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Help! My puppy is biting me! What should I do?

Daniel Pringle Monday, February 23, 2015
Our trainer friend Stacy sent us these great tips for dealing with a mouthy pup.

How to deal with biting in puppies is a frequent question of new owners. The biting tends to happen when the puppy wants attention or to play. Owners often want to know why their puppy is doing that (Is it dominance? Is it revenge?) and what they can do to fix the problem.

Aaagh! Declan is a monster!

The first thing to know is it’s completely normal. When puppies play with their siblings, they use their paws and mouths to interact. 

Although it’s normal puppy behavior, you still don’t want your puppy to think you’re a chew toy. So the next time they approach you and you know they’re going to start chewing on you, be proactive and grab one of their toys (the rope toys or Skinneez we carry are great options) to divert their mouths. If they continue to bite you, let them know they hurt you by saying “Ouch!” and either withdrawing your attention or leaving the area for a couple of seconds.
You want your puppy to get consistent feedback that any biting of hands or clothes ends the fun. With patience and time, your puppy will soon learn that all mouthing should be directed onto toys.

If the biting tends to be especially bad in the evenings, check back for a topic I’ll be addressing in the future: “Help! My puppy turns into a crazy Tasmanian devil every night! What should I do?”

Happy training!

Feel like you or your dog could use a little extra help? Check out training options in a group setting at Diamonds in the Ruff or get some in-home attention from Stacy at Wag More Dog Training.

Stacy Hebert is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer, owner of Wag More Dog Training and an instructor at Diamonds in the Ruff. When she's not off playing with her furry family members-- an energetic Belgian Sheepdog and 2 pushy but adorable cats--she enjoys learning about nutrition--both canine and human.
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