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Veterinarian Pet Tips:

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 your hand.

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 it is.

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 ignore.

Eventually your puppy will get the idea that if she wants to play with you, she has to
keep her teeth to herself!

Pet Facts: Did you know??

  • Pet lovers are guardians to nearly 100 million dogs and cats in the United States, and spend about $35 billion on their furry friends each year. (Source: American Pet Product Manufacturers Association)

  • Studies show that people with pets live longer, have less stress, and fewer health problems. (Source: American Pet Product Manufacturers Association)

  • 94% of pet owners say their animal pal makes them smile more than once a day. (Source:

  • There are more than 9,000 species of birds. Parakeets, canaries, finches, and parrots are the most popular to keep as pets. (Source: Mississippi 4-H Pet Care Project)

  • In Australia, England, and the U.S., Max wins as the most popular name for pooches. Other popular dog names in the U.S. are Jake, Buddy, Maggie, Molly, and Bear. (Source:

  • 95% of cat owners admit they talk to their cats. (Source:

  • In Belgium in 1879, 37 cats were “hired” to carry bundles of letters to villages. But the service didn’t last long because the mail cats just wouldn’t cooperate! (Source: Best Friends Pet Care)

  • A cat will almost never meow at another cat…that’s because cats only meow to get our attention. (Source:

  • A dog named Laikia became the world's first astronaut in 1957, when she was sent into space by the Russian government. (Source: Best Friends Pet Care)

  • Abraham Lincoln loved cats! In fact, he had four of them while he lived in the White House. His favorite was named Tabby. (Source:

  • Tests done by the University of Michigan proved that cats have better memories than dogs. The study shows that while a dog’s memory lasts no more than 5 minutes, a cat's can last as long as 16 hours…and that’s more than even monkeys and orangutans!

  • Dogs can hear sounds that are too faint for us to hear. In fact, their hearing is so good they probably rely more on sound than sight. But the common belief that dogs are color blind is false. Dogs can see color, just not as well as we do. They can tell the difference between blue, yellow, and gray, but probably don’t see red and green. (Source:

  • Dogs only sweat from the bottoms of their feet, the only way they can
    discharge heat is by panting.