July 15, 2024

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What to Do if a Puppy Bites You

What to Do if a Puppy Bites You? Learn Why Your Puppy Has a Biting Behavior

Biting is normal behavior for puppies, but that doesn’t mean it’s not frustrating or dangerous when your puppy bites you. In this blog post, we’ll discuss the reasons puppies bite and what you can do to stop this behavior. We’ll also provide tips for how to protect yourself from being bitten in the future.

What Causes Puppies to Bite?

When puppies explore as they play, they usually use their teeth. As with human babies, it plays a crucial role in socialization by teaching them about the world. When puppies are teething, they will chew everything they can get their mouths on.

Puppies bite for a variety of reasons.


It’s important for puppies to bite their owners, other puppies, and inanimate objects in order to learn from them. The sensory information they receive includes how hard they can bite that particular object, how it tastes, and whether or not those actions should be repeated.

The puppy may continue to bite the object if the taste or consistency appeals to it. 

You might find puppies chewing on their crate, pillows, carpeting, rugs, shoes, clothing, remote controls, door jambs, or their food bowl when they are exploring their new home.

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Teething Puppy

Around the time that adult teeth start to emerge, you may notice the baby chewing on objects or on you more often. During the process of losing puppy teeth and gaining adult teeth, your puppy’s gums may become a bit sore.

Taking Care of Your Teething Puppy

When your puppy reaches the age of teething, you can offer him a puppy teething toy. Teething toys are designed not to hurt baby teeth or incoming adult teeth because they are usually made from a softer plastic.

Make sure that your puppy does not swallow small pieces of any toys when they are playing with them.

Playful Behavior

Play bows are being displayed in some puppies, and other puppies bite or nip at each other’s legs to enlist the other puppy’s assistance. In the process of biting each other, puppies learn a very important skill: bite inhibition.

Play biting teaches puppies about applying pressure to their teeth and how that affects them.

Suppose two puppies are playing together. If puppy 1 bites puppy 2 too hard, it causes puppy 2 to feel pain and will cry out and refuse to play with puppy 1. Puppy 2 may even move away from puppy 1.

This interaction leads puppy 1 to learn that other dogs will not play with him if he bites that hard. So puppy 1 softens his bites to prevent causing pain and leaving other puppies.

It is possible that some puppies learn to soften their bite through a single play session, while others require multiple play sessions with other puppies.

When your puppy plays with you, he will bite you because that is just normal dog behavior to him. Your puppy will need instructions in terms that he understands when this happens.

What Should You Do If Your Puppy Is Chewing Your Things?

Pick up other household items that your puppy can chew on, or give them a variety of chew toys to chew on. Make noise to get your puppy’s attention and give him a chewy toy if you see your puppy biting inappropriate objects around the house.

Make sure your puppy gets plenty of playtime and exercise. It is possible that they will chew on random items just to keep themselves occupied if you do not give them enough mental stimulation. 

What Should You Do If Your Puppy Dog Bite You While Playing?

You should never make your puppy chase your hands or toes so that they can nip at you. Your puppy’s teeth will be sharper as they get older. Suddenly, that harmless puppy nip turns into a bit that no longer is playful or fun.

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To stop your puppy from constantly biting while playing or before playing, make a high-pitched noise; then stop them from playing with you. When your puppy is persistent in its behavior, move away from them or go into another room briefly and close the door.

Each time your puppy bites you, repeat these instructions until it stops. When you play with your puppy, he won’t learn how to temper his bite without this type of feedback.

Warnings and Precautions

Don’t slap your puppy’s side or wave fingers or toes at him to entice him to play. By doing these things your puppy might actually start biting your hands and feet.

Playing with your puppy is normal and should not be discouraged. Pets and their families form strong bonds through playtime. When you are teaching your puppy to play, you should try to play gently and not hit at all.

When your puppy mouths you, do not jerk your hands or feet away. If you do, he will grab at your hands. Rather than play with your hands or feet, it is much better to let them go limp. Let the puppy learn that biting behavior is unacceptable.

Puppies may bite harder if they are slapped or hit for playful purposes. Puppies often play more aggressively in response. You can make your puppy fear you by physically punishing him-and you may even cause him to act aggressively. Don’t shake your puppy’s head, hit his nose with your fingers, stick your fingers down his throat, or use any other punishments that could hurt or scare him.

How Do You Know When Mouthing Becomes Aggression?

Puppies usually mouth each other when they are excited. It is possible, though, if your dog bites out of fear or frustration, that this will contribute to future aggression. Puppies, like human babies, can throw a temper tantrum, and usually, that will be the start of their aggressive biting behavior.

“Temper Tantrums” in Pups

There are times when puppies throw temper tantrums. The most common cause of tantrums in puppies is when they’re made to do something they don’t like. 

You might upset your puppy with something as harmless as holding him still or handling his body. Similarly, play can escalate to tantrums. Occasionally, even “human puppies” will throw tantrums when they don’t feel well or become overexcited.

The difference between a puppy’s temper tantrum and playful mouthing can be difficult to see, but temper tantrums are more serious. Playful puppies will generally look relaxed both on the body and the face. While his muzzle might appear wrinkled, you won’t notice tight muscles in his face. 

Your puppy’s body might look stiff or frozen if he has a temper tantrum. It may even appear as if he is growling or exposing his teeth. Most of the time, he will bite much more painfully than he would normally mouth during play.

If your puppy starts throwing a temper tantrum while you’re holding or handling him, don’t yell like you’re hurt. It could lead to your puppy continuing or intensifying his aggressive behavior. You should be calm and unexcited instead. 

If you can, keep him firmly held without constriction until he stops struggling without hurting him. Let him go once he has calmed down for a few seconds. 

If this happens often, make plans to seek help from a specialist. When your puppy bites repeatedly in frustration, it won’t simply grow out of it. You should evaluate and resolve your puppy’s behavior as soon as possible.

Teaching a Puppy Bite Inhibition

For all dogs, controlling the force of their bites is extremely important. Occasionally, when they’re in pain or scared, they may speak hurtfully to you or someone else. If they’ve been taught bite inhibition, however, they know not to bite down firmly. Puppies nip naturally when they play. In cases where they bite their mother or littermate too hard, they may yelp loudly to warn the puppy of the pain they are experiencing.

Make a sound like “ow” if you want your pet to learn this. It is also possible that this can actually make some puppies even more stressed and more likely to bite. During this situation, it would be best to turn around quietly, walk away, or gently put the puppy into their crate for a few minutes until they calm down. If your dog backs off, give him a treat and praise him verbally.

Teaching Your Puppy That Biting Means No More Play Time

Playtime is over as soon as your puppy bites you, with no exceptions. If you yell at or physically punish your puppy, you are also rewarding him. Biting will teach them that they will receive positive consequences from you. The negative effects can lead to a fear of being handled. Teaching them not to bite will help them in the long run. 

Ensure Your Puppy Has a Chewable Alternative

A puppy chew toy should always be within reach so that you can anticipate biting and use the toy instead of your hands or furniture. Taking the time to do this will make sure pups are aware of what is okay to bite and chew. You can offer them a toy instead of nibbling your fingers or toes if they start biting you as they play.

Stop playing right away if they continue to bite. Your puppy may respond best to a toy if you ask it to sit and reward it by doing so.

Preventing the pounce

A common puppy behavior is poking its legs or legs as a puppy walks, so experts suggest you hold a high-value treat in front of your leg when you walk so that the puppy learns how to walk next to you. This is the same method that puppy owners use to teach them to walk on a leash.

Make Them Sit Out for a While

Allow your puppy a chance to calm down in their crate in order to prevent them from biting. Be as calm as possible so they don’t learn that the crate is a punishment for them. Let them out once they calm down.

Provide Quiet Time or Potty Breaks

In some cases, a biting puppy really is overtired, and it needs to be placed in a quiet crate or room to take a nap. Occasionally, they may just be hungry or thirsty, or they may just need a potty break.

Help Burn Their Energy

A puppy who keeps biting can just need some physical or mental energy to burn up, even after you’ve changed toys several times. Have the dog run around in the yard for a while.

Make Sure You Reinforce Desired Behaviors

It is important to remember that when our puppy is calm and quiet, we should treat him with a treat or pat him on the head. Positive reinforcement helps them learn what behavior you require.

Always Be Gentle With Your Pet

Always avoid hitting or physically punishing your dog. A dog’s owner who is having trouble puppy biting and rough play is recommended to go to a veterinary or puppy classes for help especially if you notice your pet biting out of aggression.

It’s important for a puppy to learn bite inhibition before they turn into adult dogs. A puppy who learned bite inhibition compared to a puppy who wasn’t able to learn bite inhibition will be less likely to bite.

What to Do When Your Puppy Bites You?

When puppies bite hard enough, it can tear human skin. This is why it’s important that you don’t use your hands when playing. Using a rope toy or another alternative toy can help you keep yourself self from dog bites. If your own dog bites you, make sure to clean the wound thoroughly with soap and water, then wrap the wound with a sterile bandage or clean cloth to prevent infection.

At that point, it’s also a good time to recall if your puppy has received the rabies vaccine. Rabies vaccinations are important, especially if your puppy is living outside or has been exposed to a rabid dog.

Given the information provided, it is important for you to know how puppies behave and learn what to do if they bite. If your puppy continues biting, take him to a dog trainer for professional training. If you’re stuck in another “What to Do” situation, visit our blog for more solutions.