Puppy won't stop biting

Deborah S
by Deborah S
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Question1. Help! our 4month old puppy is a relentless bitter when playing or excited. nothing will stop her. (Angie Clark - New York)

Answer

At 4 months of age, puppies are in a very “oral” phase of their development and they are experiencing teething. It is important to curb the biting whenever possible and use every opportunity to teach her that putting teeth on human skin is a “no-no.”

A few handy tips that will help teach your puppy not to bite:

  • Be persistent and consistent! Every time the puppy bites, do not ignore it. Be sure to correct the behavior, re-direct the biting or take a “time-out”
  • With puppies that bite more when they are playing or excited once the biting starts during play, stop all play immediately. Calmly and quietly put the puppy in her crate or in a small bathroom and shut the door. Do not make a big deal out of this this is a “time out” NOT a punishment! Once the puppy calms down (2-3 minutes), let her out and give a treat as a reward for calming down.
  • When the puppy is calm but “nipping” immediately grab her mouth and hold it shut, gently but firmly. Look her in the eyes and say “no bite.” If she immediately bites you again after you let go do it again.
  • Sometimes letting out a loud “yip!” when the puppy bites you will help to clue her in that what you did hurts and is not good. This does not tend to work when puppies are excited and in a “frenzy”- they need to calm down in order to stop biting.
Disclaimer: This service is meant to provide advice only and is not meant to replace an appointment with a registered veterinarian. Users should always seek a second opinion. Unfortunately we are only able to answer several questions per week so not everyone gets a published answer. And, unfortunately we can't answer by email.
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