies stop biting?

Puppy biting tends to peak during the transition from baby teeth to adult teeth, typically around 12–13 weeks of age. By the age of 7 months, all adult teeth are usually present, and teething is no longer a factor.

At this stage, with consistent responses from people and other dogs, the biting behaviour should start to decrease. However, if biting has been inadvertently reinforced, it may persist into adulthood.

Note: If your puppy never bites anything, it might indicate an issue. Consult your vet or a behaviour professional for an evaluation to identify potential problems.

How do I get my puppy to stop biting my hands and feet?

Puppies often target moving hands and feet. To discourage biting:

  1. Play with your puppy using toys to provide an appropriate outlet.
  2. Walk calmly to avoid triggering a chasing response.
  3. If your puppy bites your hands while being petted, redirect them to a preferred chewing toy.
  4. If biting involves pressure, tension, deep growling, or head shaking, consult a behaviour professional.

How do I stop my puppy from biting my ankles when I walk?

If your puppy bites your ankles during walks:

  1. Drag a tug toy on the floor to divert their attention.
  2. Encourage the puppy to follow you with your eyes up, reinforcing good behaviour with food.
  3. This can also help teach loose leash walking.
  4. If your puppy persists despite redirection, they may be tired; encourage them to nap in their crate or designated area with a treat.



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