Puppy Biting Tip You May Not Know

Here’s a puppy biting tip you may not have heard.

If you are a new puppy owner dealing with puppy biting, you’ve got to be wondering: “What’s a puppy biting tip that actually works?”
How many frantic searches on Google have you done on ways to stop puppy biting? Only to find so many, you don’t know which is best.

Puppy Biting Tip that Works

Let me quess, you’ve tried:

  • alpha rolls (putting and holding your puppy on his back) and that didn’t work. 
  • You’ve grabbed his muzzle with a “No bite!” or 
  • yelping when he bites and the poor old stand-by of using a squirt bottle.

Nothing works with your puppy biting!

Let Me Simplify Puppy Biting for You

It’s a reality. Training puppies not to bite can be time-intensive. You can’t just do it a few times a day for only a couple of days.  Puppies need daily reinforcement to give you good behavior instead of the bad behavior they offer.  This can take weeks before they “get it.”
If you’re tired of your hands and arms being a pin cushion, try this technique. It’s works.

Link the Biting to an Undesirable Consequence

Your puppy wants to play with you and your family members. But he doesn’t know what your rules are at first so he just plays with you the way he would play with his littermates or other puppies.
That will include a fair to large amount of play biting.

Here’s what you do.

Begin to play with your puppy with petting – no rough housing.

When he bites(and he will) you say, “Oops! Too bad!” and immediately crate your puppy. Leave him in his crate for 1-2 minutes and then repeat the exercise.

Age and size appropriate family members repeat and repeat this exercise. There is always with parental supervision.

What you’ll begin to see is your puppy will start to experiment with other kinds of interaction, like “licking.” He discovers that licking is good and he gets more time with you.
Over time, the you puppy’s biting ceases and the Band-Aids can come off your hands for good!
Here’s a caveat. Very bossy puppies may take longer to come around, more so than the more submissive puppies.

Don’t give up! You and your puppy will surface as winners.

Common Sense Reminders

Until you have your puppy biting under full control, do not engage in the following with your puppy:

Games of chase: This will activate a puppy’s prey drive meaning lots of running, chasing, biting and chewing.

Playing fetch is a much better game for all family members to play with your new puppy.

  •  Rough play/wrestling: This will teach puppies how to use their mouths to grab and hold when playing with humans. The thing is, puppy biting is normal puppy activity. It’s how they interact with their litter mates. It’s how they learn the important lesson of bite inhibition. In other words, don’t bite human skin.
  • Tug-of-war games: Until you have control of your puppy’s biting, it’s best not to play tug for now. It’s a good way to burn predatory energy BUT tug-of-war must have strict rules. We talk about that in another article.

And one more important note for you:

Control Your Puppy When Not Interacting With Him

  1. Containment: Use crates, exercise pens or gates to contain your puppy when you can’t train or supervise your puppy. Too many people leave their puppy out for too long of a time and they get into trouble with biting.
  2. Puppy proofing and prevention: Keep things you don’t want chewed on out of reach, and keep your puppy on a leash. When you can’t eyes-on, hands-on supervise or he gets too crazy – crate your puppy.
  3. Redirects: When your puppy is out on leash, ALWAYS have appropriate redirects like a stuffed Kong toy or chewy. 

Don’t forget, practice makes perfect for you and your puppy so keep on working with your puppy until he finally “gets it.”

Does this sound like something you can do?  Let me know.

Together We Can Raise A Happy and Obedient Dog

 Jim Burwell, is Houston’s most respected dog trainer for 30 years, serving over 11,000 clients. Jim takes the science of dog training and shows you how to make it work with your family and dog. He gives you the ability to get the same great behavior from your dog.


11 replies
  1. Jim Burwell
    Jim Burwell says:

    Glad you found the post helpful Nancy. Thanks very much for letting me know it worked for you. Jim

  2. Nancy
    Nancy says:

    Hi Jim,
    I am so happy I found your posts! I was at my wits end with my puppy biting, not to mention the scars on my arms already in just the last week. I had tried everything else, and crating Him was a last resort. I too didn’t want to make it a punishment, especially where he sleeps. But I just tried this and viola! He settled down the first time, and I even forgot the oops. But I know he’s just playing and wants his mommy. From now on I’ll remember the oops so he’ll be able to identify the wrong behavior that brought the moment of separation. Thanks again for the great tip!
    I’ll look for you on Facebook to follow.
    Happily cuddling my doodle!

  3. Chris
    Chris says:

    I have been using this technique for 2 days and it is working beautifully with our 4 month old Golden retriever. After only 2 times of putting her briefly in her crate, she is thinking now before biting and jumping on us and stopping herself. It’s so simple but works like magic. Now on the 3rd day, if she starts to bite too hard I just say, “Oops” and she stops, sits and looks at me very calmly: she can really pull herself together now that she knows there’s a consequence.

  4. Jim
    Jim says:

    Jon: thanks for commenting and I appreciate your input. When you put the puppy into the crate so he doesn’t nip, the “time out” is very very brief. What he wants with the biting/nipping is engagement from you. That’s how he played with his litter mates. Placing him in the crate for a minute or maybe even less, simply says, no we don’t play like that and the engagement you want little puppy, stops because you are biting. You do not display any anger or displeasure when putting him in the crate. You simply say, “sorry no bites” and place him gently in his crate. If done correctly it does not have a negative effect on how the puppy feels about the crate. Hope this helps. Jim

  5. jon
    jon says:

    I have one problem with this advice.

    You are essentially teaching the dog that the CRATE is a bad place to be

    Yes you might solve the biting this way, but you will have a new problem which is your dog won’t like going in their crate.

    I don’t think this is a wise solution. The crate should be a sanctuary, a place they enjoy going, not a prison.

  6. Kimberly Gauthier
    Kimberly Gauthier says:

    When our puppies start biting too hard, I give them a toy instead right after I say Ooops or I yelp. It works really well. We know that they’re grow out of the biting stage, we just want them to understand what “too hard” is. I wonder if it’s easier for us, because we have littermates (2 sets actually) and when they bite each other too yard, they yelp and the other adjusts – we copy that same behavior.

  7. Jim Burwell
    Jim Burwell says:

    Jan: trust me – we’re in the same boat with remembering things 🙂 Just glad you found it helpful and thanks for commenting here AND on FB. Love to have you
    hang out with us.—Jim

  8. Jan Eandi
    Jan Eandi says:

    Jim, Wow! I had a really bad “senior moment” (and I’m not, nor have I ever been blonde, just silver-haired now)!!! I suppose I had thought about the problem of loading Dakota into the van so often that I had forgotten that I had asked for your advice. Even when I found your answer from December, it took awhile to recall what you had suggested but now I do remember. I could say “I’ve been under the weather”; however, the truth is that I’m OLD and, in all honesty, I’ve had many distractions the past few months! Thanks so much for the reminder. You have given me some good ideas to work on w/our big boy. I enjoy your info. I apologize for asking the same question a second time. You are very kind and a gentleman for not saying what I’m sure you were thinking when you read it!

  9. Jan Eandi
    Jan Eandi says:

    Jim, I can’t get my 87 lb. Doberman to load into my mini-van. I’m unable to lift him into the van so to take him for a ride, to the vet, etc., requires help from my husband (I’m 75, hubby is 82, Dobie is nearly 4). The dog was nearly 2 when we bought him and had ridden in the front seat w/his teen-age owner/driver. Since our van has bucket seats front and middle, it’s not reasonably comfortable or safe for him to sit there. Any suggestions? I’m tried using his favorite treats (cheese) to coax him into the cargo area but it was unsuccessful. The dog is so smart and intelligent that there must be a way to get him to load because he learns everything else quickly. thanks.

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