There's no escaping it. At some point, all puppies have to go through the so-called biting stage.
This can be a frustrating period for you, especially if your puppy displays a lot of biting behavior. I know what I'm talking about here because my own golden retriever definitely went through this stage himself back when he was a puppy.
There will be times when you gnash your teeth in frustration because you just won't know what to do. You get frustrated, and your reactions become emotional. Trust me: I've been there!
Below you’ll find some tips on how to stop a puppy from biting for fast results:
- Make sure you know why your puppy bites
- Properly inform your (grand)children
- Use a dog crate
- Stick to a puppy schedule
- Find the right balance between rest and physical and mental exercises
- Never use (verbal) aggression in training and communication with your puppy
- Read the step-by-step puppy training guide
Make sure you know why your puppy bites
If you want your puppy to stop biting, or to bite less at the very least, it is important for you to know the various reasons puppies have for biting. As soon as you know why your puppy bites, you can start working on a fitting solution.
Below you'll find the seven reasons why puppies may bite, in random order.
- Exploring the world
- Play (biting is part of the game)
- Fatigue (not enough sleep)
- Span of attention (don't engage in exciting puppy playtime for 30 minutes in one go)
- Shedding teeth
- Communication (Biting can serve as a means of communication, by which the puppy indicates that someone needs to stop acting in a certain way)
Properly inform your (grand)children
Your children have been looking forward to this for days, weeks, or even months.
Finally, the waiting is over: the cute little puppy arrives!
Your kids are thrilled, and all they want is to pet, cuddle, and play with the puppy.
A few days later, you find your children complaining that the puppy keeps on biting their feet, their ankles, their trouser legs, or their hands.
It is up to you, as a parent, to properly inform your children about rearing a puppy. They need to be aware that a puppy isn't just another toy. A puppy is a living creature, and so it is vitally important for your children to know exactly how to treat the puppy.
At the very least, your children need to know that the puppy must never be disturbed when it is in its dog crate or resting place. This is its safe haven, and it should always be able to withdraw here to rest and to process experiences.
A dog crate as a useful instrument
It is really helpful to give your puppy a safe place, where it can withdraw from all stimulation and excitement. Dog crates are very suitable instruments to create such a place. It allows adults to impose peace and quiet whenever the puppy (or the children) get too excited or too tired.
It's important to let your children know that the puppy is not to be disturbed whenever it is in its dog crate. Puppies need 18 hours of sleep a day on average to grow, to process experiences, and to restore their energy levels.
Stick to the puppy schedule
It is important for everyone to stick to the puppy's set resting times. If the schedule states that the puppy needs to rest for an hour, then everyone should respect and observe that provision. That's why you should discuss these resting times with everyone, to make sure the whole family knows, respects, and accepts them.
A puppy schedule will also come in handy during puppy house-training process.
Find the right balance between rest and physical and mental exercises
If you want to train your puppy to stop biting you should find the sweet spot between enough rest and physical and mental exercises.
Puppy biting because of boredom
When puppies get bored, they will start looking for entertainment. Your puppy will start seeking attention from you or your family members. As soon as it learns that biting your hands or feet will result in either positive or negative attention, there is a very real chance that it will repeat this behavior.
It's not as if puppies always go looking for their owner when they need attention. They could also start ripping up pieces of paper, chewing on some wiring, ruining your plants, gnawing on a chair leg, or engaging in similar activities.
Puppy biting because of fatigue
Puppies (may) start to bite as they get too tired or overexcited. You can compare this to children who haven’t had enough sleep, making them fretful and whiney.
Even though the puppy is tired, it can't get any rest, causing it to become fretful. That's why it's always crucial to give your puppy plenty of rest.
On average, puppies need 18 hours of sleep every day. They need that time to be able to grow, to process their experiences, and to restore their energy levels.
One of the dog experts I interviewed noted that in more than 80% of all cases where her help was called in, biting behavior disappeared by increasing sleeping and resting time.
Never use (verbal) aggression in training and communication with your puppy
It is better to focus on what is allowed than to keep teaching your puppy what is not allowed. Using a severe tone of voice when addressing your puppy will only lead to unnecessary insecurity and tension.
Never use the alpha roll (flipping your puppy onto its back)
Many people watch César Millán on television. One of his tactics is flipping a dog on its back (the alpha roll) to make the dog submit to him as an authoritarian person. By doing so, he is trying to be dominant; the Alpha dog.
All the dog experts I've interviewed indicate that this is definitely not what you should do if you want to make your puppy stop biting.
Furthermore, his website cesarsway.com stated the following:
Now it’s your turn to take action
So there you have it—I've given you some tips you can use to set out on a successful house-training process for your own puppy!
If you care about getting all the best expert knowledge and professional insights to support the training of your four-legged friend, you are very welcome to check out my step-by-step puppy training books. These books follows the new method of puppy training.
Other people with lots (20+ years) of dog experience also follow the the tips and advice in my books.
The information in my books is based on a comprehensive survey comprising no less than 255 questions, as well as on a series of in-depth interviews. A total of 30 professional dog trainers have completed the entire questionnaire, and their answers laid the foundation for the puppy training guide I created for you that can be considered a credible source of information.
Want to know more about my step-by-step puppy training books?