Puppies explore the world with their mouths. ‘Mouthing’ – nipping, chewing, biting, gnawing – is a natural part of growing up. When they nibble on your hand it’s like saying, “What’s up, wanna play?!” While mouthing is completely natural for puppies, it should be corrected before they reach adulthood. If puppies learn that biting is okay (because it’s super cute and seems harmless at the time) they’ll continue the habit into adulthood and risk injuring someone. Here are some quick and effective tips to stop your puppy from biting. 

Teach with toys

When your little buddy gets rowdy, give him something safe to chomp on. That way, he’ll start to distinguish between what’s okay to bite and what’s not.

Be vocal

When your puppy bites say, “OUCH!” and go limp. This is equivalent to a dog’s yelp, and mimics the way they tell each other what hurts and when they’ve crossed a line.

Don’t get physical

Dogs are people pleasers; they want to do the right thing, so using a firm tone to tell them “NO” is impactful. Hitting a dog can make the problem worse, and damage future communication.

Praise your pup!

When they stop biting, or don’t bite in the first place, let them know how awesome they are. This helps them associate love and affection with safe social skills.

Play with other puppies

Socializing is critical to developing a well-adjusted dog, and their interaction with other puppies will help their behavior with you.

No play as punishment

Puppies are similar to kids; they just want to have fun! So, if they start misbehaving, stop playing (immediately). This will send a clear message – play nice, or don’t play at all. It’s also a simple communication device that’s easy for your pup to understand.

Puppies don’t simply outgrow biting. They need to be taught, and the earlier the better. Training can be a challenge, because puppies are the cutest and we love them more than words or cuddles can say; but don’t let your pup’s adorability distract you from teaching them healthy habits.