Tips for Puppy Biting

Tether the dog and sit on the floor and play with him near his mouth. If he bites you hard, and immediately say “too bad” and walk away from him and ignore him for 20-30 seconds). Take all toys away as well. Return after 20 seconds and repeat. Each time he bites, all attention and fun are immediately removed. This may take lots of repetitions. Practice for 5 minutes 2-3 times a day.

Try to hand-feed him an entire meal one kibble at a time (either breakfast or dinner). Make sure you tell him to sit. If he grabs for the food, remove your hand. Say “Take It” and feed only when he doesn’t grab.

Offer him some food in a closed fist. If you can see a full set of teeth as he grabs for it, withdraw it and, if necessary, move backwards away from him to prevent any tooth-contact. Anyone feeding the dog when he’s grabby and mouthy is reinforcing this behavior! Also, avoid using cues like, “gentle” or “easy.” Otherwise he will learn only to take it softly if he hears those words. That means he’ll continue to grab hard with anyone who doesn’t use those cues or if someone happens to forget to say them.
Hold the food in a closed fist, but present the back of your hand to the dog. You can also make gentle contact with the dog’s nose, first w/ the back of my hand making a circular motion on the tip of the nose. It’s sort of like a massage that helps calm the dog. If the dog continues to remain calm, you slowly reposition your hand down toward the dog’s mouth and then bring your hand around to feed him from the side of the mouth.

He needs good strong chew toys (like the Kong) to exercise his jaw. You can also give him a knotted wet rag that has been in the freezer to help relieve the gum irritation he may have from teething.

If the pup bites calmly redirect pup to the bully stick (or whatever it is the dog is liking…but actually name something and make certain they have lots of the item so it is at hand).

Praise pup for chewing appropriate item. If this does not work then calmly take puppy to a room or crate away from everyone. Leave pup alone for 2-3 minutes and then quietly release the puppy. Give the puppy something appropriate to chew. If the puppy resumes biting then repeat.

If the biting occurs at a particular time of day, prepare for it by taking the dog for a walk or having a play session to tire the dog out before the dog gets bitey. 


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1 comment so far. Leave a comment.

  1. Louise Harding

    wrote on November 7, 2017 at 5:45 pm

    As a professional dog trainer myself I came across clients everyday who have this issue. This is a well written and informative blog thanks

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