How To Stop Your Puppy Biting

How To Stop Your Puppy Biting

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Puppies like to explore the world with their mouths and love to playfight so biting and mouthing are inevitable. Teaching your puppy not to bite will stop them carrying this habit into adulthood, when the biting could become dangerous.

Puppy play

When puppies play with their littermates and mother, they learn not to bite hard. If a puppy bites to hard, their playmate will respond with a yelp, usually stopping play.

Hand biting

You can stop your puppy biting by doing exactly what their littermates have done; if your puppy bites your hand during play make a yelping noise, let your hand go limp and turn away.

Ignore your puppy for around 10 seconds and then return to your play, rewarding good, gentle behaviour. Repeat the process if it happens again but don't allow this to happen more than 3 times in 15 minutes. If it does, stop playing with your puppy.

Your puppy should soon realise that rough play means that play stops.

If you notice your puppy is about to mouth you, move your hand out of the way before they get to it and offer them a safe chew toy instead, rewarding them if they take it.

Avoid the likelihood of your puppy wanting to bite you by playing non-contact games such as fetch and tug-of-war, which focus your pup's energy on an object rather than you!

Ankle biting

It's common for puppies to nip at your ankles when you walk. You can stop this by stopping walking as soon as they start to bite. Then distract your pup with a safe chew toy by waving it in front of them, rewarding them when they bite onto it.

You can also simply stop walking and wait for your puppy to release their grip on you and then reward them with a treat or toy once they do.


Do not pull your hand away when your puppy bites- they'll see this as a tugging game and will continue to try and bite you.

Do not punish your dog. They will most likely enjoy the attention and think this is a reward and an invitation to carry on.

If your puppy tries to make amends by licking you after you've yelped, allow them to do this.

Be patient, puppies have lots of learning to do and some things take longer than others. If you remain consistent with your approach you will eventually see positive results.