Wondering do puppies grow out of biting you wit those razor-sharp teeth? Curious to know do puppies grow out of biting?
In this article we will go over do puppies grow out of biting and what you can begin doing today to save your skin from those tiny sharp teeth!
Do Puppies Grow Out Of Biting The Simple Answer:
No, puppies don’t grow out of biting, the more your puppy bites you, the more your puppy will make a habit of putting his/her sharp teeth on your skin. Training your puppy to know what they can put their teeth on instead, will stop puppy biting.
Why Puppies Nip and Bite?
When answering “do puppies grow out of biting” we first must understand the “why” behind puppies bite.
Seeing a puppy nip and bite is not uncommon they do this for a variety of reasons below we have listed the top 3 reason your puppy may be nipping or bitting you.
Play: Playing is a natural behavior in all puppies, whether you see puppies playing with each other, a toy, Puppies use there mouths and teeth allot!
Not Taught: A puppy may be nipping and biting simply because they were not taught what they can and cannot nip and bite, remember puppies have no idea or concept of what is appropriate behavior for humans, it’s our job as their owners to teach them.
Unknowingly reinforcing: Another reason your puppy may be nipping and biting you is because you may have been unknowingly reinforcing your puppies’ nippy behavior by either playing with your pup when he bites you.
Teething: Your puppy may be teething and needs a way to release the sensation
Fear/ Aggression: It’s not uncommon for a puppy that is scared may bite out fear although this is rare in very young puppies.
Prey Drive: Every dog has varying levels of prey drive that is dependent on breed, genetics, upbringing, and past experiences. A pup that has high levels of prey drive may chase and nip anything that moves.
Stopping a Puppy From Nipping and Biting You
Still, wondering do puppies grow out of biting? Well luckily for you teaching a puppy to stop nipping and biting you isn’t too difficult.
The basic concept is to begin teaching your puppy that you can nip and bite but just not my skin.
Teaching Your Puppy Not To Bite You
The easiest way to do this is by providing your puppy with an alternative outlet for the behavior your puppy may naturally want to do.
For example, if every time your puppy wants to play she/he goes to nip your hand instead of roughhousing with your puppy say “no” take your hand away and then present your puppy with a toy he/she can bite and nip on.
Doing this will begin teaching your puppy that you can play but with the toy instead of your hand or skin.
The golden rule is if at any point your puppy nips you, say no momentarily stop playing and redirect your puppy onto an appropriate object she/he can bite.
Teaching Bite Inhibition:
To understand and answer “do puppies grow out of biting” we have to take a look at “bite inhibition.
Bite inhibition is a puppy’s ability to control the strength of their bite. This is a very important skill to learn so that when puppies become dogs they are able the force at which they bite something.
Puppies learn bite inhibition at a young age from there littermates, I recommended that you take your puppy for playdates with puppies around the same age range.
Allowing your puppy to play with other pups his/her age will begin to teach your puppy “bite inhibition”
Whenever one of the pups gets too rough or bites down harder than the usual one the playing puppies will let out a high picked yelp, letting the other pup that he/she was too hard when playing.
Alternative Outlets: If your puppy is nippy, and loves chasing here’s two alternative outlets you can begin providing your puppy so diminish your puppy nipping and biting you.
Fetch: If your puppy loves the act of chasing then a game of fetch with your pup will surely satisfy your dog’s desire to chase and bite!
For more information on how to teach your up to play fetch read our article on how to teach your dog to play fetch here
Tug Of War: Not all puppies may want play fetch others may prefer tug of war instead!
Stopping a puppy from nipping and biting Specific Scenarios
If you realizing that your puppy is nipping and biting on a variety of different occasions below we have comprised a list of solutions for each specific occasion!
If your puppy loves ambushing you, nipping your pants or ankles your not alone! Puppies are down by movement so if your pup is biting your ankles its lily when your walking.
To stop your puppy from nipping your ankles you want to first have an appropriate toy for your puppy, a small rope tug works fine.
Now that you have an appropriate toy for your puppy, every time that your puppy darts to nip your pants or ankles you want to stop completely and immediately wiggle the rope toy, making the toy ” run away” from your puppy.
This is continuing with the concept of teaching our puppies “not this, but this instead” don’t bite my ankles but this toy instead.
The reason this works so well is that the fun is in the movement, the moment you stop moving the fun leaves. So by directing the fun elsewhere your puppy will begin to enjoy biting his toys instead of you.
Puppy Biting /Nipping When Guest Arrive:
If your finding that your puppy is nipping and biting your guest there are a couple of things which you can do to ensure your puppy doesn’t get into the bad habit of nipping new people.
First, you want to be aware of your dog’s body language and his/her excitement level.
Ultimately you want to begin rewarding your puppy and only allow your puppy to greet your guest when your puppy is calm in the presence of your guest.
When usually occurs with most puppy owners is they’ll allow their pup to greet guests when they’re at the most exciting state, doing this usually leads to a puppy that will nip and bite due to that over-excitement because they want to play.
Instead, tell your guest to ignore your puppy until your pup is calm and going bonkers to greet your guest.
The moments where your puppy is calm be sure to reward your puppy with treats and then allow your puppy to greet your guest.
If your puppy jumps up on your guest be sure to read our article on “how to stop your dog from jumping up”
High Prey Drive Puppies:
All dogs having varying levels of prey drive some more than others, prey drive refers to a dogs desire to perform the following behaviors “chase, catch, and shake”
Do puppies grow out of biting? Not if you don’t teach your puppy what to do with all that energy.
If you have a pup with high levels of prey drive it’s critically important that you can provide your pup with an alternative outlet for this natural behavior.
Essentially telling your pup don’t do that but this instead.
It’s important to understand the specific dog you have to be able to satisfy their natural needs. For instance, some dogs like English bulldogs won’t need as big of an outlet as a german shepherd would.
What To Avoid:
If you’re still wondering “do puppies grow out of biting”, here are Some things you should avoid when it comes to teaching your puppy to stop nipping and biting you.
Playing With Hands:
Although it may seem cute at first playing with your hands is an issue because if your pup doesn’t clearly understand how to control his bite strength and doesn’t understand when enough is enough, the process for teaching your puppy to stop biting will be harder.
So if you’re asking yourself do puppies grow out of biting they totally can but you must make it easy for them.
Eventually, once your puppy has a clear understanding of not biting hard, a clear understanding when you are playing and when to stop, playing with your hands won’t be such a big issue but for simply teaching your dog the beginning
Allowing Guest To Reinforce bad behavior:
When your guest comes over it’s your responsibility to inform them that your puppy is training snd what rules you want to be enforced.
Some rules you can have are:
-No greeting the puppy until the puppy is calm
-If puppy nips say no and give the appropriate object
-If the puppy jumps up please don’t pet and only pet when the puppy is not jumping.
Remember you puppies are always learning so it’s our job to teach our puppy’s how to behave in a variety of different environments and scenarios
Punishing Your Young Puppy:
You want to avoid punishing your young puppy because puppies have no idea what to put there energy into, what is and isn’t appropriate, so it’s our job to teach them first.
You cant get upset at your puppy for nipping if you haven’t taken the time to show your puppy what he/she should nip and bite on.
Remember when answering do puppies grow out of biting they can but you must teach them first.
If you suspect that your puppy is nipping due to aggression here’s a quick list of what to be aware of:
Your puppy’s body language:
When it comes to aggression the first thing we must find out is whether or not your puppy is truly displaying aggressive behavior or is it just normal puppy behavior.
Many owners can get aggression and puppy play mixed up. For instance just because your puppy growled when you were playing tug doesn’t mean your puppy is behaving aggressively, its simply your puppy playing!
Here are some easy signs to look for in your puppy’s body language to see if its truly aggressive behavior.
Tail: your puppy’s tail is either tucked under him/her or stiff and erect.
Ears: Your puppy’s ears are erect forward, paired with a stiff or erect tail, or the ears are folded back paired with a tucked tail.
Mouth: Your puppy is curling his/her lip to show teeth, is actively
showing teeth, growling.
Eyes: You can actively see the white of your puppy’s eyes, and look wide.
Body: the fur on your puppies back is standing up, the body is stiff as a statue.
Young puppies are never truly “aggressive” they may go through a minor fear period and test the waters to see what response they may get from you.
If you concluded that your puppy is behaving aggressively give us a call here so that we can help you and your puppy before any aggressive behavior becomes a habit.
The Underlining Truth:
Now that we know what to look for when it comes to your puppies body language the next step is finding out the underlining reason behind your puppies “aggressive behavior”
It’s important to understand that puppies just don’t act aggressively for no apparent reason, there is always a reason!
Below are two of the most common reason’s puppies may behave aggressively:
Resource guarding: If your puppy is behaving aggressively due to resource guarding, your puppy may growl when you attempt to take away something your puppy views as high value.
Fear/ insecurities: All puppies go through a “fear period” if your puppy is uncomfortable, insecure, unsure, or just scared your puppy may lunge and bark in an attempt to create space between whats making your puppy uncomfortable and himself.
To Stop aggressive behavior its always best to seek out the help of a professional, feel free to give us a call and we can work with you and your puppy in person or virtually!
Conclusion and Recap
If your still wondering do puppies grow out of biting the answer is:
All puppies nip a young age but if you don’t take the time to show your puppy what is and isn’t appropriate behavior, then you better be ready to run into trouble when your puppy becomes an adult.
To Recap Heres How To Stop Your Puppy From Biting You:
Give your puppy an alternative outlet
Whenever your puppy nips you say “No” and redirect
Educate your guest on puppy rules
Provide your puppy with play dates with puppies her age
Minimize Hand playing until your puppy understands the rules
Don’t Punish your puppy (you cant punish your puppy for something you haven’t taken the time to teach)
Play with your puppy
Give your puppy chew bones for teething
Remember the golden rule: if at any point your puppy nips you, say no momentarily stop playing and redirect your puppy onto an appropriate object she/he can bite.
Remember puppies have no idea what is right and wrong this is where we come in to teach our young pups what is and isn’t appropriate behavior from how to greet guests to learning how to play with you.
Receive your free dog training consultation and set your pup up for success!