We recently received the question, “My puppy won’t stop biting me. I’ve tried everything. What should I do?”.
Puppies are adorable, aren’t they? They are playful and cuddly, sweet, and soft, and you just can’t beat the love of a puppy! They are loyal and this is the best time to train them for the behavior you want to see in the home.
Training a puppy can be a challenge and every breed is different. You often see different behaviors amidst different breeds, but you also might notice habits that are specific to your puppy.
Biting is a very common issue with puppies and it’s in their genetics to bite as a sign of playing, eating, and exploring. Not all puppies bite and many do it playfully but it still is an action that we must teach our puppies is unacceptable. The last thing we want to face is our puppy biting and hurting someone. The good news is that most puppies grow out of the habit of biting people, especially their owners.
If you’re at the place where you feel like you’ve tried all of the tricks to get your puppy to stop biting, you’ve come to the right place. It’s not a hopeless situation. Don’t give up. Keep working with your puppy.
We have some great tips and even products that might help you get your puppy to stop biting.
Get Your Dog to Stop Biting You
Does it ever seem like your puppy will never grow out of that biting phase? You’ve worked with them several times and they just keep biting. At first, you thought it was because they just didn’t know any better but it’s getting out of control!
Typically, it is expected that a puppy will stop biting about the time that they finish getting their adult teeth. This happens somewhere around the age of 7 months. Of course, there are exceptions to that rule.
We’re guessing your puppy is most likely one of the exceptions if you’re here.
Let’s cover some basics.
Behavioral training should be the first you thing you try for puppies with bad biting habits. You often hear about behavioral training being used for dogs that have established bad habits – even old dogs. This is because behavioral training works if done correctly.
You can train on specific behaviors even at an early age, especially biting. You might find that the biting behavior is associated with a specific emotion of your puppy. Most likely, it is probably playfulness more than anything else. Puppies are still exploring the world around them and don’t know how hard or soft they can bite without hurting someone.
However, behavioral training can be beneficial to break the habit, particularly if it is related to anything like anxiety, depression, aggression, or some other behavior. Behavioral training is not obedience training.
There are two different approaches that we recommend. Obedience is all about training basic commands and setting boundaries. Behavioral training is to break bad habits that have been formed and are challenging to break.
There are two primary behavioral training methods if your puppy is biting your and you’ve tried everything:
- Time out
- Crate training
1. Time Out
If you’ve ever had children or been around people with children, you’ve probably seen this approach in practice. Time out is a form of isolation that is used to show that certain behavior is unacceptable.
In time out, there are no privileges and no amenities. It is meant to be used for short periods of time in response to unwanted behaviors.
Time out can be used for puppy biting. You will need to address the biting when it happens and immediately place the puppy in a designated time out area.
For dogs, time out typically should only last for up to 3 minutes or until your dog remains calm for several seconds (15-30). Time out removes the dog from their desired social interaction for a short period of time.
It is a consequence of an action. Don’t abuse time out for it to work appropriately and don’t expect it to work after just 1 or 2 uses. Be consistent.
2. Put Them in a Crate
The crate approach here is quite similar to time out. It can be used in the same manner with the same processes. Teach the puppy that the crate is a safe space. You do this from the beginning. You may crate them overnight or when you aren’t home but you make them at home within the crate.
As your puppy exhibits behavior, you can use the crate for time out purposes. Don’t display anger in this case but calmly talk to your puppy and send them to the crate while they calm down.
Stay calm to help your puppy stay calm. This will give them a chance to relax. You might even want to give them a toy or a bone while they find their calm. You can use similar times to time out or you can wait until the dog has calmed considerably and let them back out.
Antler Dog Chew
If you consider the history of man and nature, it makes sense that an antler would be a common chewing item for a dog. Dogs out in the wild have used antlers as natural chew toys since forever.
Now, dogs of the modern age, obviously don’t get that same experience. There are many different types of antlers out there. We’re talking deer of all kinds – reindeer, moose, caribou, elk, and more.
The best antler dog chews are made from deer and elk antlers. They are the best shape and size for the task. Antlers are like a bone. They are hard and durable, which makes them a long-lasting toy for dogs to chew on.
These are perfect for puppies and dogs that like to chew. It can be a training tool to teach your dog what surfaces are acceptable for biting and chewing. It can also be a great way to interest your dog and give them a place to use some of that energy up!
Here is our favorite antler dog chew for you.
- 100% All Natural, Long Lasting Deer Antlers for Dogs
- Tastier and healthier than nylon bones and rawhides
These deer antlers come from the USA. They are not imported in but sourced naturally her. They are all-natural. They are rated as Grade A antler chews and are premium quality. They are not terribly expensive and they should last a long time.
You can get these antler chews in various sizes, from medium to large and even a bulk option that comes with a mixture of pieces that equal a pound. The company offers a satisfaction guarantee. The antlers are not processed and do not contain any additives or preservatives.
With these antler chews, you don’t have to worry about odors or messes. No animals are harmed to acquire them. They are acquired from the natural shedding process.
As with any toy, you should monitor your puppy when they are using this toy. It is possible for small pieces to break off and become a choking hazard.
Another good option for training a puppy that won’t quit biting is muzzle training. Let us preface that statement by saying we recommend this only as a form of training. Our intentions are not to be used for cruelty or constant wear.
There are proper procedures to follow for muzzle training and it is very important that you do your research and follow the processes correctly. Never use a muzzle as a punishment immediately after the dog has misbehaved. This can lead to aggressive behavior and make matters worse.
If you choose to go this route, be sure to choose a comfortable muzzle option that will be easy to use when needed. Be patient with your puppy and use it as a training tool. Be aware that you will need to train your dog to understand and accept the muzzle as well.
The key here is to train your puppy to understand the muzzle. It’s a great tool for helping puppies understand that their teeth are sharp and are not meant to be used on you. You can incorporate human touch and treats and use these rewards in the process.
Here is a good muzzle option for you to consider.
- Humane way to prevent biting and unwanted chewing – This muzzle is great for restraining your dog's ability to bite, chew and bark while still allowing your dog to breathe, pant, and drink water. Because of that, this muzzle is a humane choice for preventing unwanted biting or chewing. See our images for examples.
- Right size for the right dog – Choosing the correct size online can be hard, so to make it easy for you we have provided a chart and measuring instructions (see Picture 3). Your dog's muzzle can also be adjusted using the straps and hook and loop fastener for the best fit. If you have any trouble with finding the right size, we offer great customer support and will work hard to fix your problem.
This muzzle is gentle and not scary looking for you or the dog. It is designed to be human and used to reduce biting while training your puppy not to bite or chew. You can get it in several different sizes and you can also choose from pink or blue.
The muzzle simply snaps into place and has a ring around the back of the mouth. It is designed to not provide any substantial discomfort for your puppy. It is padded with a soft neoprene layer to give your dog as much comfort as possible when in use.
The muzzle comes with a full training guide to help you understand the best ways to use it safely. It is made with quality materials and is easy to use. It also won’t make your puppy miserable so that is a major plus. Be sure to measure to get the right size for your puppy.
These look and feel far more humane than the basket muzzles that you often see.
Conclusion for “My puppy won’t stop biting me. I’ve tried everything.”
It can be very challenging to train a playful puppy that biting is just unacceptable. Dogs have their own personalities and some of them can be quite stubborn.
Keep in mind that your dog is not a bad dog. Be willing to be patient and put in the effort to work with them to improve the situation. You’re well on your way to a calm and collected puppy. You can also check out the AKC article on how to stop your puppy from biting.