The Ultimate Guide: How To Stop A Puppy From Biting And Nipping

Do You Have a Mouthy Puppy?  Is your puppy constantly nibbling on your hands, feet, legs, and arms?  If this sounds like your puppy then you’ve come to the right place!  Welcome to The Ultimate Guide on How To Stop A Puppy From Biting And Nipping!

I’ve raised 4 guide dog puppies in training, worked with and trained countless other 7 week to 18 month old guide pups, and also fostered more than a dozen young puppies.  Believe me when I tell you I know a little bit about mouthy puppies and their little dagger teeth.

I’ve suffered a few puncture wounds in my time.  However, every little nip has really just been a normal part of puppy behavior and there are a few things I’ve learned to do to help minimize the damage to my hands and feet.

Toby a puppy who liked to bite and nip
Puppy sitting Toby a yellow Lab puppy in training.  Just like all of our pups he liked to bite and nip.

How To Stop A Puppy From Biting And Nipping

We hear this question all the time.  How do I get my puppy to stop biting my hands?  My puppy is great, but he’s always biting me.  How do I get him to stop biting?  My puppies teeth are so sharp!  What do I do to get him to stop his mouthy behavior?

Here’s an exact quote from one of our readers:

…My wife and I just adopted a beautiful female yellow lab. Stella is 8 1/2 weeks old and we’ve had her just over a week. I want to bounce some questions off you from what I’ve read on your site, as Stella is driving us crazy…Biting. To go along with the chewing, she’s gotten more than a touch nippy. Heck, she’s snapped at my face while I was holding her a couple of times. Again, no corrections or ignoring is helping…

–Stella’s Dad

That was actually just one of a laundry list of questions Stella’s dad had about Stella the bouncy 8 1/2 week old Labrador Retriever puppy.  So the question is how do you stop puppy biting.

A mouthy, bitey, nippy, puppy is perfectly normal and I would actually be surprised if you were not experiencing some growing pains with a nippy puppy.  As I said earlier I’ve been raising puppies for a while now and some of the others in my group have been puppy raisers for 25+ years and raised a dozen or more puppies in the guide dog program.  Every time I see them with a new puppy I inevitably see little dagger like puncture marks on their hands and wrists.  Even a seasoned puppy raiser usually ends up with some collateral damage from these playful guide pups.

There is some good news.  Most puppies can be trained to regulate and minimize their biting pretty easily.  You can teach your puppy how to have a soft mouth and work on teaching him bite inhibition.  Here’s some tips on things you can do to minimize the amount of puncture wounds you receive from your little vampire…I mean bundle of joy :)

Tips On How To Stop Puppy Biting

One of the reasons why puppies stay with their litter mates until they are 7-8 weeks old is so they learn bite inhibition.  If you’ve ever observed a litter of puppies playing you probably noticed that some puppies will get a little too playful with biting and nipping.

When puppies are playing, biting, and nipping each other play time stops when one of the puppies lets out a yelp and walks away.  Over time puppies will learn that biting too hard ends playtime and will learn to soften their mouths.  After all puppies don’t ever want play time to end…do they…

This brings us to our first tip on how to stop a puppy from biting:

  1. Make your puppy think he is hurting you when he bites by letting out a puppy yelp!  Basically you are trying to replicate the same behavior as one of the other puppies in the litter.  So, let out a nice yelp to briefly startle your puppy and stop playing with him.  This will teach your puppy that when he bites to hard playtime ends.  Ending playtime is key when you do this because I’ve seen and experienced puppies that think the yelp is just part of the game and if you continue handling or playing they sometimes get more excited and come back with an even harder bite.
  2. Redirect your puppy biting by slowly removing your hand from his mouth and replace with one of his dog toys.  This is probably our favorite technique.  Whatever inappropriate item your puppy is biting whether it be your hand, arm, feet, or face (like in the example from our reader) slowly remove the item from your puppies jaws and replace with his favorite dog toy or chew then leave him alone to play with his toy for a while.  We have found that it’s a good idea to have lots of different textured toys as your puppy will most likely get bored if all he has is a bunch of plush toys.  Our collection consists of plush toys, nylabones, various KONG toys, bully sticks, sterile bones, deer antlers and other dog toys and chews.
  3. Try using Bitter Apple Spray. So how would you use Bitter Apple Spray to deter a mouthy puppy?  If your puppy is in that nippy mood then spray a little bit of Bitter Apple Spray on your hand and then let him put his mouth on your hand.  Most puppies will usually take a few bites/licks of your hand then start smacking his chops licking his jowls trying to figure out where that horrid taste came from.  After doing this a few times your puppy will figure out that putting his mouth on your hand results with an icky taste in his mouth.  Most pups hate the taste of Bitter Apple Spray, but some actually like it so this will not work with all pups.  One more word of caution…if you’ve already received a few puncture wounds from your pup’s little vampire teeth then you might not want to get Bitter Apple in the sores because I know from experience that it stings like heck!
  4. Give your dog a command.  If you’ve been working on basic obedience then giving your puppy a command will sometimes get him to stop biting and go into obedience mode.  We teach our guide dogs puppies “Leave it” pretty early on and once they know what it means a quick “Leave it” will get them to stop.  However, even just telling your puppy to “sit” or “down” (if they know these commands) could easily break their nippy mood.

At about 4-5 months our puppies lose all of their tiny dagger teeth and they are replaced with adult teeth.  It’s also around this time that our pups usually stop their mouthy, biting behavior.

One more word for the wise.  NEVER SLAP OR HIT YOUR PUPPY!  Your puppy will probably think one of two things:  1. You are playing and he’ll come back trying to bite you even harder.  or 2. He will learn to fear you and your hands.  Hitting your puppy will most likely lead up to even bigger behavior problems down the line.

If you think your puppy is being overly aggressive or none of these tips are helping with your puppy you should seek a local professional dog trainer and set up an in-home training session so the trainer can experience your puppy’s behavior first hand.

Always remember when raising and training your puppy to be consistent, persistent, and patient.  Puppies can be a lot of work, but the work you put in now will show when you’re pup becomes a well-behaved full grown dog.

I hope those tips on how to stop your puppy from biting helped.  What about you guys?  Do you have a puppy who likes to bite?  What have you done to help keep his biting at bay?  Tell us all about your experiences in the comment section below.


  1. says

    When Sampson was a puppy and he bit us, we would pull our hand away and place it over his nose (no slapping, just a gentle hand over his nose) and a NO BITE. I can feed him a treat from my mouth.

    Delilah came to us much later and I’m still struggling to teach her not to snap when she takes a treat. I do make a loud noise, but I will have to work on a yelp like sound and stop what I’m doing. Right now I usually just say “Gentle” and if she snaps, I pull the treat away and offer it again without saying anything. I’m hoping we can break her of this habit.

    Great post Colby!

    • says

      Thanks Jodi! We worked with Stetson since he was a puppy and he’s still a bit snappy when taking a treat. We did teach him the word “Gentle” when taking treats and that does the trick, but if we don’t tell him gentle he’ll put your whole hand in his mouth.

        • says

          Well…Stetson is still snappy unless you say “gentle”. He’s 6 years old now so I don’t think that is ever going to change. All of the other dog’s I trained for the guide dog program have had soft mouths. I must have done something wrong when I raised Stetson :(

    • Jax says

      we have a lab mix he was 9 wks old when adopted, had to be wormed several times, to clear his system. Biter, snappy, chewing on everything he can get into his
      mouth. Ice is his favorite. When he doesnt stop snipping at our hands feet or arms we have tried walk away…replacing toy…..time out …. and finally just put out side. We notice after he come in side it takes 30 or more minutes to calm, relax,or just 0sit down. He thinks we are his pets. we do correct consistantly, He is now 30 lbs, and 15 weeks old, not over weight, acts like a little puppy. He sits, lay down, and come. then watch out. When outside, he will walk along side , snapping at feet legs,hands, arms, I cant walk. So i carry two long hanging toys on either side just so we can practice getting from a to b Help

      • says

        Hi Jax,

        Congratulations on your new puppy! I think you’d benefit from an in-home training session with a professional dog trainer. It’s difficult to assess the situation just from your description, but it does sound like your puppy may have some extra energy. You might try teaching him fetch and play that game with him to wear him down a little. Also, you might try working on his obedience as mental stimulation can also wear down a puppy. However, as I mentioned it is probably best if you contacted a professional trainer to see exactly how your dog is interacting with you and your family. Good luck with your training!


    • Charlie says

      I have a 8 and a half month old puppy, name Monty. He is a cockapoo miniature and he still nips, and bites, even the snarl here and there. It is horrible that he still bites and nips because if you go for a cuddle he could just turn halfway through. He is really loving when he is not doing this…please help! He wont stop and it is driving my family mad. We cant afford trainers so just the family.

      • says

        Hi Charlie,

        It’s difficult to identify what’s actually going on with your puppy without actually being there to witness the behavior. I know you already mentioned that you cannot get a professional dog trainer, but this would be the best way to find out what exactly is going on with your puppy and what can be done to correct any problems. We’ve tried to include most of our tips in this article. One thing I’d like to point out is with any training you do with your puppy make puppy make sure you and your family are consistent, persistent, and patient. Good luck with your training.

        Take care,

  2. says

    I needed this article a year ago! Yegads, was Kuster a biter! I tried the yelping technique, and that just incited him into a frenzy. So, when he started biting, I just put him in the crate or ex-pen and walked away. I think the best weapon in our arsenal was Morgan. She was a great puppy nanny and I think he learned more about bite inhibition from her than anything else. We were also one of the lucky families that got a puppy who liked the taste of Bitter Apple! I really thought he’d drive me insane.

    The funny thing is, I didn’t realize he’d stopped biting for a long time. One day a few months ago, I was playing with him with one of his favorite toys. He accidentally missed the toy and bit me. I saw stars, but he let go right away and seemed very concerned about me. I realized that it had been a long time since I’d felt his teeth on me. Once he started teething, the biting went away and never came back, fortunately!

    • says

      Sorry I’m a year late :( Linus was the same way when we tried the yelp technique, but it has worked with some of the other dogs. The pups do learn a lot from the other dogs. Now that Linus is older he’s very good at teaching the puppies what they can and cannot do. He regulates play time and makes sure everyone is behaving properly. It’s funny to watch, but I think it’s part of his herding instincts.

      I haven’t had a puppy who liked Bitter Apple Spray yet, but I’ve heard from many others who have pups that do like the taste just like Kuster.

      Most of the puppies I’ve raised usually stop biting, mouthing, nipping around the time they finish teething and all of their adult teeth come in…usually around 4-5 months of age, but before that I usually come away with a few battle scars.

  3. Brooke says

    I have tried many of the above suggestions for curing a playful biter. My current dog was resistant or oblivious to most of the traditional methods, so we had to get creative:

    I have found that when a puppy bites it is normally on the hand between the thumb and index fingers. So, when I was training my pet many years back, I found a quick and gentle way of curing bites. When he would nip at and/or bite at my hand, I would simply slip my hand a little farther into his mouth and with the same hand, GENTLY grasp his lower jaw suppressing his tongue.* The puppy found this uncomfortable, and soon realized that he didn’t like hands (and consequently other human body parts) in his mouth. It didn’t scare him and he wasn’t afraid of me or my hands. He just associated discomfort with HIS ACTION of biting. I am happy to say that after a few training sessions he hasn’t offered to bite or nip at anyone in 9 years.

    *This may seem like asking for another bite. However, when I was the one who chose to put my hand deeper in his mouth, he didn’t like that because it wasn’t his idea ;-). Therefore, his mouth will open up wider(instead of biting down) as he tries to get rid of the gentle pressure.

    Hope this will be of help!

  4. Martin and Yzerman says

    Great Article Colby,
    My Springer never had the nipping problem, he was more of a chewer. The bitter apple spray worked wonders. At first I tried to put any type of hot sauce on things he would chew that he shouldn’t, turns out he loves Tabasco sauce which is what I had use to previously get an old roommates dog from eating that chlorine dispenser in the pool. Hot sauce on chair legs or other things he wasn’t supposed to chew on turned into marathon licking sessions. Live and learn I guess, this underlines the fact that no 2 dogs are the same. Even the old squirt bottle didn’t work on Yzerman. He loves the pool and in my house in AZ we had a sprinkler on the pool. Turns out he would go nuts and misbehave just to get squirted with water. The first dog trainer I had didn’t believe me and I had to go next door and buy a bath towel once she was done trying to ‘correct’ him. Live and learn as the saying goes. Best of luck in all future endeavors,
    Martin and Yzerman

    • says

      Hi Martin and Yzerman! Thanks for sharing your experiences. Yep, each dog is a little different. Some like Tabasco some like the Bitter Apple Spray. Like you said: “Live and learn”

      Thanks for stopping by!

  5. says

    Over the years of having puppies, I’ve also used Jodi’s “no bite” reaction. One of the more effective ways to stop this, was to gently circle my hand around the puppy’s mouth, put my face close to the pup’s face and to growl ….think how you’d make that yelping sound: a quick, 1-3 second noise and just deepen your voice so that yelp becomes a quick growl sound. The reasoning behind this was me thinking, “If I were the dog mom, how would I tell my pup to knock it off?” I’ve always used the “no bite” approach first, typically followed by re-directing the puppy’s attention to a chew toy, saying as I offered it, “This is what you chew.” The growling technique was the second option when the first wasn’t effective.

  6. Steve says

    Hi Colby, Great article. My Boston Terrier nipped a lot when he was a puppy. I tried the yelping technique but that made him more excited. He’s almost 2 now and still nips occasionally, but he seems to be slowly outgrowing it. Thanks for the bitter apple tip. It worked great on furniture but I never thought of using it on my hands.

    • says

      Thanks Steve! As I mentioned if you have any puppy bites then the Bitter Apple Spray on the hands will definitely sting. I usually use it most on my hands and on the leash. It seems the little guys love to bite on their leash as well.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  7. says

    Great point about making the dog think that they are hurting you. My wife did this with our dog and I thought that she was crazy. However, he quickly quit the biting.

    • says

      Thanks for sharing your experiences. You never know what will work with your puppy. Linus used to get excited when we tried to get him to think we were getting hurt by whimpering or crying. However, the technique did work with some of our other pups.

  8. says

    It’s been a long, long time since I’ve had a puppy (our currents dogs were rescued at three years), but I recall yelping and replacing. That always worked. It works with little kids and teenagers, too. A mama’s tear, properly utilized, are powerful things.

  9. Martin Papworth says

    Hi, I am very new to puppy ownership, we have a 7 week 3 day old 1 quarter GSD and 3 quarter Sibe, male. He is very nippy when he gets excited, but I have found a couple of solutions to this problem. 1. A low “att” sound and substitution, putting something else in front of his mouth. Partly our fault if we don’t have an alternative to bite. 2. He doesn’t like the squirt bottle, he barks at it, then attacks it then submits to it. Now after a day or so, he lays down flat and submits if we hold it and play. It’s hard not to laugh at him when we use it. But he knows exactly why it’s there. Huskies learn very fast. I’ve had to learn fast too! 3. This works to calm him down if he’s getting a bit too excited. We have a wooden shiny floor, he couldn’t grip on it. Was falling over banging himself and was getting down about playing – totally miserable in fact. All the floors downstairs are hard and cold, apart from the messy lawn which he finds all sorts of mischief on to put in his mouth. It took me a few hours to figure out why he was getting so down. But when I clicked I got a roll of stairs carpet, unused from a friend. Then I have a large hard wearing bed for his bigger cage when he’s older, and an old mattress topper. With all these spread out in the room he can play really comfortably and gets grip etc. He perked up instantly. But got happy and excited again and nipped. But I found if I walked into the kitchen with a cold stone tile floor he stopped playing and sat or lied down, and you can approach and stroke him and touch him everywhere without a nip or fuss. Also having soft surfaces in the room like an island surrounded by hard slippery wooden floor means he has no interest atm of getting in the safe but difficult to manage nooks and crannies in the room, ie behind the sofa etc. One thing I am not sure of, I use the anti bite spray, he doesn’t like it but I won’t put it on my hands as I don’t want to get it on his toys, blankets etc as I don’t want him to associate the taste with the toys I want him to bite on. Togo loves playing with material, it’s harder to stop him biting our clothes and getting the occasional nip through the material. I have been worried about him sniffing up my dressing gown as I really really do not want a nip there! Lastly, from day one I have been able to open his mouth and put my hands in to get stones etc out. He lets me do this with no fuss, I’d like to keep it that way, so the idea of putting my hand further into his mouth when he bites is something I don’t think I will be trying, I don’t want a negative reaction when I want full control of him and to be able to touch him everywhere.

  10. says

    It’s really important to stop your puppy biting and nipping as early as possible. Our friends have a Labrador that is now 10 years old and whenever I (or anyone else) goes into their house the dog continually nips and licks your hands. The owners then shout at the dog, but the poor dog doesn’t know any better as he’s never been told it is wrong since he was a pup!

    • says

      Thanks for sharing the story. That’s too bad that they aren’t willing to train their dog. Maybe you should send them over to this page :)

  11. Alex James says

    Hi !
    I’ve read and tried ALL the techniques mentioned here now for the past 4 weeks and my puppy has shown NO signs of improvement! In fact it’s getting so bad that I am seriously considering getting rid of her as she is no enjoyment to me or the other members of our family. Can someone PLEASE help ! I cannot afford a professional dog trainer to come visit in my home so ANY other suggestions apart from those already listed here would be GREATLY appreciated! Thank you :)

    • Martin Papworth says

      Hi, Sorry you seem to be having no fun with your puppy. Our new puppy was a bit nippy. I used two books to research before I got him and one of the sections in one of the books suggests three ways to stop a puppy biting. The first is ignoring (stop playing, avoid eye contact etc), the second was a squirt bottle and the third was holding his mouth shut. It suggested trying only one for two weeks minimum at a time before moving onto the next. I don’t support all the methods here or in the books, but if it works without causing distress then all well and good. I tried the ignoring thing for a day and could see it just wouldn’t work. A husky is quite independent so it didn’t care. I moved straight to a squirt bottle and it is working really well. I only have to show it to him and he stops. Or shake it and the noise makes him stop. My mum has a Labrapoodle who has just turned one. She hasn’t managed to stop the nipping either so she wears a gardening glove. My general rule with my Togo is to carry something else to nip in one hand (normally a rubber squeeky toy) and a squirter in the other and he is fine. Chopping and changing methods could be confusing, a squirter with a very very very mild vinegar solution in it works really well. I don’t speak or say no, and you have to get the correction within 1 or 2 seconds or they don’t know what it is for.

      Try one method and be hard and consistent without shouting or causing distress. I’d be very suprised if you can’t fix it.

      • says

        Thank you for your suggestions. Every puppy is different and it always seems that one training method that works well with one puppy doesn’t always work with the next.

    • says

      I’m sorry you’re having problems with your puppy biting and nipping. Martin has made some great suggestions in the previous comment.

      I know you already mentioned that you cannot afford a professional dog trainer, but would it be possible to enroll your puppy in a group training class? Group training classes are less expensive and it could give a trainer a chance to see your puppy’s behavior first hand.

  12. says

    We have two grown Weimaraners and we have went through the puppy stages with them. I love the detailed write up you give the readers and new pet owners that can help and guide them to solving this problem. Puppies love to chew including on your hands. We would always use the redirecting method with our pups. If they were interested in biting or chewing on anything not allowed including our hands or feet, we would get their toy or bone that they could chew and replace it. We would do this 100 times if that’s what it takes.

    • says

      The redirect method is the first thing we always do when working with our puppies who like to bite. I almost always have some type of toy or chew in my pocket when I first start raising and training a young puppy. Redirecting definitely saves you from a few puncture wounds. Thanks for stopping by!

  13. Ginger says

    My 11 week border collie puppy is out of control. She responds very well to my husband, but not so well to my boys and myself. She gets really hyper and she will start biting ankles, ripping pants. She has bit my sons stomach and arms. The most recent episode that really concerns me is that she is very possesive of things she snatches (a shoe, a sock, etc…). She got into the bathroom trash and got a wipey. I went to her to take it from her mouth. She growled, but I continued to try and get it from her mouth (I didnt want her to choke on it). She then bit my hand and punctured my fingers in three spots. Let me tell you, those teeth are like knives! She knows the command “drop it”, but when she doesn’t listen and refuses to drop it she bares her teeth, growls, and snaps. I really don’t feel that its just puppy behavior. My kids are starting to become scared of her and run from her(which gets her more excited) because they are afraid of getting bitten. As of now what I do when she is out of control is I put her in the backyard so everyone can move freely through the house. I know her breed is extremely intelligent and has a ton of energy. She has only had her second set of shots so I can’t take her running at the park yet to exert her excess energy. I play fetch in the yard with her, but she doesn’t stay interested for very long. If you have any suggestions please help. She is also very sweet and absolutely adorable, but we can’t have a dog that is biting and making the children scared in their own home.

    • says

      If you think your puppy is expressing aggression more than just regular puppy behavior then you should definitely have a professional trainer come to the house for an in-home evaluation to work with you, your family, and your dog.

  14. Von says

    I appreciate all the suggestions. I have a 5 month old Shorkie with the strong terrier traits. We are doing well with biting except I live in a high rise and must take the elevator for walks. She nips heels, mine and anyone else close by. She is so fast it is hard to pull her away. What can I do about this on a busy street? We have a while to go before teething is over.

    • says

      We’ve never really run into this problem since we’ve never lived in a high rise. One thing you might try is using treats or her favorite toy to lure your puppy away from whatever she’s trying to nip at. Good luck with your training!

  15. says

    Hello Colby. What a marvelous help you are to so many people and their “teethful” puppies. Your dedication to helping dogs have better lives is wonderful.

    Yours in dogs

    Sue Myles

    • says

      Hi Sue,

      Thanks for visiting my blog! Raising guide dog puppies gets you well acquainted with puppy teeth. Hopefully some of these tips help our readers. I hope all is well with you!


  16. Beartoothgirl says

    I have an 8 month old who still nips, I’ve tried everything listed above. He was getting much better then he was diagnosed with FCP and is 3 weeks post op on first elbow. He is a high drive Golden so I have puzzles for him and we are doing some nose work indoors. He is now on an Ace daily as he is getting hard to manage. He is very frustrated and it can be challenging at times. 8 month old puppy + no exercise= frustration and bad habits! I also have to keep s weight down so he gets a shank bone once a week, but I have to limit the treats. Help!

    • says

      That’s difficult with the elbow surgery. It can sometimes take a while to get a puppy to stop being mouthy. My current puppy is also 8 months old and she can still be mouthy especially when she gets excited meeting new people. However, it’s definitely more difficult with a puppy you can’t exercise. You might check with your vet to see if there’s anything else you can do to exercise both her mind and body while she is post op with her elbows.

      Good luck with your training.

  17. Colleen says

    I may have messed up my first question attempt. I’ll post again, sorry for a possible duplication.

    We have an 8 month old high drive Golden (Teddy Roosevelt). He is very intelligent and needs much mental stimulation…training, puzzles, nose work, etc. He was a sweet puppy but all of a sudden in his “terrible two’s” phase, he began nipping. We made a lot of headway, but at 7 months old he was diagnosed with FCP in both elbows. He is now 3 weeks post op with the first elbow and he is FRUSTRATED! His nipping and obnoxious behavior has started up again. So bad that I have him on an ACE daily to keep him manageable. Intelligent 8 month old puppy + no exercise = frustrated puppy with bad behaviors! We are trying to keep his weight down so he gets a shank bone once a week, but training and puzzles are not always helpful due to weight gain…He came from a very reputable breeder with generations of cert. hips, eyes, elbows and hearts. He was otherwise a real nice pup, until now!! Help!

    • says

      Just a follow up from my last comment…when we raise and train our guide and service dog puppies it takes approximately 2 1/2 years before they are fully trained and not all of them make it into the program. We stress being consistent, persistent, and patient with our pups as some behaviors are very difficult to change. Our puppy, Dublin was mouthy for 18+ months, but we still worked on it everyday and his behavior improved (slowly) until in the end he was able to graduate as a working guide dog. I know the situation is different for you especially with the elbow issues.

      By the way, another option would be to have a professional dog trainer stop by to evaluate your dog and his behavior.

      Good luck with your training!

  18. Megan Shea says

    Dear Colby,

    Thank you for this website…it has been a wealth of information. We have a 15 week old chocolate lab, Lucy. She seems to have learned not to bite my husband and I as we had read about bite inhibition and that seems to have worked with us. We have three little kids however, ages 8,6 and 4 and she continues to nip at them and actually get pretty good bites in on them. Any suggestions to help with getting her to stop biting them?
    If you don’t mind, a second question too…she is penned off in a very small area in our house ( and does not soil that area at all any more) and is also crate trained…at this point I am trying to introduce to other parts of the house so she can be with the family in the evening and she invariably has a small accident (even though I take her outside to relieve herself right before bridging her in) and runs around “crazy” as soon as she gets brought to a main living space.
    Thanks for your input/suggestions.

    • says

      Hi Megan,

      Congratulations on your new puppy! It sounds like you’re doing a great job with her. When my pup’s are still young like Lucy I usually keep them on leash in and around the house. This way I can control behavior until my pup learns what is right and wrong and I can keep a close eye on her for potty training. In our experience most of our puppies are less mouthy after they get their adult teeth usually around 4-5 months. Hopefully this helps. Good luck with your training!

      Take care,

  19. DEEPAK says

    Recently adopted a 9 week Lab Retriever, she is extremely playful and energetic. I was having the same problem of biting for 2 weeks, we got her at 7 weeks, probably a week earlier than we should have. Was facing the same problem of biting. A good idea is to have a strong NO command. It generally works. And in NO CASE WHATSOEVER do you HIT your dog. Treat her/him like your kids and she will love you more than your kid ever will.

  20. Linda says

    I have a 10 wk old bloodhound puppy and 2 little girls. When the puppy bites at their feet they scream, laugh, cry and run from the puppy! Now they are afraid of her and don’t want to play with her at all. Any suggestions?

    • says

      Hi Linda,

      Congratulations on your new puppy! It’s tough to tell without actually observing the behavior, but I’m guessing laughing, crying, and running around gets your puppy more excited and mouthy. Try working with your girls on what they need to do when the puppy starts getting mouthy.

      Good luck with your training!

    • joanna says

      I know that its been a few months but I whant to give you a new look on this. When I was 7 years old I had a puppy I was afaide of (cole puppy) we had him for 16 years befor he died. My parents let me and my brothers find ower own way of delling with him ( not hitting him). We came up with a game called black shark. (He was black with teath like a shark). Mom and dad wached us to inshere that no abuse came to cole and we did not need the hospitol. ( we where good at getting there owerself). After some time I stop being afrad of him. The more my parents try to get be close to him and to try to get me to handel him when he got nippy, the more I was a frade of him. But when thay let me find my own way, I stop being a frade and me and cole where veary close.

  21. Maggie says

    Thanks for all the useful tips but as they are aimed at dealing with the younger puppy I was wondering if you could give me some advice on how best to deal with our 12 month old who is good with all the family except our son who she on occasions pulls at his clothes and also jumps up and nips him not hard but I feel she is being too demanding of him and that this needs to be addressed now .

    Thank you.

    • says

      We have similar issues with our puppies at my house and my girlfriend. I work on getting her more involved with the training so she understands how to better react when one of our puppies is jumping up, biting, or generally any unwanted behavior. If you haven’t taken a puppy kindergarten or basic obedience class you might consider this to help your son and the rest of the family better understand how to work with your dog.

      One thing you might do right away is keep your dog on leash when in the house. If he’s jumping up and nipping at your son you can shorten the leash and just stand on it so your dog can no longer jump.

      Good luck with your training.

  22. Donna Crayne says

    Hello, my name is Donna, were an older couple me and my Hubby. We bought a small puppy from a vets office. Someone apparently brought mom in. They found out she was pregnant. So they hung on to her until babies were born. Peanut is a Chiweenie pup seven weeks old. We have a bad problem with him. He will just bite right in your face! You think hes going to lick sometimes he is licking but he latches on draws blood. We dont know how to stop him. Not just faces but hands and everything else. Hes very opinionated he whines if he wants something or doesnt like something. But hes doing really well potty training he advergaes about 90% outside to 10% inside accidents. If you have any advice to help us id be very grateful. Also hes very picky about food. He doesnt like the food the vet hss him on. Science diet dry puppy food watered down and canned puppy food mixed. Thank you so much. Donna Crayne

    • Glenn says


      Judging from your letter you don’t have a bad problem or for that matter, any problem at all considering he was taken from his mother a couple weeks too soon.

      (a) Your puppy is 90% potty trained at 7 weeks. That’s half the battle. Be thankful

      (b) Avoid the face-to-face stuff with every dog. It’s not cute, instead it’s one of natures signs of sizing-up for possible aggression among animals (and many humans for that matter)
      As far as the other biting goes. Watch videos of how the mother and other puppies handle it and do what they do. Yup…. Learn to yelp and growl firmly & convincingly. Pull it out when necessary. It works well

      (c) Get yourself a package size digital postal scale to keep track of his weight on a weekly basis (Harbor Freight has good & really inexpensive scales)
      Look-up the “weight increase over time” guidelines for your particular puppy. If his weight is within the guidelines (which it likely is) don’t stress the food thing. If not, see his vet.
      Puppy’s are really good at eating what they need to eat when any food is available

  23. rhandi-jayne says

    Finding this info couldn’t have come at a better time! I just adopted an 8 mo old terrier mix at the humane society.
    Oh have mercy he is mouthy.

    The tips here are at least a point in the right direction. My hands are swollen and red, so I’m looking forward to trying one process at a time.

    He’s a smart little whipper snapper (pun intended) and i know he can do it!

  24. joanna says

    I have a 3 1/2 month old puppy. She nips to say the less. I have a new godson he is 2 months and I whant to see my godson and spend time with lulu. How do I interduce the 2 of them with out him gitting bite. Please help my family whant me to get ride of her I whant to keep her. I never intended to get a puppy when I did, but her mom was a stray, a woman toke her in for the winter, when she was pregnet then throw them all out after the first snow melted. I took one of the puppys in the ethers got good homes from people my mom work with. I fell in love with her the moment I looked in her eyes. she sticks with me like gluw. I whant to see my godsun (Domineck) without filling gilty, and vise versa. She is a good dog and learns fast but nipping is still a problem. Any suggestions will be great. Thank you.

    • says

      First, if you haven’t had a chance read through the article. We wrote several tips on how to combat biting and nipping. We mostly raise Lab puppies and so far in our experience the mouthy behavior decreases quite a bit after they get their adult teeth at around 4-5 months. Also, you might look into getting a professional dog trainer to help you with your puppy. It’s always much easier for a professional dog trainer to assess a situation in person. Good luck with your training!

    • says

      Congratulations on your new puppy! Most puppies are mouthy. We’ve noticed the suggestions mentioned in this article help, but also that most of our puppies remain mouthy until around the time they lose their teeth (usually around 4-5 months of age).

  25. Kelly says

    Hi!! Thank you for all of your tips on biting/nipping! They have worked well for me and my older children, however our 8 1/2 week old labradoodle puppy uses my 2 year old as a chew toy! She bite marks all over her hands and the puppy has drawn blood. My daughter is too young to understand how to keep her from doing this and as much as I try to keep the puppy from jumping and biting on her…..she still continues. My daughter is now starting to be afraid and cry every time the dog is around! Help!!

    • says

      Congratulations on your new puppy! One thing we do that you may want to try is to keep your puppy on leash and by your side even when you’re in the house. This makes it much easier to control your puppy when she’s biting, jumping, etc. When your puppy starts getting hyperactive just shorten up and stand on the leash until she calms down. Hopefully that helps. Good luck with your training.

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