Why do puppies bite so much?
Their teeth feel like tiny needles and it can really HURT! But biting is really normal behaviour. If you keep asking “how can I stop my puppy from biting?” then read on!
Puppies explore the world using their mouths, a bit like human babies putting everything in their mouths, puppies are doing exactly the same thing.
If you watch a litter of young puppies playing together, a lot of their play involves biting and mouthing each other so when they come away from their litter mates and into your home, it’s natural for them to want to play with you in a similar way.
Then, of course, there’s teething. Don’t underestimate how much this hurts them – think about the wailing of babies whilst they are teething – our puppies are going through the same thing and biting really helps to soothe the discomfort. The peek time for teething is from 12-16 weeks old although it does carry on until around 7 months of age.
You might notice that your puppy is particularly bitey during the early evenings. This is because dogs are crepuscular. This means that, unlike us, they don’t have a diurnal pattern of being away during the daytime and asleep at night. Whilst they will get most of their sleep during the night time, their most active times of day are at dawn and dusk, meaning that this can also be when the unwanted behaviours happen.
How can I stop my puppy from biting?
- Management If you don’t want it to get chewed, make sure your puppy can’t get at it! Of course, this applies to your belongings and bits of your house rather than your ankles!
- Sleeeeeeep! This is the big one!! Almost always if I’m working with a puppy who is getting super bitey, they are not getting enough active rest. Young puppies need 18-20 hours of proper sleep every day. So, make sure that they have a safe place to retreat to, away from the hustle and bustle of household goings on, and give some boundary training a go!
- Help your puppy to be calm It often feels like our puppies are ALWAYS on the go! And often they really struggle to regulate themselves and stay calm. This eBook has loads of tips on how to help your puppy calm themselves down.
- Make sure they have plenty of appropriate things to chew As chewing is a really natural behaviour for our puppies we need to make sure that they have an appropriate outlet for chewing. Chew toys are great, or even frozen carrots to help soothe those teething pains. Or get a selection of puppy friendly natural chews. I like friends and canines natural chews.
- Don’t tell them off I know, I know, this is a tricky one to actually do when you have a tiny land shark taking chunks out of you! But the thing is that if you tell them off you are going to raise their arousal method and make the chewing worse, added to that you will be damaging your relationship with your puppy. Just pop them in a crate with a lovely chew to chill out!
Hopefully these will give you a great starting point to building a positive and fulfilling life together with your puppy.
Setting your puppy up for success NOW will give you a fantastic foundation for the rest of their lives, so to achieve this have a look at what we offer and book a free 15 min call now!