Puppy Biting: What's Normal, What's Not, and How to Curb It

puppy-biting
One of the most common issues we see poor dog training advice given for is puppy biting and mouthiness, so we're going to give you the most standardized professional advice possible for this issue.
There's a reason why it's discouraged for non-professionals to give legal or medical advice to strangers on the Internet.
 
At best, their advice could be wrong; at worst, it could it be potentially dangerous.
 
We so wish the same rules applied to dog training advice. When sensitive puppy brains are involved, it's especially important to follow professional instruction! 
 
First of all, in the vast majority of cases, puppy biting and mouthing is EXTREMELY normal, for several reasons:
 
  • Puppies explore the world with their mouths.
  • They go through an uncomfortable teething process that lasts for 2-3 months.
  • They play hard with their siblings, often using their teeth to (successfully) instigate play and attention.
  • Herding breed dogs are predisposed to nip, herd, and chase small, fast-moving things. Young children often get the brunt of this behavior.
  • Retrievers are predisposed to picking up and holding anything and everything within reach, including your hands and arms.

A word on what to avoid:

  • Above all else, avoid physical punishment when it comes to puppy biting.
  • I have heard people given terrible (albeit, well-meaning) advice over the years, from squeezing your puppy's mouth shut, to pinning them on their backs, to muzzling them to stop the biting.
  • Your puppy is *NOT* being "dominant", and you do not need to physically punish him to curb this behavior.
  • Physical punishments like this range from silly and ineffective to cruel and downright abusive. In fact, you can create fear and aggression in your dog using these types of methods.
So, what should you do?
When you bring a puppy into your home, it's your job to create fair, consistent boundaries for unwanted behaviors, including when it comes to teeth on skin.
  • If your puppy bites you, you need to ignore the behavior and remove *yourself* from the interaction, with no drama. 
    • Note: You are not putting your puppy in a time out. That involves way too much time, talking, and attention to be an effective punishment. You are either ignoring the behavior or removing yourself from it.
  • That means play is over, fun is over, attention is over. Be as non-dramatic as possible.
  • If the behavior is hard for you to ignore, go behind a door or baby gate where your puppy does not have access to continue nipping at you.
  • If your puppy tries to nip at you when you return, remove yourself again.
  • You should see a major decrease in the intensity of biting as well as the amount of biting attempts within a few days.
  • Be sure to give your pup attention and praise when they are behaving nicely!
  • All family members and guests MUST be consistent in order for this to work!

Why Does This Work?

  • A behavior that doesn't get reinforced will stop.
  • Your pup will learn that we don't react to biting with play, attention, or even a negative reaction. All of these things can be fun for a puppy.
  • Your pup will learn to self-entertain. Once they realize the nipping isn't working, they will eventually redirect themselves onto something else.
  • Your puppy will seek out appropriate ways to get your attention, like offering a "sit" or laying at your feet.

A few other suggestions: 

  • It's also important to have a management place for your puppy, such as a play pen or baby-gated bathroom. It gives you a break from your puppy, and is a calm place for your puppy to settle down if he gets too wound up.
  • Make sure your puppy has plenty of rubbery teething toys, is getting daily exercise, and is not excessively crated. If his needs are not being met, the nipping will take longer to extinguish.
  • Make sure your puppy is eating three meals a day.
  • Things we may think are punishing, like pushing your puppy away, yelling at him, etc, can be considered fun, play-like behaviors for your puppy and can encourage biting. When doing the above exercise, be as quiet and calm as you can.

When should you be concerned about biting in puppies? 

You should seek out a certified professional if your puppy:

    • Is growling, snapping, or biting when a person comes near a resource. (Food, toys, etc)
    • Stiffens and stares at the person before biting.
    • Is consistently biting and breaking skin.
    • Barks, growls, or nips (not in play) at new people entering the home.
    • Snaps or growls at children.

Need professional guidance on your puppy biting issues? We offer private and group online dog training that's accessible from anywhere in the world. More details here, or contact us.

190 thoughts on “Puppy Biting: What's Normal, What's Not, and How to Curb It

  1. What do you suggest as a “time out” spot? I have heard to not put them in their crate if that is where they sleep.

    1. Great question! The time out is actually YOU leaving, rather than you putting your puppy somewhere. He's going to realize that every time he bites, it makes you go away. Because the behavior is motivated by attention/play-seeking, removing attention and play is the best way to get it to stop. So put up a baby gate or have a room you can exit to as soon as an inappropriate bite happens. Let me know if that makes sense!

      1. Thank you. We have a 5 month old lab and he would be the perfect pup if it weren’t for the biting. When we sit down on the couch he jumps up and goes straight for the hands. I will have to stay consistent with the walking away.

          1. We have a 7 month old Bulgarian rescue, when he is excited he jumps and nips, not aggressive but playful but it hurts, how can I stop this

        1. Has your situation gotten any better? We have a 4 month old Coonhound and dealing with the exact same situation. I don’t want to give up on her but need to find one encouragement for my husband.

          1. We have a 4 month old Lab Coonhound mix and my poor husband's hands look terrible. She's a great dog otherwise.

          2. my 2 and a half mont old lab puppy always bites my feet as well im just hoping that it will get better and hope that i dont have to give up on him.

          3. It will get better! Remember, your pup is a baby! The equivalent of a toddler right now. Stay patient and consistent, follow the advice in this blog, and you'll do great!

      2. My puppy is 4 months old, I have tried the gate but he jumps the gate, he doesn’t climb the gate he JUMPS it. So what or how can I train him from Biting??

        1. Now that's an impressively athletic pup! Make sure you're feeding 3 times a day, offering mental stimulation and physical exercise, and then do what you need to do to not give the behavior a reaction. You can go behind a closed door, stand up against a counter, etc. You don't have to stand and get bitten by any means – just do what you need to do to remove yourself without a reaction. We want to see your pup get bored with you and go grab a toy instead.

          1. The only problem with me removing myself (behind a closed door, etc) is that I'm also supposed to be constantly monitoring the puppy for potty behaviors (impending accidents). So how do I remove myself while still watching him for sniffing/circling?

          1. Try a tether in this case – take a leash and tether your pup to a couch or heavy chair within sight of you. Give them a bully stick or something else to chew on while you enjoy watching TV! You'll prevent the biting and teach other appropriate habits instead, all without having to get up.

      3. What if you can't remove yourself from the situation because your puppy is biting you and won't let go? My puppy is usually (when well rested and exercised) calm, smart and obedient, sweet/comes to cuddle with you. But sometimes he gets these outbursts while we're playing or petting him (mainly with me, his primary caretaker) where he comes at me with a fury and bites my whole arm hard (he's a big puppy and my arms are small so they fit perfectly in his mouth), but with enough force that I can wiggle my arm out quickly out of his mouth and let him sink his teeth in my sweater or whatever I'm wearing. This has left marks on my arm and on one time draw a little bit of blood. After the initial bite he will come at me again and so I have to physically hold him from his harness to stop him from lunging at me. He will still try to bite my arms and hands while I have to restrain him cause it's so violent all of the sudden and it's scary. There's usually no warning and seems random but usually happens in the evening and he always drinks water afterwards ha. I have to drag him with him walking and still biting my sweater to his crate/room.

        Should I still try to remove myself from the situation instead? Seems hard as the only thing that stops him getting to my skin is physically guiding HIM somewhere else cause he wont let go. After some time with him or alone he calms down and will come out and act normally. It's happened like 4 times. Outside of these outbursts he usually doesn't bite too much and if he nips he is gentle about it/seems to know the difference between human skin and a toy, and has never left any other marks on my hands or anything from nipping. I use positive reinforcement only and he gets plenty of sleep, exercise and mental stimulation.

        1. Omg you have described my 7
          Month old
          Sprocker to a tee!! I feel
          At the end
          Of my tether with her but don’t want to give up
          On her as she is
          Lovely
          Otherwise.

      4. My 9-week-old lab/dane mix has gotten to biting and barking in an aggressive manner for no reason. It's frustrating because it hurts and is making my kids scared. I'm on the verge of tears trying to figure out why she's doing this. She loves to snuggle and kiss and then she turns around and bites, pretty hard, not in a playful manner. It's like she just snaps and goes crazy. I don't know what to do.

        1. At this age, I recommend avoiding having your pup on furniture with you at eye level, or getting down to snuggle on the ground. Both can be huge invitations to play – and for puppies, biting=play! It's extremely rare that we see true aggression at this age – typically it's just very rude and intense play attempts. If you are concerned that your puppy is displaying more than just aggression, I recommend getting a qualified professional trainer involved to help! We can help you virtually, or recommend a trainer in your area.

    2. The article says NOT to put them in time-out. Instead, YOU remove yourself. Go behind closed doors for 10 seconds and then come out. If the biting/jumping continues, go back in the room and close the door. This will take many repetitions. Give your dog treat if, when you come out of the room, s/he has 4 paws on the ground and doesn't jump or bite.

  2. Timeouts have worked great for my pup when dealing with misbehaviour but for me, the problem is getting to the timeout location! As soon as I say the word timeout he is on his back, goes limp and starts waving his paws around so I can’t grab him. Once I get him up on his feet he’s nipping me while calmly (and gently) grab his collar to timeout-Any advice for this?!

    1. Sometimes the most effective time out is one where YOU remove yourself from the area and go on the other side of a door or gate. Your pup is still losing your attention, but you aren't having to get in a battle of wills to get him to his time out spot 🙂

  3. Excellent and sound advice. In two weeks my 5-month-old Yorkie/fox terrier mix is constantly biting my hands and if I correct her she starts on my face although mostly licks.
    I never realized that reacting to this pupping biting can cause more biting.I will try leaving the area and see if that works. My big concern was when she went to my vet as the vet grabbed her she told me she snapped at her and recommended me taking her to a trainer. The three techs present thought this was playing. She is a great loving animal who I rescued 3 weeks ago. She already sits give paw, down position and stay and basically, house trained running and scrathing at door to go out. At 5 months I realize her bladder is not strong enough to hold urine too long.Never has a bowel accident.
    This article was extremely well written, presented i a simple form that makes much sense. One of the best article answering my concerns.
    Thank You
    Brian Dwyer

  4. Our 4 month old terrier mix bites our 5 year old on a daily basis. It can be when she is sitting still or moving around, and even if she’s paying no attention to him, he just comes up to her and bites. We think possibly he is seeking her attention but we are concerned this could lead to aggression. He sometimes breaks skin. We have had him for about a month as he is a rescue. We are not sure what to do as it is so stressful to see him do this.

    1. Hi! I know you posted this awhile ago but I’m having the same problem with our newly adopted rescue who is 4.5 months. Did it get better?

  5. My 8 week puppy seems to be normal but when she gets hyper and we try picking her up to stop or to put her somewhere else she tries to bite our faces. But she does not try to bite us or strangers when we are near her toys or her food. I’m just wondering if it’s normal for a puppy to lunge towards your face when you’re trying to give her a time out, but she doesn’t meet any of the inquiries for an aggressive puppy.

    1. Hi Christina – just wanted to see if you got some guidance on this. I have a puppy now and experience similar issue

      1. I've seen my German Shepherd puppy lunge and nip at my Boxer's face in order to initiate play, and she also does the same thing with me when she's not had enough exercise recently. She's just trying to get me to play with her, and she has not yet learned how to play gently. A time-out won't work for that situation because she already has too much energy built up with no outlet, like a boiler ready to explode. She needs to let off some steam before she can be her usual sweet self again. A walk helps, or I take her out to the backyard and let her chase my Boxer and me around for a while. I let her run 'til she's ready to lay down in the grass and have a nap. Afterward she is her sweet self again!

    2. Hi Christina! I have a 10 week old lab and she will nip at my face sometimes. She was in my lap and I was watching tv and she went for my face. She's done this before and I let her know "no" with a deeper tone and take her off my lap. It seems like she's saying "Hey, play with me" because she got bored, but I want her to ask differently. I place her near her toys and wave them in front of her, she starts to chew on those. A few minutes later I'll play with her. But wondering if there's a way I can teach her to appropriately ask me to play with her.

      1. I can definitely recommend that the #1 rule for furniture is that any wild behavior means you're off the couch 🙂 Make sure those toys are nearby, but even by waving them in front of her, the nipping still worked to get your attention. Try meeting those playtime needs before your rest time so that she starts learning to play more quietly and independently during those times!

  6. My beagle puppy is biting my 2 year old and jumping up to bite her cheek. He steals everything from her hands and bites her hands and legs, even if she’s just walking around. (Obviously he’s playing but she’s not always playing). I don’t know what to do and I’m afraid he’ll accidentally hurt her.

    1. This is the same issue as me. 5 month old lab is biting on walks and it’s difficult to make it clear that attention is withdrawn.

      1. For walks, you can hold the leash out away from you to keep your pup from accessing you and wait out the biting. Saying "no" or getting in a game of tug of war with the leash can be more reinforcing. Sometimes this is also a sign that the walk is too long and your pup is overtired. It's the equivalent of a toddler tantrum 🙂 You can also use a lightweight chain leash (NOT a chain collar- just leash) to discourage biting at the leash.

      2. My 5 month old rough collie bites me if I try to stop him doing things he doesn’t like such as putting lead back on when out walking , picking him up to put in bath or car as he won’t move , and when he got out today he wouldn’t cone in and went to bite me when I tried grabbing him

  7. Any advice for when the pup is biting your older dog would be much appreciated! I have a 3 year old and 12 week old GSP, and they play tug of war and keep away and the little guy is ALWAYS biting his legs/belly/cheeks and it’s too rough. Poor guy has scabs all over him. I know they’re playing but my older boy won’t really show him that it hurts. (Not that I want him to snap at him by any means) we always try to remove the puppy from playing but they always end up right back at it. Any guidance would be helpful!

  8. My 7month old staffie cross bites me and my brother normally after each meal he starts of nipping but then jumps on my mum and bites her arms and back she in her 70 s normally he’s quite well behaved he gets exercised regularly and just has bags of energy

    1. Typically dogs are the best indicators of whether or not play is appropriate ,and will let each other know when it's too rough. It's possible your older dog just genuinely enjoys the play! But I agree that if there are scabs, it's a bit too much. You can put puppy on a long line and let them play (supervised) and then give him a warning word "easy" or "that's enough" when it's getting too rough. If he ignores the warning word, gently reel him in from play and give him a break to calm down.

    2. That sounds like my 7 month old pup, gets over excited after eating or after walks jumps on my bag nips my back etc not aggressive but playful

  9. My 5 month Sprocker spaniel has suddenly in the last 2 weeks started picking up items to chew and if you ask for them back by saying drop and going near her she growls and snaps – today she caught my thumb and it drew blood! I’m not sure where to go with this as she was dropping so nicely with items and being rewarded for it. Just don’t want her biting my children, and want to nip it in the bud quickly. She’s very calm and lovely otherwise and we did puppy training and planned to do more training but can’t with the pandemic. Thanks

    1. This is one of those issues that really has to be addressed by a professional, because it can so easily go south if things aren't done precisely. We offer private instruction online and are being extremely flexible on payments – feel free to reach out if we can help you. In the meantime, do not reach for anything in your pup's mouth and don't try to punish the behavior. Both can result in an escalation of the behavior.

      1. My 16 wk dear hound lurcher cross mastive bull dog is stopping me go onto the back garden grass area if she is out there and I go out and do something on the grass she jumps up at me and nips me any advice pls

        1. This has likely become a game for your pup.I recommend teaching a "Wait" or a "Stay" for your pup so that you can put her in a place, ask her to stay, and reward that more appropriate behavior. If you need a recommendation for a trainer in your area, let me know!

  10. I have difficulty with wild jumping and biting a couple times a day, but usually I am not in a room where I can safely walk away, whether it’s the kitchen with food on the counters or another room where cables could get chewed. How do I walk away in that situation?

  11. (I'm sorry that this is so long) We have three puppies that are getting larger now, and they have a really bad habit of getting excited and starting to bite (one of them is smaller, so they don't do much damage, and usually don't engage in the biting as often). I understand that I should just leave the room and let them calm down, but since there are three of them, once one starts biting or or two of the others sort of gang up on me, and as someone with anxiety I almost always start having a panic attack that renders me useless until someone else comes along to help me. This usually requires trying to shout their name so that they can hear me (which is a problem when no one else is home).

    Three dogs was definitely too much to take on all at once, and I've understood that from the beginning. My mom would definitely not agree with getting rid of two or even one of them, even though I'm almost terrified of being anywhere near them, however, she requires that I help with them, even if I'd rather stay away. What should I do (about the biting)?

    1. I'm so sorry you're in such a difficult position! If walking away is egging them on more, you can also stand your ground use your body language to removing them from you in a non-dramatic way. It's hard to describe in writing, but you can lift up your leg to block them from getting to you – just be sure you aren't kneeing them, as that can be frightening and even cause injuries to the dogs. You could also consider having leashes on the dogs so you can safely remove them when they get rowdy.

  12. Hello. Been great reading these tips. Have a 8 week cockapoo pup who can play a bit too boisterously with my children – 5 and 8 years old. Constantly jumping up and nipping at them so much so they scream, cry etc. Try to distract with a chew toy which doesn’t work as just carries on. As well as myself and kids doing an ouch sound 9 times. If not stop, I separate them by holding puppy and saying settle. If carries on as by this point they are so upset, am I better off we leaving him say in kitchen ( crate is in our den) for an amount of time? Or putting him on his leash the whole time so I can then tether him to something whilst we in same room? Have read about giving treats but doesn’t this reinforce the jumping and biting behaviour? Also thinking giving the boys a chew toy to carry round do if starts they can distract? Also as part of this he will constantly want to be by my side during the day so won’t go in crate for a sleep. Many thanks

    1. Hello! Great questions. The good news is, this behavior is developmentally normal and will stop with time. So your goal is going to be finding what works for your family to prevent her from practicing the behavior as much as possible. For young children, I like having a long leash tethered to a sturdy object in the house, so that the kids can safely remove themselves when puppy gets too boisterous and puppy gets that feedback. Sometimes redirecting with a toy or treats can reinforce the behavior – "if I bite, they give me a toy, etc" so we really want to try not to feed into the behavior. Typically if the puppy is not given attention, they will try harder and harder with those annoying behaviors, BUT then they'll give up and go grab that toy themselves. And that's where the real learning happens!

  13. My adorable most of the time 9 month old porkie is really nasty and aggressive when I try to get him to leave something he wants he has bitten me I managed to pick him up by the scruff of his neck and shut him in the conservatory. But I am worried about it?

  14. Hello! I just adopted a 6weeks puppy, I have been trying to leave him alone and go to other room when he starts bitting my hands or feet, but he keeps crying a lot when I leave him. Is that normal? He also follows me all day around the house. In a few weeks i may get start getting out for 5 hours or more, to work, my city is starting to get out of the pandemic, and I don't know how to make it easier on him (or myself) I don't know how to teach him to play on his onw, and feel good at this alone time, and it's making me very worried.

    Thank you for all the great advice.

  15. We have a 5 month female doberman. She is a wonderful puppy and for the most part is great… the nipping has calmed down a bit, however I was trying to guide her into the house because she was barking at the ext door neighbors dog and whining and really just seeming to want to play with the other dog and she turned to me and growled a little bit, she also has nipped at me while I was trying to remove her from my daughter's room. So I just wanted to ask as to whether or not we should seek professional care. We are currently in our second week of basic training classes and she does very well.

    1. I would recommend working with a professional for sure, just to be safe! If you want to let me know where you're located, I can provide a referral for you.

  16. Hi

    We have a 4 month old Cockerpoo puppy and he’s very good at not biting in general but when he sees my kids running around or is running around with my kids he’s starts chasing them and biting their legs/clothes. I’ve tried to get them to stand still but he doesn’t stop biting immediately so they screech and flap and run away on to the sofa to get away

    1. Very normal at 4 months of age! Adding kids to the equation definitely makes this more challenging! Sometimes having an extra layer of management can really help in these cases, such as having a leash on him (while you’re around and supervising). That way you can grab the leash if you need to stop the behavior and prevent him from accessing the kids. You can also teach the kids how to do a hand touch with him – this is a great way for teaching dogs to interact with our skin more appropriately. Here’s a video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X7DMK4RHbf

  17. Hi, my 9 week old Labrador cross is constantly biting hands and feet and clothes whilst awake, we have tried distracting with toys and at some points food. He constantly goes for my 13 year old son and marks his skin. I know he is playing and having fun as it isn’t aggressive and if he growls it’s definitely play growls… the problem is often my son can’t get away to remove himself it happens a lot in the garden and we try to go inside but the puppy is relentless, we also have quite an open plan house so difficult to put up gates or close doors…. I have ordered a puppy pen to put him in when he gets really bitey, but worried this will be ineffective or do more harm than good? I am feeding him 3 times a day and giving him the correct amount for his age and weight… and the vet said not to give him anymore as he’ll just eat and eat…
    I can see what we are already doing is improving is he bites myself or my husband it is softer pressure than it’s been but we’re worried about the constant attraction to my son…. it’s making my son stay away from the puppy and I’m not sure that good either? So I guess I’m asking I’d the puppy pen is a good alternative to removing ourselves?
    Looking forward to any advice

    1. A pen is a fine idea! Adding kids to the equation definitely makes this more challenging – I totally understand! Sometimes having an extra layer of management can really help in these cases, such as having a leash on her (while you’re around and supervising). That way you can grab the leash if you need to stop the behavior and prevent her from accessing your son. You can also teach him how to do a hand touch with her – this is a great way for teaching dogs to interact with our skin more appropriately. Here’s a video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X7DMK4RHbf

      1. Hi! My 6 month old Dachschund-japanese spitz mix have been biting me a lot 🙁 It used to be playful bites but now whenever i try to play with him using his toys, he will play with them for a couple minutes then switch his attention to my foot all of a sudden and i try ignoring it to make him see that its not working on me but i think that when i dont move, he seems to think that its okay to keep biting it. He also tries to bite me when i try to pick him up. Any advices? His bites are hard but they dont make me bleed yet.

  18. My puppy is not a lab but he’s got such an issue with biting and by this I mean it’s about all he does. He bites everything and everyone non stop. I have three cats and if he even spots one of them walking across the floor, he’s chasing and biting them so much so they try only to stay in high places now that he cant reach. If I try to pet him, he bites, try to walk past him, he bites, try to put his collar on for a walk, he bites. And I’m not talking nipping, he bites very hard. He’s ripped holes in many of my clothes because he will bite me whenever I am near him. I love him to death but I’m at my wits end. If I walk away he just moves on to biting a cat or some other object like furniture which I have to stop him from doing so it’s almost impossible to just walk away and ignore him. It’s really driving me and the cats insane. He is a pug, corgi mix. Any advice greatly appreciated!!

    1. The joys of having a part herding breed! I would recommend giving your pup an outlet for that drive to chase and nip – check out a flirt pole for a good outlet. Otherwise, make sure you’re following all of the tips above, especially ensuring she eats 3 meals a day and is eating enough, and is getting proper exercise and mental stimulation. You can also leave a leash on your dog if you need an extra layer of management to prevent biting. Typically the behavior should be improving by 20 weeks of age.

  19. Hi, I have a 10 weeks old puppy that is mostly aggressive unless she is sleeping. She likes to bite at the hand, face and feet so aggressively even at visitors. She’s so fast that she gets ahead of me by jumping out of the door before I could escape through the door so we both end up outside hahaha. I sometimes have to jump onto my bed which is a bit too tall for her to reach to me so she gives up after several failed attempts. But she jumps back at me the moment I step my feet down.
    What can I do?

    1. The good news is, this is very much a normal behavior at 10 weeks of age! Remember – puppy biting is not a precursor to future aggression. Make sure you're following all of the tips above, especially ensuring she eats 3 meals a day and is eating enough, and is getting proper exercise and mental stimulation. That plus not getting a reaction from you for biting will nip this in the bud quickly!

  20. We have an 8 month old pit mix who likes to try to initiate play with my 3 and 6 year old kids by biting them (I see her do this to our older boxer mix). It's hard to make the kids understand that they should ignore her or walk away, instead they start screaming and running…and I know this excites her more. I know the kids are half the problem, but Any other tips for helping her to not bite?

    1. Adding kids to the equation definitely makes this more challenging – I totally understand! Sometimes having an extra layer of management can really help in these cases, such as having a leash on her (while you're around and supervising). That way you can grab the leash if you need to stop the behavior and prevent her from accessing the kids. You can also teach the kids how to do a hand touch with her – this is a great way for teaching dogs to interact with our skin more appropriately. Here's a video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X7DMK4RHbf8

  21. We adopted a 3-4 mo old Pom (from Kuwait) a few weeks ago and she is feisty, sweet and well socialized. She plays well and is respectful of our 10 yr old Cairn terrier and is affectionate with us. BUT when it is nap time and she is getting over tired, she becomes furious and snarly when picked up to go in the crate or pen to sleep. This doesn't happen at night. Help! I know this is a temper tantrum of an over tired pup, but I am concerned because of bites on my hand and this behavior continuing. (We are very experience dog people and have had dogs all our lives including many young pups.)

    1. This is definitely a stressful behavior, I know! What I'd suggest is teaching your puppy to go to crate on cue so that you can get her in there BEFORE she gets overtired. Stuff a Kong with some peanut butter and put it in the crate so that she can expend that energy onto something other than your hands. If she's already nippy and overtired, you can still lead her in with the Kong vs. picking her up (which makes for a very fun game of hand biting!)

  22. Our 4 month old teddy bear nipped at my husbands nose and made the inside of it bleed. Any suggestions on how to react to that?

    1. The good news is, at your puppy's age this behavior was likely an accident. This typically happens when we go down to puppy's eye level or bend over them, which they see as an indication to begin play. And puppies love to play with those sharp teeth! You can try making a high pitched "ouch!" and removing yourself and ending play immediately. If the "ouch" fires your puppy up more, don't do it. I know it seems like something that you should punish your puppy for, but it really is a very normal phase in their development.

  23. Hi There! We have a now 12 week old Golden Retriever that we got when he was 8 weeks. He is definitely displaying dominant behavior, especially with our 8 year old son. We made a mistake at the beginning by letting them roll around and rough play when we first got him and we certainly regret it now. The puppy will lunge at my son, unprovoked at times. It's heartbreaking because my son wants him to be his best friend but we can't really allow them together alone. We're very much doing the ignoring trick now and hope we start to see improvement with consistency in this. Any other advice? The vet recommended the same approach. Covid has definitely complicated training but we are trying to socialize as much as possible. He's great in every other area, he goes to the door everytime he needs to go outside, my son taught him give me paw, he sits, lays down, sometimes stubborn with come here on a leash but otherwise fine. We just want assurance that this is normal and will pass with proper and consistent training! Thank you!

    1. Hi there! The good news is, this is actually not a sign of dominant behavior. We've learned a ton in recent years about the dog/human dynamic, and we've found that there is not a competition for dominance between dogs and humans. Make sure your pup is eating three meals a day and the correct amount according to the food bag, and is getting some sort of aerobic exercise each day. Retrievers love to use their mouths as puppies! It will get better. Another note – don't have your son get on the ground at puppy's eye level – this is a major temptation for them as it feels like you are inviting rough play. You got this!

  24. Three weeks ago we got a 17 week old border collie/ husky mix at a rescue. We have a 3 year old chi- terrier mix. The puppy will not quit biting at the little one no matter what we do or how the little one responds . The puppy just doesn’t seem to get she’s hurting her. She even won’t let the little one drink without pushing her out of the way.
    The little one is so upset and sad all the time now.
    Is there anything we can do to stop the behavior?
    I don’t want to have to try and return her.

    1. Hi Coleen! I'd recommend managing the pups during those wild times by separating them between a gate or something similar to give your older pup a break. If your older pup tells the puppy off with barking or a warning snap, allow that! You may also get your new pup into a small puppy class to give him a chance to socialize with other puppies. You have a mix of breeds that love to use their mouths, so try a flirt pole (look online for options) or some mental enrichment exercises to give the puppy an outlet for that energy. This behavior is annoying, but normal for this age!

  25. We have a 5 month old lab mix puppy who is amazing except for the biting. He is clearly not doing it out of aggression but it is no less painful. He mostly nips when he's asking for something, but when he gets over excited he'll full on bite and jump and has left marks on my kids.
    We try to remove ourselves from the situation as well as him and it calms him down most of the times but the next time it's the same story all over again.
    Is is just a matter of time before he stops or should we be doing something more to stop him from doing this?
    Thank you.

  26. my mini 8 week old dachshund would whine in the play pen when i remove myself after he bites. so when should i come back if he doesnt stop at all? cheers!

  27. I have a 4 month old heeler/border collie pup. She’s wonderful and incredibly smart and I have her in training and overall it has been going well. However, she is so so nippy and the biting is getting really old. We can hardly even pet her without her starting to bite our hands. It is almost always playful, but it seems like nothing we do stops her. Even offering her other toys, she will ignore them and go straight for our hands. After reading this article, I’m a little more hopeful that she’ll eventually grow out of it.

    The most concerning behavior I see in her though is when we’re playing. She LOVES to run after her frisbee or a ball outside, and mostly does really great with it. However, she sometimes gets a little too excited and she’ll start biting at my calves or jumping up to bite my arms/hands. I try having her sit but she just seems so worked up that she doesn’t pay any attention to it. I haven’t quite figured out how to settle her down without leaving her outside alone, getting nipped at the whole way to the door. She’s drawn blood a few times doing this, although I still believe it’s playful rather than aggressive. I know a lot of this behavior is just because of her herding breed instincts, but do you have any suggestions for helping her settle down when she gets too excited?

    1. Hi Sarah! The good news is, you're still within the realm of normal for your puppy's age, especially having a herding breed. I would not recommend offering toys when she starts biting, because you're technically rewarding her for biting by offering the toy 😉 I would recommend having her on a leash (or just have the leash dragging) when you're playing so that you can immediately stop the behavior as it starts and prevent her from having the opportunity to bite you.

  28. Hi, we have a 9 week old husky mix. She's sweet and very playful. She loves to nip. I don't believe she is aggressive. She always seems playful when this happens, but she bites hard enough that she has broken my skin and my 13 year old daughter's. We have tried removing ourselves to the timeout, but she's nipping hard as we try to escape! If im sitting I put my arms behind my back and stop looking which seems to help. Any advice on what to do if we can't redirect her attention and walk to timeout without the nipping?

    1. Hi Amy! Thanks for reaching out with this question. The good news is, this is normal behavior and not an indicator of future aggression – although I know it hurts! She's likely finding your movement reinforcing. If you're sitting, I recommend standing up and removing your attention completely. Our rule for furniture is that if any rude behavior starts (biting, jumping, etc) the dog is removed from the furniture – only calm behavior allowed there 😉 When you're at your puppy's eye level, this is going to be a direct indicator for play, so try not to bend down to puppy's eye level or play on the ground with her until she's a bit older and has a bite more impulse control.

      1. Hi! Thank you for this great advice. I am practicing the 'removing myself' when my 11 week old Coton starts to nip and bite and pull on clothes. We have baby gates so I go behind them or into another room behind a closed door. The problem is he barks when I remove myself. I'm afraid I'm just replacing one unacceptable behavior with another. Any suggestions?

        1. Great question, Patti! And a very common response we see from puppies. You're just going to want to wait for at least 3 seconds of silence before you return – that will ensure you aren't reinforcing the barking!

  29. I have a terrier mix puppy that constantly bites me and my family whenever we try to touch her. She's very sensitive and she becomes "crazy" whenever she starts biting. Her bites do hurt and break my skin. Is there any way that we can stop her from biting or at least calm her down? She is 10 weeks old and has been cited as a "shy, non-standard puppy".

    1. Hi there! I would definitely recommend working with a professional in your case – feel free to let me know your location and I'll provide a referral for you.

  30. Hello,

    we have a 7 month Cavapoochon , he has always been a bit bitey as a pup but we did do puppy training and always managed it wth distraction techniques. we were hopefuly he would grow out of it. but that has not been the case.

    it seems when he is tired or overly excited we cannt stop the biting. if me my husband or a fmaily member do sonething he doesnt want his meediate recation is to mouth at you. today on a walk he picked up some plastic whoch i tried to get out of his mouth and again he went for me and managed to pierce my skin. he also has this bahnaviour with his groomer.

    we dont know how to deal with this amd what are the best steps to improve the behaviour – any tips?

  31. I have a 4 month old English cocker spaniel, in the last few weeks he’s become more boisterous and seems to be nipping much more, I have tried removing myself by leaving the room but he doesn’t seem to care, he just starts playing with his toys – is this the desired outcome or does it mean I should try s different tactic? He’s s totally hyper active puppy who seems to always be wired and full of energy and just seems to get to the point he becomes boisterous and it’s impossible to calm him down

    1. Yes! This is exactly the desired outcome. You're teaching him that when he is excited and wants to play, he needs to go grab a toy, and not your skin 🙂 Self-entertaining is a great sign that you're on the right track!

  32. If someone else is in the room with you do they also have to leave the room or just the person the puppy has nipped? So for example if my partner is cooking dinner and my puppy nips me do we both leave or just me? Sometimes it’s not always practical for both people to stop what they’re doing and leave the room (cooking, washing up, eating etc)

  33. We have a 11 month old shitzu who just recently has begun to growl and even bite when being picked up. One time it was when he was laying on the coach and another time was close to bed time to go in the crate. Both times we were looking to pick him up. He never has behaved like this since we have had him. He also isn't a fan when we have to dry his body/paws when coming in after a rainy walk outside. He gets nippy. Any suggestions?? Will this settle down as we always believed he was the sweetest natured dog.

  34. I have an 11 week old male Golden Retriever. He is very bitey, and breaks the skins at least once a day. I am concerned about his aggressiveness when biting as he tries to bite me or my clothes and wants to tug them . I can't walk away as he follows and latches on to my clothes preventing me from leaving. I am growing afraid of him and worry he will notice the fear from me. Also, He is very stubborn and also refuses to come inside after he potties. He lays down and refuses to budge for several minutes. Sorry this is long but any advice you can give is appreciated.

    1. Hi Rita! I'm sorry you're going through this, but know that what you're experiencing is normal (albeit annoying!) I'd recommend increasing your pup's daily exercise and mental enrichment (look up "Flirt poles" on Amazon – it's an excellent way to give bitey pups an outlet! You can also try leaving a leash on him (supervised) so you can simply remove him from you if he starts to get too rough. If you can let me know the city/state you're located in, I can find an in-person training referral for you! For the pottying, are you in a fenced area or is he on a leash?

  35. Hi, my 6 mth old Aussie is constantly mouthing everyone or licking. I'm sure he is just super excited and loves attention. Is walking away the same thing we should do with the licking? I don't mind it here and there because I guess that is their way of showing love but he just doesn't know when to stop. I also don't want him to think its okay to lick all over everyone especially if a guest comes over.

    1. Hi Vivian! For some dogs, this is a way of coping with overly exciting or stressful situations. Try giving your pup a special toy or chew that they ONLY get when guests come over – you'll likely see a big improvement!

  36. Hi there,
    We have a 12 week year old female french bull dog. We are fortunate she does not chew on furniture however, she loves to bite us and has a particular interest in feet. We feed her 3 times a day (100g royal canin and 1 wet pouch of pedigree puppy food). We also include a lot of water in her food to ensure she is hydrated. Not all the times but very often when we put on our flip flops to go outside she immediately goes for our toes and pierces skin sometimes. We have tried to shut her outside and turn our back to the door when she is looking and sometimes we bring her in she licks us and stops, not always the case.
    We have tried picking her up when she bites and asking her to sit and stop but nothing works consistently. We will take her to puppy classes in a couple weeks as she recently had her last shot. My wife is at her wits end, so hoping this is temporary. Should we given her something to help her teething? We don't do a lot of treats as keen to control her weight. Any advice is helpful…
    Thank you.

    1. Hi Fiona! Ouch – this sounds painful for sure! I would suggest putting a leash on her BEFORE you put on your flip flops, so you can prevent her from accessing your feet at this time. At this age, management like that goes a LONG way to preventing lingering habits. You're about to go through the teething process, so you may see a worsening for a few weeks, but you should be seeing major improvement by 20 weeks of age.

  37. My 5 month lab has 2 instances where he starts biting and jumping at me and my husband, usually breaking the skin. The first is when playing fetch in our yard. He fetches only a few times and then when we throw a final time, it seems like he gets bored and decides it's more fun to bite us instead. When we try to walk away, he bites our backs or clothes and it usually takes a rough few minutes to leave the yard. The other time is on walks. He randomly starts biting and jumping at us. It can be at the very beginning or at the end of our walks. He's on a leash, but he's about 60 pounds at 5 months. I try to hold him away from me but he just bites my arm. Today, we were walking on a trail and it took about 5 minutes of him biting me to finally calm down. My arms are pretty beat up. We have 3 kids but we've been good about always being there and intervening quickly when necessary. I want to keep exercising him but I don't want to keep encouraging the behavior since we can't effectively walk away. Thanks for any advice!

    1. Hi Ashley! For the fetch issue, I'd recommend having a leash dragging while you play (or a long line) as a backup plan so that you can interrupt the behavior right away. But what I want you to try is at the end of the game, BEFORE any biting begins, ask him for a sit (or something else he knows well) and reward that behavior with food. You can then walk back inside with him, periodically asking him for a sit along the way. It's going to teach him a much more appropriate alternate behavior at the end of the game! And as for the walking, try switching to a front-clip harness like the Freedom Harness, which should make it more difficult for him to be able to bite you while on leash.

  38. This article and the comments have made me feel better for sure! I rescued a somewhere between 3-5 month old Shepherd mix and he's very smart and very friendly. We've always pet him when we feed him and reached for his bowl from the beginning to make sure to avoid any food territorial issues and he's great! We've also been implementing the ignore and walk away when he gets too aggressive during fetch or just hanging inside. My concern is that he loves meeting new people and gets really excited when we walk by someone on the sidewalk and often will jump at them as they go by. I try and control it with the leash but I don't want him to be scared of people. I think part of the problem is that people get so excited when they see him (who can blame them! It's a puppy!) he gets riled up and when they go to pet him, he goes to bite their hands. It's never aggressive, his tail is wagging and he is clearly trying to play but I don't know how to best stop it. I want to keep socializing him but I worry he'll just keep nipping! I hope continuing reinforcement at home will help, and I know even 4-5 months is still young, I just don't know when I should really start to worry.

  39. Hi! This article and comments were so helpful. My 4 month old lab/hound mix bites a TON, which I know is normal but that doesn't make it less frustrating! When we're inside I try to be consistent about turning my back and/or leaving the room. But one situation that I find extremely difficult to navigate is (usually when we're on a walk or in the backyard, but sometimes just in the apartment) he'll jump up on me and latch his teeth into my pants/legs and not let go. I don't know how to disengage without getting him off me (and also his teeth HURT and he frequently breaks the skin), but I know anything I do physically to get him off me just riles him up more!

    1. Hi Sara! Thanks for writing. This does sound painful! It sounds like your dog is highly motivated by the act of biting (not in an aggressive way- just the fun of the tug). I would suggest buying a flirt pole (this one is my favorite: https://www.amazon.com/Outward-Hound-Tail-Teaser-Flirt/dp/B0042I5G2I) and incorporating it into your pup's daily exercise routine. You may also want to keep a leash on your dog during times you feel this behavior might happen so that you have an easy way to swiftly remove him as soon as he starts up.

    2. Oh my gosh, I could have written this! We rescued a lab/hound mix who is just now 4 months old. His biting is horrible! He often even looks mean when he's doing it. The backs of my legs especially, are covered in bruises from his bites! I'm afraid if I just turn my back to him, he'll bite the backs of my legs even more! We have to wait a few more weeks to start puppy training, but his biting is out of control. I am very concerned because he's growing like a weed and I'm afraid the bites will be worse (more painful). And I don't want to restrict/crate him every time someone visits, especially my mother or the grands! Other than his biting, he is also a great boy and extremely smart (learning tricks quickly – sit, shake, high five, lay down, and roll over already!).

  40. Hi! Our golden doodle is 5.5 months… she is mostly great but the biting seems to have worsened over the past few weeks… she’s lost a lot of teeth and I think most of her grown up teeth have come in but maybe not all… just wondering how long the biting lasts? We are being more consistent about leaving the room as she seems to do it for attention or when she’s tired but I’m getting worried as she gets older that it’s less age-appropriate and more of a concern.

  41. My 6 month old Bernese Mountain dog appears to be aggressive and just wants to bite you while you walk or not. He also goes after the smaller 2 year old Mini Aussie in the house and sounds angry when doing so but it appears to be severely rough playing. He doesn’t attempt to play with the 4 year old golden retriever because of past interactions in which the golden snapped at him for the rough playing. Any suggestions to get him to stop the roughness/biting?

  42. Hi, I know this is a late reply, but I was wondering what you would do in a situation where you have an obnoxious puppy who won't leave an older dog alone. He barely mouths anymore except when I grab his collar to lead him a way from my other dog.

    1. Does your older dog ever tell him off with a bark or a snap? Other dogs are the best teachers in these situations, so definitely give him the chance to (within reason) set boundaries with the puppy. If your older dog struggles with this, I'd recommend getting your puppy around a few other adult dogs that enjoy playing, but will teach some boundaries of what's too much. You can also work on an excellent recall for your pup to call them away from your other dog.

  43. We have a 10 week old Lab puppy and she constantly bites and pulls on the pant leg of my 4 yr old son. My son is starting to be afraid of her and i do not want that we don’t want to give her up but i am afraid as she is growing and getting bigger that she will be aggressive towards my 4 yr old any tips you can give me? Thank you.

    1. The good news is, play biting is not a sign of future aggression. The little ones in the house always get the worst of puppy biting. Make sure you follow all of the tips in the blog (including appropriate exercise, enough meals/food, and find a management strategy that works for your family.) And you should begin seeing improvement by 5 months of age!

  44. Hi our lab pup is currently 14 weeks old. We are having a nightmare with nipping and biting. This only really happens during play time…more so evenings. We made the mistake of letting her up on the sofa for cuddles and naps…however she has progressed to thinking she is the queen of the house when on it🙄 We have done all the coaxing for down, rewarded with a treat etc but she gets back up and then refuses to comedown. If I say 'no' and 'down and attempt to remove her she barks and tries to bite. This is also the case when playing with her. She will purposely go out of her way to nip me if I tell her no. This is especially if I tell her no when she is playing too rough with our children. The nipping/lunging and barking at us when she doesnt want to do something is starting to worry me. Any other time she is great! If there are treats involved shes a little angel! Very clever and obedient and learns new tricks all the time.
    Shes very friendly with people and dogs and just wants to be fussed over and play. It's just when we are all together (myself, husband and children) and we invite her in for affection & play time she becomes extremely bossy 😩
    She has nipped us quite a few times, and my kids too- again this is only during play. She isn't over protective of food or toys whatsoever, the issue is only when playing, but she is very rough and as I said, when being told no or down barks , lunges and nips.
    Another issue I have is stones😩😩 she constantly puts them in her mouth…tried the trade for a treat which works…..only now shes cottoned on a stone for a treat🙈any tips with that? Our back garden is full of stones…we've managed to secure most of them with a clear paint/glue sealer….however there is a large area we cannot do due to drainage issues and therefore cannot seal there. We could remove but this is a big job and as we are renting want this to be a last resort. Its not just stones, soil , sticks, anything! I'm worried she will choke…but i suppose this is a part of the Retriever nature? Any help would be really appreciated, thanks!

    1. At 14 weeks, you are in the heart of teething! However, based on some of the issue you're describing, I'd recommend some professional guidance to help you see improvement more quickly and prevent other issues from developing. We offer virtual training, or I'm happy to find a referral for a trainer in your area.

  45. Thank you for the great video. In addition to biting and nipping, my 5 month old mini schnauzer (11.2 lbs.) puts her rather large paws on the front of my feet as I am trying to walk and I am concerned that I will step on her and/or trip and fall. Any suggestions to curb this behavior? She moves very quickly and always seems to be under foot.
    Thanks for your help.

    1. The good news is, this is often a sign of a friendly, affectionate dog who just loves being around you! I recommend teaching a "wait" cue for stairs especially, so you can go up or down first without worrying about your pup being underfoot. Typically they learn over time to be careful of human feet!

  46. I have a 2 year old husky/heeler mix dog, (fixed male), and just rescued a puppy… 9 weeks old female, heeler/german shep/pit bull (according to what owners said)… my male dog is VERY good with her, very patient, plays with her, very gentle…. my worry is about how vicious she is when they are playing… she doesnt bite me, not even as mouthy as i expected (more a licker than a nipper with me) but her playing with him is very "bite" oriented… constantly attacking.. he will pin her, but ive only heard him make her yelp a couple times… both times when she bites his face… now i know he can take care of himself, but is it normal for her aggressive biting to continue with him, and will it translate to her later behavior around other dogs when she is older?

    1. Typically dogs are very good at working these things out. We want to see that both dogs respect when one has had enough, and back off if the other one shows signs of needing a break, or yelps. So far it sounds like you're within the boundaries of normal!

  47. We have a 4 month old bully who 90% of the time is great but sometimes she jumps and bites both inside and on walks. We try to turn away but it doesn't do much. Is this something that she will grow out of or something that we need to look more closely at fixing now? thanks

  48. My 5 month old Goldendoodle has a biting issue. Just when it seemed as if teething was ending he started loosing his puppy teeth and now it's starting all over again. He's mouthy when I'm putting on his harness mostly. Now on walks he goes for the leash or my pants leg if I don't have on something that's close fitting. Shorts work best, but now it's getting a little nippy out. Does this typically end when all of his puppy teeth have fallen out and permanent teeth are in? He doesn't naw on furniture. Just my hands, arms, pants leg, and leash. Other than this he's AMAZING!!!

  49. Hi! So we have a four month old lab/retriever mix and he is super chill other than when we are out on walks and we start walking back to our place. Then he goes a little psycho and starts turning on his back, then starts biting at our legs and jumping up biting our hands. It's gotten fairly aggressive at points. It becomes so challenging to get him back to the door and we aren't sure the best way to handle this situation. Any advice would be much appreciated 🙂

    1. This is often a sign that the walk is a bit too long – try shortening your walks and bringing a bit of food with you to do some training as you go. I would also recommend a front clip harness like the Freedom Harness (be sure to clip it at the chest) – this can help prevent the behavior.

  50. What should you do if you cannot leave the room? I have many online video meetings and cannot leave the room, but my 9 week old mix breed keeps nipping me.

    1. Great question, Greg! I would recommend a play pen that your puppy is in (along with some appropriate chew toys) during your meetings, so that nipping is simply not an option.

  51. Helllo,I have a 12 week old Indie Labrador Retriever mix.My only concern is that she has not gone through the biting phase till now.We only got her recently and she hardly bites us but bites the furniture,pillows etc. a little.I am concerned;Is this normal?Can you please tell us why she is not going through a biting phase?

  52. Hello I have a 12 week old boxer/lab mix the biting at ankles hands and feet are horrible at my kids, I have started timeouts, but seems he is in timeouts all the time and goes right back to biting most of time.

    1. This is why instead of a timeout, we recommend that YOU remove yourself from the situation. Sometimes the process of getting a dog into a timeout can be fun for them, as it involves chasing, talking, etc.

  53. Hi there, I have a four month old corgi who used to always nip and bite our feet. I have managed to largely stop that behaviour by stopping in my tracks and saying a firm, calm no. However, just this past week the feet biting has increased, and he has started this new jump and lunge thing where he bites and tugs on pants or shirts, often drawing blood on the skin beneath the clothes. It will happen on walks, when he gets excited inside the house, or sometimes out of the blue when he is tired. I try to ignore it and go to another room, but can't really when its on a walk, or when he is biting and shredding my clothes. I have had success with redirecting with a sit-stay. Is this an ok strategy? Just really tired of this behaviour for both my skin and clothes' sake. He always has a playful attitude and I'm not concerned with aggression, but the force of his bites are really strong despite the fact that he takes treats with a soft mouth and otherwise doesn't do much mouthing. Thanks!

  54. Hi!

    Considering that the bitting is not really painful, is it an option to just let her bite me but without any reaction? Maybe if I don't push her away or move my arms at all it will stop being interesting for her.

    Thanks!

  55. What if a puppy is biting another dog? The puppy only bites this one dog meanwhile there are two other dogs in the same room and they all are playing with a toy. The biter is only biting the one dog seems playful but showing signs of dominance. What should I do when my puppy is a bully?

    1. Without seeing the behavior, it's hard to say, but this may just be part of your puppy's play style! Biting (even when they grab at the neck, etc) can all be playful. What we watch for is if both dogs are participating – does one dog bite, then back away, then the other dog has a go? Both dogs should have loose tail wagging, and should be able to stop when they have had enough. It's even ok if one dog barks or snaps to let the other dog know they've had enough.

  56. hey i have a 4, almost 5 month old australian shepherd heeler mix. all he wants to do is chew on us, he sometimes breaks skin and we bleed. he comes inside the house and instantly starts biting, so we try to distract him with things to chew on or a toy if it just starts, but he just goes for our hands and arms. we keep having to crate him or put him outside. hes very sweet when hes tired and just wants to hang out, which is rare and usually only late at night. ( like 10:30 or 11:00 ) rarely durring the day. hes not aggressive hes only playing but its too much. its a struggle to get him outside he fights us the entire way. people have told us to spray him with water but hes a major water dog and just wants to play with the water. we take him to the beach like 3 times a week and he goes on a walk nearly every day. we feed him 3 times a day and play with him but he never stops.

  57. Hi guys. I have a puppy, he is 9 months old. Recently he's been biting a lot, I was very worried because of it. I read this article and it helped a lot. Now he's not biting anymore. However, I also want to train him to shake paws. I found an article online teaching the same. Here is the article- https://mytrainedpet.wordpress.com/2020/11/17/how-to-train-your-dog-to-shake/
    If you could take a look at it and tell me if this will work or not, it would be helpful. If no, then how can I teach my puppy to shake paws?
    Thank you

  58. We introduced a 12 week old male rescue (lab mix) to our 12 year old female lab. The puppy is generally well behaved but when out of control is more aggressive toward – mounting, nipping at – our older dog who will growl or bark when she’s had enough. Anything else I can do to ease this transition?

    1. Hi Mark! Make sure your older dog has some rest time away from the puppy throughout the day. It's totally fair and appropriate for your older dog to bark, snap, and growl at the puppy to set those boundaries of what's too rough – you can let that happen as long as it doesn't escalate to any real fights. Older dogs can be the best teachers!

  59. Hi! I have a 12ish week old border collie/heeler mix and in the couple of weeks we have had him we have seen drastic improvements in impulse control when it comes to herding us and nipping at our heels. However, this is mostly because we started picking him up and cradling him like a baby on and saying "that's enough" until he relaxes, then we put him down and continue playing. Prior to doing that, we were doing the removing yourself time outs like you have described, but they were ineffective because he would chase us and nip at our heels all the way into the room and as soon as we were out of sight would jump on the couch or chew on the furniture which he knows he is not supposed to do. Sometimes he was overtired and needed to be put in his crate for a nap, but other times it was after a solid nap, meal and walk outside. Do you have any tips for another time out method when removing yourself reinforces the behavior? Thank you!

  60. I have a 12 week old male poodle that goes straight for my hands, arms or legs every time I try to touch him. The top of my hands and wrists are full of puncture marks that drew blood. He bites the leg my pants and ankles also but I usually wear socks so its not so bad. I feel I can’t pet him very much because he’s always tense and biting. I think he thinks its a game and I don’t know how to stop him doing this. If I say NO, he barks at me and tries to bite harder. Finally I have to put him away in the kitchen as he won’t stop. I have been trying putting a piece of kibble in my hand but as soon as its gone, he is back biting. If he gives up his toy, he will bite me right away, before I have time to throw it. He had two male brothers and he is the biggest. I need some help.

    1. Everything you're describing is normal, and will get better! Try to minimize petting for now, as some pups do just see this as an invitation to play (aka bite.) Try the tips in this article, and you should see improvement! Saying "no" is likely something he finds reinforcing – he got your attention, which is what he wants. If you need extra help, feel free to email us at info@peachonaleash.com and we're happy to set you up with some virtual training!

  61. Hi, my issue is when we try and remove ourselves from the situation when she gets bitey, my 3 month old puppy proceeds to try and rip up the carpet or chew on the corner of the wall. She has many toys and other things to chew on, but she chooses the rug. It makes it difficult to leave her alone because we have to stop her from destroying things.

    1. This is likely another attention-seeking behavior that she has figured out gets a reaction. I would recommend having a leash on her so that you can manage her quickly when she starts biting, and lead her away if she starts getting into inappropriate things.

  62. I have a 10 month quarantine labradoodle puppy. I am trying to socialize him with other dogs (at a playcare site), but he keeps nipping at the other dogs' faces to get them to play. He is removed from the area each time and re-introduced, but do you have other suggestions?

    1. Nipping at faces, although it can be annoying for older dogs, is a totally normal play behavior, especially in puppies under a year of age! Other dogs are the best teachers – allow them to provide some mild, appropriate warnings if your pup goes over the top (they may growl or air snap) and your dog will learn the ropes quickly!

  63. I have had a pocket beagle for almost 4 weeks. He is now 12 weeks. We are potty training and he is starting to get it, but still has accidents. My main concern is the biting. He is playing, but his teeth are like razors. I try distracting him with a chew toy, but he persists on biting me. What do I do when he hangs off my ants .by his teeth? I try to leave the room but he is dragging on my pant leg. When I try to extricate him from my pant leg, he is biting my hands. Advice appreciated. Thank you.

  64. Thank you so much for all your replies to each person’s questions about this article, its extremely helpful, consoling, & this has answered several of my biting concerns. I am new to your site. So THANK YOU!

    I do have a question though….*leash biting/tug = becomes overstimulated & bites*.

    I have a 14 wk old female Lab (30lbs) who play bites me a LOT (draws blood each time) so I started putting her on a 6 foot leash (since our place is open concept = no where to quickly escape!). I also use an “Easy Walk Harness” that attaches to the leash at the front ….as you suggested to a few ppl. In the beginning I would let the leash trail behind her *when inside* & only pick it up to stop her from biting me. However, she now chews & tugs on the leash every time I put it on her – even if she is calm (yes I have lots of toys & chews for her to play with & she gets walks after *every* nap! But no other dogs to play with due to lockdowns here). I do not try to stop her tugging on the leash when putting it on her (I ignored it) because I was worried that I would reinforce it. While I understand she thinks its a game, she gets ramped up & then starts biting me. Redirects do not work! So I have had to start teather her leash to a chair – so I can get away when inside, but I cant do that on walks. So how do I handle this new leash biting/tug aspect?

    Thank you in advance for any advice, as I’m sure others have experienced this too!

    1. Thanks so much for your kind words! I'm glad it's been helpful! A lightweight chain leash can work wonders to stop this issue – it's simply not fun to bite on, and you don't have to worry about her chewing through the leash. Here's an example of one: https://www.chewy.com/omnipet-chain-dog-leash-leather/dp/147887

      Here is an additional article you might find helpful, too: https://peachonaleash.com/beyond-puppy-biting-when-mouthy-behavior-continues-into-adolescence/

  65. I am looking to adopt a 4 month old puppy from a rescue. Me and my 12 you daughter when to see her. She is very cute and seems very happy and friendly but is extremely hyper. She way going from to to my daughter try to jump up and bite hand and pull on my jacket. When she got a good hold and you tried to get your hand away she bit harder. She broke my skin in 3 places. When we got some toys in the room she went frantically from one to the other then back to hands. She did not settle down at all. The lady/vet said this is her baseline she is a wild child. She was able to sit on command but went back to play almost instantly. Do you think with a lot of ball throwing/exercise, bully bones, and training she will calm down? I was able to I guess swaddle her in my arms she relaxed a bit stopped biting and gave some licks. I thought that was an encouraging sign. They said she had been returned once already so if I get her it is forever. My daughter was a little afraid of her cause of the non stop jumping and biting. She couldn't cuddle her at all like you would want to do with a puppy. Should we adopt her or keep looking?

    1. I always tell people to believe what you see the first time you meet a dog. She is likely going to be a mouthy, jumpy puppy for the next 6+ months. While training is going to help immensely and it doesn't sound like she has any indicators of major issues, you definitely want to think about whether or not this level of energy/puppy biting is something your family is comfortable with at this time.

  66. We have a 3 month old Baxter lab mix. We have tried several techniques, but she still bites hard. In fact my husband and I have several bites on our hand and legs. Please help! We also have a 7 and 8 year old kids that are afraid to walk around now.

    1. The techniques in this article have been tried and testing on many of our client dogs over the years! Follow them closely and you will see huge improvement in just a few weeks. Don't be afraid to use a leash as well to prevent your puppy from being able to bite the kids – management at this age can help immensely. But know that at 3 months, you are still at a very normal age for biting!

  67. My 3.5 month old labradoodle bits aggressively, barks when he bites, and lunges when he bites. He also lunges for your face. He has broken the skin a few times. It is different than playtime biting. It is intentional and assertive. I think he is trying to show dominance. I put him in his crate and we go over "calm down" and "settle." He settles until I open the crate and then he walks out and bites again. This only happens a few times a day. The majority of the day he is loving and calm. But when he gets in one of his moods, he's aggressive.

  68. Our Boston is 15 weeks old and his biting has me very discouraged. He’s a beast during the day and an angel in the evening. I’ve tried a variety of recommended interventions, including just ignoring him. None of it has helped. It never occurred to me to remove myself, but it makes perfect sense. I’m looking forward to trying it.

  69. How can I stop a 5 month old puppy from getting a bit aggressive when trying to put a boot on? (she has a cut paw) I’ve only been able to do it when she was distracted sniffing another dog but I need to be able to do it before we go outside.

    1. You can try giving her an interactive toy (like a Kong stuffed with peanut butter) as you put it on. You can also check out "the bucket game" how-to video that teaches a great way to help dogs cope with stressful procedures or getting used to new things like that.

  70. I have an 8 week old puppy who will not stop trying to bite any part of me or what I'm wearing anytime I take him out. I attempt to redirect his attention with other toys he should be biting instead but wow those needle teeth hurt! He's far more interested in biting me than anything else however.
    Everything else I can deal with however the only solution I can find is to keep our play time to 20-30 minutes at best at a time but frequently throughout the day. He's doing phenomenal with potty training however and I take him outside every 1-1.5 hours then every 3-4 hrs at night.

    How long should I expect this level of biting me stage to last? Surely it won't be quite so bad in another month?
    And, how long is long enough to play throughout the day? I feel terrible anytime I have to put him in his kennel but I feel as though he would play 20 hours a day if I let him.

    1. At 8 weeks, he should be sleeping around 16 hours a day! So it's actually very important that you require those rest periods. We usually see a massive improvement in the biting by 5 months of age, if not sooner!

  71. My puppy is about 2 months old and he is obviously teething and he has a particular liking for my fingers. I suspect this is because all other toys are too big for him and my fingers fit pretty well in his mouth and reach his gums. His biting isn't aggressive at all and I always remove my fingers from his mouth when he bites too hard, but I let him do this because even the smallest toys that he has are a little too big to reach the places he wants but at the same time I don't want this behavior to continue when he's older. Should I continue to allow him to bite me or should I leave every time he starts biting or should I continue until he stops teething?

    1. I would try finding some toys that are easy for your pup to chew on – they make great teething toys for even tiny dogs! I would recommend not allowing any biting of your hands, so that your pup doesn't get any mixed messages.

  72. I appreciate this, but honestly it doesn't feel realistic to enact. My chihuahua puppy is biting us most of the time, for play, and we try to redirect onto toys, but it is not possible to be getting up and leaving where I'm sitting for my whole day. I'm barely able to get work done as it is with how much separation anxiety she has, how poorly her training is going with trying to stay calm around the cats, and how over excited she gets. My only "go away" is to pick her up and put her into her pen on a time out, but then when I come back she is play biting me as I reach to pick her up, and then if I disengage she begins whining and leaping at the bars of her pen.
    We're working with a professional trainer who knows Chihuahuas, but most the advice we're getting seems really hard to put into practice when your puppy is basically constantly play biting, and gets SO over stimulated so quickly, and then has massive crying, yelling whining when we put her back into the pen. As I said it's not realistic to be leaving the room, entering the room all day long, because that would literally be my entire day, and also because we can't give her access to a whole room because she chases the cats like mad. We're working on all of it, but it doesn't quite seem to be working. It's a miracle that she's mostly potty trained now, and that's just staying IN her pen, nevermind running around the house! Is this normal? Is there a particular order to prioritize these things in? She eats plenty, she always has water, she's got tons of toys, I play with her, give her lots of attention, and also am doing everything I've been guided to to help with all these issues, including lots of passive calming methods.

  73. I so appreciate your recommendations in this article! Not only has it reduced puppy biting, it has also helped me to have a more calm energy. I enjoy my puppy so much more now. 🥰

  74. I have a four month old goldendoodle and when she’s not sleeping, she’s biting. Wether it’s just grabbing onto your hands, feet, legs, clothes, anything she can and will start biting it. When anyone tries to play with her, the second she drops the toy she’ll either jump at your face full-force to bite you or bite as hard as she can on your arms and legs. It’s resulted in scratches, bruising, and even bleeding (not that much but it still shouldn’t happen). We’ve tried putting her in her pen to calm down, she just barks and whines and tries to get out, we give her two or the 10-15 minute walks a day and she can play outside anytime she wants, is this normal puppy biting or something else?

  75. I started doing this about 20 minutes ago when she was biting me and jumping on me from excitement, after only 10 minutes she was all feet on the floor no biting letting me pet her and scratch her with NO biting or jumping!!!!!

  76. I have an 11 week German Shepard, he more often than not bites and is breaking skin, whether in play or going from calm to biting. He shows no aggression in any other aspect. When fed, he lets me hand feed him, pet him, play with his food (we have a 6-year-old daughter). Upon meeting new people, he does not bite them (thankfully), he is nearly a completely different dog around other people, very well behaved. He is even potty trained…. It is just the issue of constant biting that breaks the skin that is our worry and issue. I feel lost as he does not seem to be letting up on this habit, what can I do? Every German Shepard owner I know says it is very normal and that he will get over it, but my past puppies never even nipped me, he is the first pup I have had that just aggressively bites and rips pants and shirts in the process.

    1. I can assure you that at 11 weeks, this behavior is normal! If your pup comes from a working line, this behavior is even more likely. It is not an indicator of future aggression – just a very normal part of their development.

  77. I have a 9 week old belgian malinois, GSD, and lab mix. She tends to nip pretty hard during play. I got her from an abuse situation at 2 weeks with her sister, who just got adopted last week. She gets told off by my older dog and will stop nipping at her. However, we live in an apartment so the main area is our play room. I don't know how to leave her area because where she sleeps, eats, and pees is in the bathroom but it's a smaller room. I have a baby gate up to keep her in at night. Should I put her back in the bathroom when she nips?

    1. The goal is to do whatever you need to do to minimize your reaction, and any attention she gets for biting. If you do put her away, it needs to be done very non-dramatically (which can be hard!) With those breed mixes, you likely have a dog that has some innate drive to enjoy chasing/stalking/biting (not in an aggressive way, although I know it hurts!) Check out this blog for some additional ideas: https://peachonaleash.com/beyond-puppy-biting-when-mouthy-behavior-continues-into-adolescence/

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