BITING IN PUPPIES:
LEARNING, EXPLORATION, COMFORT
Puppies gnaw on things to learn more about the world. For starters, they learn to master the power of their jaws through bite inhibition, like when they chew playfully on other dogs. Biting can also be a way for them to explore their environment and alleviate discomfort from teething.
Whatever the reason, dogs should never bite hard enough to leave marks and they should stop by the time they reach adulthood. However, some puppies are mouthier than others and may keep biting for longer. If your puppy is biting too hard or continues biting beyond puppyhood, you may have a larger behavioural issue on your hands. If that’s the case with your dog, talk to the team at your Globalvet clinic.
LIVING WITH A PUPPY THAT BITES? HERE ARE OUR RECOMMENDATIONS
GIVE THEM WHAT THEY NEED
Puppies need to bite, challenge their brains, and be active! To meet these needs and keep them from using you as a chew toy, give them something to do:
- Safe puppy chew toys they enjoy
- Toys you can stuff with food, e.g., Kong Wobbler®, Kong Classic®, Orbee-Tuff Snoop®, and Pipolino®
- Daily exercise sessions
PLAY WITH THEM PROPERLY
Always use toys when playing with your puppy or dog. Never play with them physically, like trying to get them going using your hands or feet. Why? Because it encourages them to bite you.
WHAT IF THEY BITE YOU?
If your dog tries to bite you:
- Stop interacting the moment your pup’s teeth come into contact with your skin
- Move away from them
- Ignore them: Don’t look at, speak to, or touch your dog
WHAT IF THEY WON’T STOP?
If your little nipper doesn’t take the hint even after being ignored, guide them toward a more appropriate form of behaviour:
- Call them by name to get their attention
- Give them something else to do that will satisfy their urge to chew, like:
- A food-stuffed toy like Kong Classic®
- A bone
- A chew strip
WHAT IF THEY’RE OUT OF CONTROL?
Have you tried all the tricks to curb your pup of the habit (e.g., ignoring them, giving them something else to chew on), but without success?
- Slowly and quietly walk them to their crate
- Isolate them until they calm down
- Let them out as soon as they’ve calmed down
Take some steps to ensure your puppy kicks this bad habit:
- Figure out at what times of day their biting is more intense
- Right before these periods, distract them with something else to chew on (a treat-dispensing toy like Kong Classic®, a bone, a chew strip, etc.)
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Watch our webinar Chiot : Comprendre les bases d’une belle relation (in French) to learn more about building a fulfilling relationship with your pup.