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Understanding and Redirecting Puppy Biting: Tips and Tricks

Why Do Puppies Bite? Puppies are adorable, cuddly creatures, but they can also be notorious for their biting and gnawing tendencies.

If you’re a new puppy owner, you might be wondering why your furry friend is constantly nipping at your hands and feet. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the reasons why puppies bite and how to stop them from doing so.

Puppies Biting and Gnawing

Puppies use their mouths to explore their environment. When they’re still young, they haven’t fully developed their sense of sight, so they rely on their sense of taste and touch to learn about the world around them.

This is why you’ll see puppies chewing on everything they can get their mouths on – from shoes to furniture to your fingers. Moreover, puppies instinctively chew on things to relieve the pain and discomfort caused by teething.

When they’re at the teething stage, your puppy’s baby teeth will fall out, and they’ll grow their permanent teeth. This process can be painful, and chewing on things provides relief for the discomfort.

Another reason why puppies bite is that it releases endorphins, which makes them feel good. This is why puppies can become obsessed with biting and chewing on things.


Teething is a normal part of a puppy’s growth and development. It usually begins when they’re around three weeks old and continues until they’re six to eight months old.

During this time, your puppy will have 28 deciduous teeth (also known as baby teeth), which will fall out and be replaced by 42 permanent teeth in the adult stage. As your puppy starts teething, you’ll notice that they become more inclined to chew on things.

You can provide them with chew toys to satisfy their need to chew. However, you need to be careful about the things you give your puppy to chew on.

Avoid giving them hard objects that can damage their teeth. Instead, give them soft and flexible toys that they can gnaw on without causing harm.

It’s worth noting that teething can also lead to your puppy having an increased bite strength. This is why it’s important to teach them bite inhibition, which is the ability to control their bite pressure.

You can do this by gently saying “ouch” and withdrawing your hand whenever your puppy bites too hard. This will help them understand that biting hurts and should be avoided.

Adolescent Phase

Once your puppy reaches six months old, they’ll enter a new phase – adolescence. During this period, they’ll start to show more boisterous behavior, including biting and nipping.

This is a common phase in a dog’s development, and it’s important to maintain consistent training and discipline during this time. Your puppy’s daily needs, including exercise and playtime, become more crucial during adolescence.

Ensuring that your puppy is getting the necessary physical and mental stimulation will help reduce their biting tendencies. Additionally, it’s a great bonding experience for you and your furry friend.

When Does Puppy Biting Stop? Puppy biting can be a complex issue that requires patience and understanding.

While it’s a natural behavior, it’s important to teach your puppy that biting is not acceptable. Here are some ways to stop puppy biting:


Rotating toys

Having a variety of toys on rotation will help keep your puppy stimulated and reduce their biting tendencies. When your puppy becomes bored with one toy, replace it with another, so they don’t resort to biting on other things.

2. Quick access to toys

Make sure your puppy has quick access to their toys whenever they feel like chewing.

This will help redirect their biting tendencies towards the things they are supposed to bite. 3.

Participate in playtime

Playing with your puppy can help burn off excess energy and reduce their biting. Positive reinforcement, such as treats and praise, when your puppy behaves correctly can reinforce good behavior.

4. Go on adventures

Taking your puppy out for regular walks and adventures can help reduce their biting tendencies.

This not only helps with physical exercise, but it also provides mental stimulation and reduces their desire to chew on things. 5.

Gentle reminder

Whenever your puppy bites, gently tell them “no” or “stop.” Gradually, they’ll start to understand your message and stop biting. Positive reinforcement, like praise and treats, when they behave correctly, can also help reinforce good behavior.

If your puppy’s biting tendencies become more complicated, consider hiring a positive dog behavior specialist to identify the underlying causes of frustration. They can help you develop a comprehensive plan to manage your puppy’s biting behavior.

In summary, understanding why puppies bite is crucial to curb their behavior.

Teething, exploring their environment, and releasing endorphins are just a few reasons why your puppy might be biting.

While it can be challenging to stop puppy biting, patience and consistent training will pay off in the long run. Remember to always provide positive reinforcement when your puppy behaves correctly.

How to Redirect Puppy Biting

We love our furry friends, but their puppy biting tendencies can often be frustrating and painful. Redirecting their biting behavior is crucial not only for our comfort, but also for our puppies’ well-being.

Luckily, there are several ways to redirect puppy biting that are both effective and safe.

Provide a Variety of Toys

One of the simplest ways to redirect your puppy’s biting tendencies is to provide them with a variety of toys. Start by purchasing puppy teething toys and safe puppy chews to relieve their pain and encourage healthy chewing habits.

Additionally, interactive toys like puzzle toys and tug toys can help burn off excess energy. The variety of toys will help keep your puppy interested and reduce the probability of biting.

Keep Toys Accessible

Ensure that your puppy has easy access to their toys at all times. Consider placing a pile of toys in common areas, such as the living room, bedroom, or kitchen.

Quick and easy access to appropriate toys can help redirect your puppy’s biting tendencies away from your hands and furniture.

Participate in Playtime

Playing with your puppy is an essential aspect of their development, and it can help reduce their biting tendencies. Engage your puppy in interactive games like fetch, tug of war, and hide-and-seek.

These games not only provide mental and physical stimulation but also create a bonding experience between you and your puppy.

Get Adventurous

Taking your puppy out for regular walks or adventures can also help reduce their biting tendencies. This not only helps with physical exercise but also provides much-needed mental stimulation, which can reduce their desire to bite.

Additionally, socializing your puppy with other dogs and people can help reduce their frustration, which can lead to excessive biting behavior.

What to Do When Puppy Nips

Despite your best efforts, there may still be times when your puppy nips or bites. In such cases, taking appropriate action can prevent your puppy from developing bad habits.

The first step is to give a quick yelp to startle them. This alerts your puppy that they have bitten too hard and tells them to stop.

When they release their hold, remove your hands immediately and stand up and look away from your puppy. This sends the message that biting leads to the end of playtime.

Once your puppy has calmed down, talk to them in a calm and soft voice, and redirect their attention towards an appropriate toy. This teaches them that biting toys is acceptable while biting humans is not.

Consistency is key in reinforcing this behavior. If your puppy’s biting behavior persists and becomes problematic, it’s best to involve a professional dog behavior specialist.

They will identify the underlying factors causing the problem and help develop a comprehensive plan to manage your puppy’s biting behavior.

Puppy Biting FAQs

Aggressive Puppy Biting

There are times when puppy biting can turn aggressive, and it’s important to identify these behaviors to prevent them from escalating. Aggressive biting is often driven by frustration, fear, or territorial aggression.

If you notice these behaviors in your puppy, seek a dog behavior specialist’s assistance. They will help identify the specific behavior and create a plan to address it effectively.



Puppies actively lose deciduous teeth when they are around three to four months old. At this stage, it’s essential to provide appropriate chewing outlets like teething toys and safe puppy chews.

Puppies usually lose all their baby teeth by the age of six months when their adult teeth set is complete. It’s worth noting that small dog breeds often have a delayed teething process.

Stop Puppy Nipping

Puppy nipping is a common issue during the adolescent phase of a puppy’s development. One way to curb this behavior is to lower the intensity level by speaking in a calm voice and offering a gentle touch.

Another way is to provide a quick sniff that serves as a pacifier when your puppy begins to nip. Assess how your puppy is reacting to interactions and bump up or down according to their cues.

If your puppy’s biting persists or becomes problematic, involve a professional dog behavior specialist to help devise a plan tailored to your puppy’s needs. In summary, redirecting puppy biting is an essential part of a puppy’s development.

By providing a variety of toys, engaging in playtime, going on adventures, and taking appropriate actions when your puppy nips, you can help create healthy biting habits and a strong bond between you and your furry friend. If you encounter problematic biting behaviors, seeking professional assistance can be beneficial in creating a tailored plan to address the issue.

In conclusion, redirecting puppy biting is a crucial aspect of puppy development that requires patience, consistency, and understanding. By providing a variety of toys, keeping them accessible, engaging in playtime, and being adventurous, we can reduce our puppy’s biting tendencies and encourage healthy habits.

Additionally, learning what to do when puppy nipping occurs and identifying problematic behaviors are essential for creating a positive and enjoyable environment for our furry friends. Remember that seeking a professional dog behavior specialist can help develop a tailored plan to address problematic behaviors effectively.

With the right approach, we can establish a strong bond with our puppies and ensure their well-being.

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