Tips to help with puppy play biting


Most puppies are biting machines, often nipping or mouthing at clothes and body parts of people and other animals in greeting or as part of play. Puppy biting is a normal and essential part of behavioral development. When your puppy was with its mother and litter mates she learned to play by wrestling.  Since she doesn’t have any hands she would bite.  If she bit too hard, her litter mate would yelp and she would back off.  Using her mouth is very normal, natural and isn’t usually intended to cause harm. Here are some tips to help reduce play bitting.

Be consistent.  Do not let your puppy mouth or bite you during play then correct her in other situations.

Teach acceptable behavior.  Never focus on bad behavior, instead think about what you can have her do for you.  If your puppy is nipping at people when they pet her, try giving her a bit of food to occupy her while they pet her.

Never encourage your puppy to bite at you or your clothes.  If she does turn away from her or walk away so she learns that biting means she will not receive any attention.

When playing aggressive game such as tug o war, you should always be in control.  Teach your puppy to “drop it” when asked.


If you puppies play biting has gotten out of control, contact us to schedule a In Home Consultation or FREE demonstration and evaluation.

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