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How to stop your puppy biting

Most puppies go through a biting stage in their first few months – it’s completely normal – but puppies who don’t get taught not to bite can end up with serious mouthing issues that could get them into trouble as an adult.

So how do you train your puppy not to bite? We explore why your puppy bites and the best methods for preventing them biting as they grow up.

Understand the cause of the biting

Puppies will bite for a range of reasons including teething, play, and excitement. When it comes to training them not to bite, you need to understand the cause and tailor your training appropriately. Since puppies will bite for a range of reasons it helps to have plenty of tricks up your sleeve. It can take some puppies months to stop biting, but with consistent training most will get there.

Teething toys

When your puppy is teething, they are looking for ways to relieve the pain of their big dog teeth coming through. Biting and chewing are completely normal reactions to this, so make sure they are sinking their teeth into a teething toy rather than you or your furniture. 

Keep toys of lots of different textures around for them to chew on. You can even pop a toy or healthy treats in the freezer – the cool sensation acts as a natural pain relief that they’ll love.

If you catch your puppy trying to use you, your furniture or your shoes as a teething toy, just calmly replace whatever they are chewing on with their favourite toy – eventually they will learn what they can and can’t chew on.

Teaching your puppy appropriate play

Dog running in field carrying an orange ball and wearing a PitPat Dog Activity Monitor

If your puppy bites when they are playing or overexcited, you need to teach them how to play appropriately. If your puppy bites during play, stop the play immediately, say no, and direct their attention to a calmer behaviour.

You can also direct them to a toy that they can mouth and chew to their hearts content. Most puppies will opt for the toy and over time they’ll learn not to bite you.

Keep your puppy calm

If your puppy is biting because they have become overexcited, you need to be able to calm them down. 

One option is to put them in a boring space for a little while until they relax. A good option is a crate, where you could offer them a chew toy to keep them busy without getting excited. 

A second option is to grab a bag of treats and focus your puppy’s mind on their training. Start with commands they already know, like sit, and once you have their attention start working on new commands they might not yet know. You’ll be amazed how quickly they will focus on the training and stop biting. This type of training not only stops them from biting, but also strengthens your bond with your puppy.

Get some exercise in

White West Highland Terrier on a lead in a field wearing a PitPat GPS Tracker

Your puppy may be biting because they have loads of energy which they are expressing through hyperactive play. Exercise is the perfect remedy. In fact, exercise is vital for your puppy’s development, both physically and mentally. However, you need to make sure you get the balance right – too much exercise could harm your puppies growing joints. 

Use a PitPat Dog GPS Tracker to measure how much activity your puppy is doing each day. We’ll set an exercise goal for them based on their age and breed, that increases as they get older and can manage longer walks. Even better, PitPat GPS will be there for when your puppy goes exploring further afield than you’d like, enabling you to find them again with just two taps using the free PitPat app. And, it’s so small and light that your puppy will barely notice it on their collar!

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