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How to Deal with a Biting Puppy

Learn how to deal with a biting puppy in this Howcast video with Andrea Arden Dog Training.


Puppy nipping and mouthing is a completely normal behavior. Puppies nip, mouth and chew not only because they're teething, but because that's really how they explore their world, using their mouth. They're all about the mouth, and that's fine except we don't want them using their mouth on us, our clothing or our furniture. So the best thing to do to make sure that you can control your puppy, especially when they get in those kind of bouts of excess energy and mouthing is to have them on a long lightweight indoor leash. This way you can simply hold your puppy away until they calm a little bit and redirect them onto an appropriate chew toy. Fortunately for me, this puppy is really engaged in his chew toy, and I've been keep encouraging that, and he's not chewing on me. What your puppy is going after and what they're chewing on can give you some guidance on what type of chew toys to give them. Right now, this puppy's really pleased with his little soft toy and he's enjoying that. However, if that wasn't working for him, I might give him a food stuffed toy some sort of a rubber bone or something that has a bit of a nice tasting meaty treat in there so that if the fluffy toy wasn't quite doing it for him I would give him something a little higher value that he wouldn't be able to resist. But this, I'm going to put my foot on it so it doesn't roll away. There you go. And then he can gleefully chew and lick at that instead of at my shoes. Another option might be something that he can chew on in whole, like this little stick made out of dry bully. Lets see if he likes that. Gives me a little object exchange too. The important thing to remember is not to get angry at your puppy when they're mouthing or biting at you. They're not trying to do you any harm. But with that said, you don't want to allow it to happen. You don't want them to practice behavior that you don't want to see in an adult dog. So as your puppy's parent, you're going to guide them to what they're allowed to chew on and play with with their mouth so that they're not learning to do that to you, with gentle guidance and redirection onto appropriate items.

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