Bitey puppies! All puppies are bitey but some are bitier than others. Dog Comm’s newest arrival, Sylvi, is v bitey at the moment (and draws blood she bites so hard!). There’s several ways to deal with biting and different approaches work for different dogs.
You’ll often hear people recommend yelping when a puppy bites too hard but this will just cause extra excitement in some puppies and may cause them to bite more! (but for others it may work)
Offering toys as an alternative to biting normally works well and waving a toy at ground level can often be enough to redirect a puppy that’s clamping onto your leg.
Withdrawing attention if the puppy persists with biting can work well. Calmly and silently leave the room for 30 seconds or so and then return and engage in calm play with the puppy (leaving again if biting persists).
Normally excessive biting can be avoided by ensuring that the puppy isn’t overtired (overtired puppies are like overtired human toddlers!), isn’t hungry, doesn’t need the toilet etc. There’s often a reason why they have a very bitey 5 minutes and it’s often because they need a sleep.
Sylvi is so bitey that Laura has been hand feeding her quite a bit so that she can work on being a bit more gentle with her teeth around people!
It’s also really important to ensure that no one in the family is encouraging rough play or alloying puppies to play bite hard on hands as part of games as consistency is so important.
It’s crucial to make sure that puppies have loads and loads of chewing time too as teething can also cause biting. Offering frozen carrots, appropriate chew toys and bones can all help with those bitey puppies and their razor sharp teeth!
Working on bite inhibition is so important for young puppies so having doggy playmates can really help them to learn how to control their mouths better. Bite inhibition is thought to be learned by about 16 weeks so those early lessons are so important.
Here’s Sylvi chomping on an appropriate toy (rather than Laura!)