Dealing With Puppy Biting

There are few things more cute and lovable than a puppy— but OUCH! Puppy teeth are sharp! Playing with a puppy is too fun to stop, but could your reaction to biting be confusing the puppy from learning true bite inhibition? There are a couple intuitive tips you can implement to preserve playtime... and your hands. 

When puppies are together they love to play. When they get too rough with the biting, the natural reaction is for the “victim” to yelp. This is the social cue for the other pup to realize that they went a little to far—this helps them guage their bite (bite inhibition). 

When you're playing with the puppy and are letting him “go for it,” he quite frankly doesn't know when to stop. Take this information and apply it to human-puppy playtime—if you don't mind a little acting:

  1. Let your puppy softly chew on your hand;
  2. When the puppy bites a little too hard do not pull your hand away, but rather turn your head away and yelp loud and sharp. Yes, yelp (are you committed or not?).  This emulates what they instinctively interpret as rejection of their behavior.

After this feeling rejected, they may come and lick you hand as a gesture. Accept this and continue playing. When they get rough again repeat until they get it.

biting puppy

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