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How do I get my dog to stop biting?

Puppy biting

Puppy biting is quite normal. When your puppy was with his siblings, biting started a play session and it was fun! When you play with your puppy, your puppy will grab at you and it will feel so hard with those sharp little teeth! You have to teach your puppy that biting is not an appropriate way to interact with humans.

Puppies learn about their environment by putting everything in their mouth, so your puppy isn’t being intentionally naughty, he’s just learning about the world around him.

The best way to stop your puppy biting is to prevent it in the first place. When playing, always make sure there is something between you and the puppy – squeaky toys and tug toys are perfect. Do not rough house with him, grab his scruff, hold his mouth shut or otherwise play with your hands with your puppy. This sort of play only encourages biting and you don’t want the behaviour to get worse or continue.

Should your puppy bite you – by definition any teeth on skin - walk away immediately and ignore him for two or three minutes.

Come back to your puppy and if he bites you again, quickly put your puppy in his pen, safe place, or outside – again ignoring him for a few minutes. You may have to repeat this a number of time until you puppy understands that every time he bites, you go away.

Keep play sessions short so as not to get your puppy over-excited. Alternate between play and quiet time to help them learn some self control.

With patience and persistence, your puppy will understand that keeping his teeth to himself will get him the playtime that he enjoys.

Dog biting

If you have an adult dog that bites, or the methods above are not working with your puppy, you should seek help from a qualified trainer or behaviourist. Biting is a serious issue and one that should be dealt with immediately.

Check the Pet Professional Guild Australia website at for a trainer near you.

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