How do you stop a puppy from biting?


Quick Answer

Puppies generally bite to get attention or to play, so consistently redirecting or ignoring a biting puppy is the most effective way to teach it not to bite. It is also important to provide the puppy with plenty of appropriate things to chew on, because puppies may bite to help alleviate teething pain.

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Full Answer

Dogs often bite in play, and puppies begin learning to bite gently while still nursing from their mother. It is important to leave puppies with their mother and littermates for at least eight weeks so they can start to learn this.

When a puppy leaves its mother, it often bites its new owners out of excitement or boredom. The puppy nips its owner and the owner reacts by yelling or otherwise giving the puppy attention, which inadvertently rewards the puppy for the behavior. Instead, the owner should ignore the puppy or walk away. If the puppy is biting out of boredom, providing an appropriate chew toy in a quiet area, such as a crate or closed-off bathroom, can help teach the puppy more appropriate behavior. Feeding the puppy its meals by hand may also help teach excitable puppies to be gentle with their teeth.

Puppies should also be allowed to play with other dogs in safe, age-appropriate ways. The other dogs can help teach the puppy to bite and play gently. Taking the puppy to puppy training classes can also help teach good manners in general.

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