Puppy Biting and Mouthing
Biting is one of the most common complaints made by owners of puppies.
Puppies have needle-sharp teeth and seem to enjoy chewing on hands,
arms, toes, pant legs, shirt sleeves and anything else they can get
their mouths on. Just because your pup bites probably does not mean
youíve got an aggressive or bad dog. It could simply mean youíve got a
normal dog. Investigating things with their mouths is perfectly natural
and normal for puppies.
There are some very simple steps you can take to teach your puppy
exactly whatís acceptable and what isnít.
Before starting this exercise, make sure your pup has a couple of
good quality, acceptable toys. And remember... be consistent.
Steps to Prevent Puppy Mouthing:
1. Avoid putting your hands (toes, etc.) near your puppyís mouth or
playing with the pup with your hands.
2. Play with an appropriate toy. This can be a ball, stuffed animal,
squeaky toy, rope, or any other toy that your dog likes and you approve
of as a chew toy.
3. If your puppy puts her mouth on you (even if it doesnít hurt) or
grabs your clothes, give a loud, high-pitched "yelp!" or "ouch!" Make
sure itís loud enough to distract the puppy and make her let go.
4. As soon as the puppy is distracted (lets go of your fingers),
immediately encourage the pup to play with her toy.
5. Should your puppy decide to grab your hand (foot, shirt, etc.) again,
give a loud "ouch!" and redirect the pupís attention to the toy.
6. Give lots of praise when the pup has the toy in her mouth instead of
7. For persistent mouthers, when the puppy latches on to your hand, give
a loud "ouch!" and walk away, ignoring the pup. Ignoring means: Donít
pet your pup; Donít lecture your pup; Donít punish your pup; Donít talk
to your pup; Don't even look at your pup. Your puppy will probably
follow you around. Thatís OK. Dogs are very social creatures who love to
be near their people. Continue to ignore the pup, no matter how hard
8. After a few minutes of ignoring your puppy, try to play with her
again...with an appropriate toy. If she mouths you again, "yelp!" and
Eventually your puppy will get the idea that if she wants to play with
you, she has to
keep her teeth to herself!