Puppy Mouthing/Biting

Why does my puppy bite my hands and feet?

Puppies explore the world with their mouths. It is normal for them to chew on things and investigate objects with their mouths. It is normal for puppies to mouth each other during play but it is not appropriate for them to mouth or play bite humans. We need to teach them that our hands and feet are not appropriate for them to put their mouths on.

What do I do when my puppy mouths me?

Usually puppies will mouth people when they are trying to ask them to play. Do not encourage puppies to mouth your hands, do not ruffle their faces and put your hands near or in their mouth during play time. If your puppy starts to mouth you stop the interaction with them. Stand up and turn you eye contact away from them, put your hand under your arms so they are not dangling down. Wait a few seconds and if they are calm you can interact with them by offering them an appropriate object to chew on (soft toy, ball, puppy safe bone). If you consistently withdraw your attention from them when they start to mouth you they will soon learn that mouthing you is no fun and that behavior should diminish. Set aside 3-4 times a day to do short training session with your puppy where you work on behaviors that you want to see more if in your puppy like come when called and sit or 4 paws on the floor for human interaction. Use a portion of their daily meals as training rewards. The more you can exercise their brain in a productive manner the less mental energy they will have to cause "mischief".

Remember to tell your puppy when you catch them being good!

We spend a lot of time telling our puppies “No”. It is important to remember that many times during the day they are “Good”. We should tell them that we love it when they are doing behaviors that we want. Puppies need positive direction from us. If your puppy is sitting quietly and being calm fantastic! Make sure you tell them that they are doing great!

Training Tip:

Always reward calm behavior with a yummy treat or a soft pet. Behaviors that are rewarded will be repeated and behaviors that are calmly ignored will diminish.

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