Amelia the dog trainer has been working with us since 2023 and gives us her top tips for managing puppy biting with your little one!

“Puppy biting is totally normal behaviour that every puppy will exhibit to some extent. In some cases it can go away in a few weeks and with others, it can take months. Every puppy learns at a different rate, so it’s important to have a consistent approach to help your puppy.

“Puppies bite for two main reasons: firstly to engage with the world (including you) and secondly to alleviate teething pain.

“So here are my top tips to help with puppy biting:

  1. Set up a consistent routine for your puppy – puppies need 18-20 hours of rest each day and a lack of rest or too much stimulation can cause them to become more ‘bitey’. If you notice your puppy has regular bouts of biting that are hard to break out of, consider more nap times and a stricter schedule.
  2. Redirect your puppy’s biting accordingly – in order to successfully redirect your puppy, you first need to consider why they are biting you in that instance and what you can do to fulfil that need. For example, if your puppy is trying to play with you, redirect with a toy. If they are chewing on you, give them something to chew.
  3. Structure play in the right way – often when I see really bad puppy biting, it’s after they’ve been riled up by a game with their human. Puppies can easily get overstimulated by play so it’s important to play in short bursts and pause every 30 – 60 seconds. During the pauses I like to bring out some treats and do some simple training exercises. This helps puppies to learn how to self-regulate and come in and out of their play brain.
  4. Don’t yelp if they bite you – the old school advice to yelp or say ouch when your puppy bites you can actually make biting worse. When your puppy is trying to play and all of a sudden you are squeaking, that can encourage them and make things much worse. Instead stick with calm redirection.

“Remember once again that puppy biting does not go away overnight. You have to stay really consistent with your dog and over time you’ll notice a reduction in their biting.”

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