Just like babies, puppies have a biting phase as well. In the first months of their life, they tend to explore the world by using their mouth. Your puppy will either lick or bite as they are playing with their toys or your kids.
It is only natural to stop your puppy from biting as it could also be a hazard for your babies.
Puppies will also bite as they are teething. Their gums will be itchy, and they find some relief as they bite.
Table of Contents
- How to stop puppy biting kids?
- What breeds of dog puppies vulnerable to biting?
- Do all Labradors bite?
- How do I stop my dog from biting my child?
- Should a dog be put down for biting a child?
- What are signs of aggression in puppies?
- How should I discipline my puppy?
- How do I get my puppy to stop biting my hands and feet?
- Is it normal for puppies to bite themselves?
- When do puppies stop biting?
- How do you stop a puppy from obsessively biting and chasing its tail?
- At what age is it not okay for a puppy to be biting?
- Key References
How to stop puppy biting kids?
The best way to stop your puppy from biting is to train them early to keep this habit under control. You can invest in chewy toys and teach them what they are allowed to bite on.
If you allow this behavior to go on for months, it will be a lot harder to train your puppy not to bite. So, keep on reading and see what you can do to keep both your baby and puppy safe and playing with each other the right way.
What breeds of dog puppies vulnerable to biting?
All puppies go through a biting phase, but not all of them are so determined to stick to it. Certain breeds will convert biting into a lifestyle. That doesn’t mean that they are bad dogs. It just means they need more training and discipline than others. And it is your job as a dog owner to give them that.
- Pit bulls can be some of the most friendly and loving dogs, but they tend to bite more than other breeds. A well-trained pit bull will not present any danger for your baby as they will understand that biting humans is a boundary they should not cross.
- Rottweilers can also bite more than other breeds. They are guardian dogs, just like pit bulls, and they can act on their instinct. Toddlers can be very unpredictable, and if your dog is not well trained, they might bite out of instinct. Biting during playtime can also be a hazard with this breed.
- Huskies and German shepherds will also love to play with their teeth more than other breeds. These dogs can create biting hazards out of playtime more than as an attack.
- Chihuahua is the last breed that should be mentioned when it comes to biting vulnerabilities. These dogs can bite when they are bothered, or their space is invaded. This is why you need to train your chihuahua from a very young age to understand that certain behaviors such as biting are not allowed, especially with kids.
- Labradors are also known for their biting potential, especially as puppies. But they generally stop this behavior after the first year of life. However, these dogs never bite to attach but rather to play and control their itchy gums as new teeth sprout out.
Do all Labradors bite?
Most labs will bite during the teething phase, which stops at about seven to eight months old. But if their biting behavior was not corrected during the early weeks, they might keep biting even after the teething phase is over.
- This is why it is essential to train your lab to stop biting early. The more you allow this inappropriate behavior to continue, the harder it will be to stop it.
- Plus, left uncorrected, this habit can seriously harm your child as Labradors have sharp teeth to use.
- With that being said, all Labradors bite. Some will bite more than others, but they are not more dangerous than other breeds once they grow up as a breed.
- Labs are some of the most friendly and loving dogs and some of the wisest and are great with children.
How do I stop my dog from biting my child?
When your dog starts biting your child, you want to address that as soon as possible. It is not the type of habit that will go away by itself. Here are a few useful tips to keep your kids safe and teach your puppy to stop biting altogether.
A) Define the safe space for your puppy and children to play
It is crucial to make sure your kids and puppies are safe in different environments until you keep the biting under control.
- You need to make sure you supervise the time your kids spend with your puppy to keep them safe. This aspect becomes even more crucial if your child is younger than 5 years and doesn’t know how to interact with your dog healthily.
- With that being said, don’t allow your child to get the puppy into their bedroom or play with them with no one watching the interaction. Use baby gates to separate the space in your house.
- If you can’t supervise your dog from your children, put them in delimited areas of your house where they can’t bother each other.
B) Keep your dog calm
Avoiding to get your dog excited is a great strategy to manage their biting behavior. You will have to observe your puppy’s behavior, begin with, and see what triggers them.
- Try to keep the distractions that get your puppy in hyperactive energy away from them.
- When your dog gets attention after biting, even if it is negative attention, they still see it as a reward. So, try to correct them without getting too excited yourself.
- Keep a calm but firm voice and stay constant with the way you correct them.
C) Train your dog not to bite humans
Your dog has to understand that hurting humans in general and you or those in your family, in particular, is a big no-no.
- You can do that by taking your attention away from your puppy when he bites you or tries to bite you.
- If you are playing with them and during the playtime, they bite you, simply stop interacting with them.
D) Never spank your puppy
Even if you might think that a good spank will put your dog in their place and teach them that they can’t bite and get away with it, this is one of the worst things you can do.
- One of the problems with this is that your dog will only stop biting the individual who smacked them or yell at them in the best-case scenario. They will continue this behavior with everyone else, though.
- Also, any form of violence will severely affect the relationship between you and your dog. If they do start to obey you more, it will be out of fear, not out of love. And dogs are meant to please their humans, not fear them.
- Keep in mind also that punishing your puppy can make them be an aggressive adult dogs.
- It is harder to correct an aggressive dog’s behavior rather than preventing it while they are still a puppy.
E) Have chewing toys and treats available when playing with your dog
You can hold a chewing toy or treat in one hand and pet your puppy with the other.
- Teach your kids to do the same as they are playing with your dog.
- This strategy will keep your dog focused on the toy while you can safely play with them, and your kids will not be scared by any bites either.
Should a dog be put down for biting a child?
Biting alone is not a good reason to put a dog down, but some circumstances need to be considered. This is a radical decision that is never taken lightly. While there are situations that lead to putting a dog down for biting, these situations are rare and extreme.
- Each state and country around the world have different regulations regarding such a situation.
- But in all cases, circumstances always matter as well as consequences. If a dog bites by accident, this is not a reason to be put down. Also, if the injury the child suffers is superficial, the dog will not be euthanized either.
- Putting a dog down for biting happens when the animal is known to be an aggressive kind. All the other measures taken to help it with this aggressive behavior failed. Also, if the dog severely bites the child, putting the dog down might become an option. But again, circumstances matter greatly!
- It is essential to notice the first red flags of aggression a dog will show along with their life and correct them right away.
- No form of attack should be allowed, and this is why managing the biting behavior while they are a puppy can impact their character as adult dogs.
In conclusion, an aggressive dog can be put down if they attacked a child as long as all the other corrections failed and the local law allows it.
What are signs of aggression in puppies?
Each puppy is different, even if they are of a certain breed, and you might expect them to behave in a certain way. They have their personality, and they respond differently to external factors.
- Puppies show signs of aggression early on. Observing these signs is crucial as you can correct them and have a much better dog when they reach their adult age.
Here are the most important signs to pay attention to wondering how aggressive your dog is.
- First of all, it is essential to realize that there are aggressive dogs in any breed type.
- All of them can be corrected with proper techniques and consistency.
A) Excessive biting
All dogs bite as puppies due to teething and the desire to explore the world with their mouth.
- But you will notice that some puppies bite more and in a more aggressive way than others.
- If your dog seems to bite as a form of attack rather than during playtime, you might want to take action.
- If your puppy bites hard to the point that they injure people, you shouldn’t ignore this red flag.
B) Barking randomly
Barking can also be one of the red flags to look for in a potentially aggressive puppy.
- Some breeds will be more vocal than others. Dogs can bark when they are excited, happy, stress but also when they are aggressive.
- If your puppy barks in an aggressive way and with no apparent reason at someone or something, pay attention to this behavior.
- If you notice a pattern, you need to address it and start training them to be calmer and more relaxed.
C) Over territorial
A less obvious sign is how territorial your dog is.
- All dogs are made to protect their territory one way or another. But some puppies will get aggressive if you touch their toys or try to clean their cage.
- This is a clear sign of aggression that is not a healthy way of protecting their home.
- Your dog should know that you are not a threat to them and save such reactions for strangers that might want to break into your house, for instance.
How should I discipline my puppy?
Disciplining your puppy is very important if you don’t want to end up with a dog that misbehaves, bites or barks all the time. In the disciplining process, there are specific rules that you can’t get around to be successful.
A) Be consistent
Consistency is key to obtaining the positive results you aim for. Your puppy will not understand what you expect from them for the first time you show them.
- But with repetitive training and consistency, they will eventually learn and form new habits.
- If you are not consistent with your dog, you will only confuse them. They will even get to behave worse simply because they will not be sure what you expect them to do.
B) Don’t use violence
Violence can’t bring anything good. If you notice that your patience is running low, leave your puppy alone or in the attention of another family member.
- Training your dog to stop biting, barking, or potty training can require a lot of patience.
- Spanking them or yelling at them will just give them attention and even reinforce the bad behavior you try to eliminate.
- Plus, a dog will never be attached to an owner that punishes them or is violent with them. They might fear you, but that is not the type of bond you want to have with your furry friend.
C) Stay firm
Even if dogs don’t understand all the words you say, they pick up on your tone and gestures.
- Both your voice and body language should remain firm and direct. Don’t smile or become friendly or playful while you give your dog a command.
- You can tell them firmly “no!” while doing something you disapprove of.
- They will most likely get used to your firm voice and obey without you having to repeat it.
D) Reward the good behavior
A great strategy when you discipline your puppy is to reward them for the good behavior they have. This will show them what they are allowed to do.
- It is just as important to praise your dog when they behave to correct them when they don’t behave.
- Doing so will make it easier for them to tell the difference between right and wrong and want to behave as that brings them a treat.
How do I get my puppy to stop biting my hands and feet?
Puppies love to bite in particular hands and feet, so they will go for these areas of your body before anything else. Here’s what you can do to stop your dog from biting your hands and feet.
Feel free to try this method in combination with the other strategies that can stop your puppy from biting that we mentioned above.
A) Actively train your puppy not to bite your hand
There is a simple training technique that might give you great results if you are consistent with it. Grab some treats and plenty of patience to do this.
- Move your hand slowly towards your puppy. If they don’t try to bite it, say “Yes!” and offer them a treat.
- Keep doing this by approaching them more each time with your hand. Say “Yes!” and offer them a treat every time you can move your hand closer to them with no biting reaction on their part.
- Continue doing this until you can safely pet your dog without them trying to bite you.
- Once you succeed with this technique, they will stop biting your hand and your hand and your baby as well.
Try the same strategy for your feet, and your puppy will learn faster than you expect them to.
Is it normal for puppies to bite themselves?
If you notice your dog biting themselves, know that this is normal and natural behavior as long as it is not taken to an extreme. However, it is a type of behavior that you should keep an eye on as it can quickly get out of control.
- If your dog is chewing on its feet, tail, ears, or legs now and then, you don’t have reasons for concern. This offers them relief, and it is a habit all dogs have to a certain degree.
- You should start addressing this behavior if you notice that they chew on a particular area often and to the point to which they injure themselves.
- If there is a more serious problem, you will notice that the area they chew on might be furless, swollen, inflamed, or even wounded.
If your dog bites themselves or chews on themselves in excess, they might suffer from one or more of the following conditions!
A) Dry skin or other skin infections
Dry skin and other skin conditions are the most common culprits for self-biting when it comes to dogs.
- In particular, dry skin can cause a lot of itchiness, and your puppy will try to find relief by chewing on the affected area.
- Equally, if your dog has a skin infection, they will feel the need to bite themself in that specific area.
- If you identify any of these skin problems in your dog, make sure to take them to the vet.
Parasites can cause your dog to bite on themselves as well.
- Fleas, ticks, and mites are to blame for skin itchiness, and they can significantly stress your dog.
- If you suspect that your dog has parasites, give them a good brush, and inspect their skin carefully.
- Talk to your vet to find the appropriate treatment as well.
Like humans, dogs can develop different allergies that can cause them to chew on certain parts of their bodies. Different potential allergens such as pollen, mold, or bug bites can affect your puppy’s skin and make it itchy.
D) Local pain
If your dog injured themselves or have a wound on their body, they will most likely lick it and chew on it excessively.
- This behavior can only make matters worse, but they will not know that, so they will keep doing it for the sake of temporal relief.
- If you identify a wound on your dog’s body, it is essential to treat it right away.
E) Psychological reasons
Besides all the physical reasons that could cause your puppy to chew on himself, there are psychological ones that you shouldn’t ignore.
- If your dog is stressed or suffers from anxiety, they might develop this biting habit as a nervous reaction.
- Dogs get stressed if they move to a new house, if one of the family members is away or if something else in their daily routines changed significantly.
When do puppies stop biting?
Ideally, the biting behavior of your puppy should stop before they turn 1 year old.
- Once the teething phase is over, your dog will learn to control its biting instinct and understand that this will not bring them anything useful.
- But for this to happen, you need to manage it in the best manner. Following the tips and strategies we presented in this guide will help you keep the biting under control.
- Also, talking to your vet might be a wise idea if you don’t notice any improvement.
How do you stop a puppy from obsessively biting and chasing its tail?
If your dog developed a chronic habit out of chewing and chasing its tail, you would want to stop that. Luckily, there are several ways you can help your puppy get rid of this habit.
A) Identify the reason
As we mentioned above, several reasons can lead your dog to excessively bite its tail.
- Make sure that they don’t have any condition that needs treatment before trying to correct the biting.
- If you notice that your puppy has a skin infection, suffers from an allergy, is depressed or injured, getting rid of the problem will eliminate the excessive biting as well.
B) Make sure your dog gets enough exercise
If your dog is not spending his energy healthy, such as running or exercising, they will develop bad habits.
- Chasing their take is one of these habits that you might be able to avoid by simply walking your dog every day or allowing them to run in an enclosed area.
C) Don’t praise this behavior
If your dog chases his tail and you appear amused or entertained by this fact, they will keep doing it.
- Instead of paying attention to them when they chase their tail, try ignoring them.
- Don’t scold them for chasing their tail either, as this is still a form of attention.
At what age is it not okay for a puppy to be biting?
The age when biting becomes a serious problem for puppies varies according to the breed and each dog’s personality. As a general rule, a dog should not be biting once the teething phase is over. This usually happens once they reach 6 or 7 months old.
- But some dogs require more training to stop biting, and they can still have this habit until they push one year old. With the correct training, your puppy shouldn’t struggle with giving up on this habit by the time they grow out of the puppy stage.
- If your dog is still biting chronically when they are close to one year old, you might want to hire a professional trainer as well as check with your vet for underlining conditions.
- As disturbing as the biting phase is, rest assured that your dog will most likely grow out of it.
- Keep in mind that you have to protect your kids during the most critical stage of this biting habit.
Like puppies, toddlers are spontaneous, and they don’t think about the consequences of their actions. Therefore, it is wise to not allow your dog and toddler to play unsupervised if you know that your puppy has this biting issue.
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- “Dog Bite Risk and Prevention: The Role of Breed | American Veterinary Medical Association”. Accessed January 24, 2021. Link.
- “Why Dogs Bite Kids | Pet Health Insurance & Tips”. Accessed January 24, 2021. Link.
- “Mouthing, Nipping and Play Biting in Adult Dogs | ASPCA”. Accessed January 24, 2021. Link.