One of the most common negative behaviors that can be associated with new puppies is excessive biting and chewing. As a puppy’s adult teeth start to develop they will chew anything in sight, from your new pair of shoes to your hands.
I had always wondered just what was the cause of puppy biting and how to effectively prevent it in adult dogs. With that in mind, I did some research to find out why.
Puppy biting is a completely normal thing for puppies to do. As they start to develop their adult teeth, they need to chew on something to relieve their discomfort. This behavior can carry on into adulthood if not properly managed and can be caused by boredom, lack of exercise, and diet.
Now that we know more about puppy biting, we can start to understand how to prevent it. Let’s examine this in more detail.
Puppy Biting Causes
We mentioned above that puppy biting is a completely normal thing for puppies to do. Chewing is essential for muscle development and teeth cleaning.
With that said, I’m sure you must be wondering how to ensure the behavior doesn’t continue into adulthood.
To understand this a bit better let’s take a look at some of the common causes of puppy biting.
The simple fact is that a bored puppy needs something to do to alleviate their boredom. If they happen to see your nice new pair of trainers within reach, well that’s fair game.
To mitigate this, make sure you have enough rubber chew toys on hand for your puppy to chew on.
It’s probably also a good idea to keep shoes and the TV remote out of reach of your puppy. Store shoes in a wardrobe or under the stairs. Make sure you put the TV remote next to the TV when you’re done.
Be mindful of the things you leave in reach of your puppy. Otherwise, you’ll be spending your hard-earned money on duplicates of everything.
2 Lack of Exercise
As your puppy grows, their exercise requirements will increase. For the Bichon Frise, for example, it’s recommended that they get about 30 minutes of physical activity every day.
Until your puppy has had all of their recommended vaccinations, it’s not recommended that they necessarily go outside. With that said, spending time in the garden or running around the house will help to exercise them.
Mental stimulation is also important to help your puppy to develop various motor skills and social skills. It’s never too early to begin working on obedience training. Spending some time teaching your dog the basic commands like sit, stay will get their brains fired up.
Puppies that aren’t exercised enough, will revert back to a bored state. Suddenly your pair of glasses on the coffee table look particularly chewy.
3 Dry Food Diet
This is certainly something I had not considered before but worth mentioning as a possible reason for puppy biting and chewing.
Puppies that are fed only dry dog food may not get the chance to chew their food as much as they would with other types of wet dog food. Small nuts can be eaten very quickly, sometimes even without chewing.
By giving your puppy the chance to eat chewy wet dog food, you’re giving them that chance to chew to their heart’s content.
Of course, this doesn’t mean this is a sure-fire way to prevent puppy biting. With that said, it’s worth considering this as an option to get it under control.
How To Stop Puppy Biting
OK, so by now we know a lot more about why puppies bite and some potential causes of puppy biting.
With that in mind, let’s now look at ways we can stop puppy biting.
The very first thing I want to mention here is this: avoid physical punishment and scolding. This type of action does nobody any good and can in-fact negatively reinforce the behavior.
The most effective way to train your dog is through positive reinforcement and a calm but firm direction.
With that being said, let’s look at the ways to stop puppy biting.
1 Redirect Your Puppy’s Behavior And Distract Them
If your puppy starts to bite and chew on your hands, the first thing you should do is to redirect the biting to a nearby chew toy.
You’ll probably want at least a couple of chew toys on hand for when they are needed. As well as having one for a backup if another needs to be thrown out.
By being consistent about redirecting the puppy biting to something that’s not you or your hands, your puppy will learn that the chew toys are for chewing and hands are not.
This process will require a lot of patience and consistency but over time your puppy will pick it up and know the difference.
2 Deter Your Puppy From Biting And Chewing
The next thing you can do to prevent puppy biting and chewing on furniture and other things is to deter them from wanting to do it.
Remember, by now they should have plenty of chew toys to chew on so they shouldn’t need to decimate the table legs of your kitchen table.
Deterring your puppy from chewing on certain objects will show them what can be chewed and what cant be.
This can easily be done by purchasing a no chew spray or similar that you spray over the area where you don’t want your dog to bite or chew. These types of sprays commonly contain a bitter apple taste which will turn your dog straight off wanting to chew.
With this in mind, in some cases, you may actually find that your dog absolutely loves the taste of apple and this spray may actually have the opposite effect.
If you find yourself in this position, don’t worry, there are plenty of other variations of no chew sprays you can test out that contain different flavors.
3 Enroll In An Online Dog Training Course From A Certified Dog Trainer
Something you can do that will not only prevent puppy biting but will also show you how to develop an obedient and happy dog is to enroll in an online dog training course.
By seeking the advice of a certified dog trainer to understand how to train your dog, you’re removing a lot of the guesswork and the trial and error that can sometimes come with training a new puppy.
Doing so from the comfort of your own home is another benefit to taking an online course and it’s something you can do in your own time when you want to.
I recently came across the Brain Training For Dogs course during my research into dog training and found what they were offering to be pretty comprehensive.
For example, they have a dedicated puppy training section that shows you how to manage puppy biting, excessive barking, and potty training.
They also offer a private forum that allows you to find answers to any questions you may have.
What I found to be particularly great to see was that the certified dog trainer operates gentle force-free techniques only to train dogs.
Some trainers can often advocate for more forceful training methods which in my opinion aren’t nearly as effective.
The amount of resources this course contains is pretty comprehensive and the price seems to be pretty competitive when you consider how much it would cost to hire a dog trainer for a personal consultation or try and figure it all out for yourself.
With all of that being said, I would highly recommend reviewing the Brain Training For Dogs course in more detail. That way you can see if it has what you are looking for.
Here is the link below (affiliate link) for you to learn more and sign up:
We covered a lot of great information in this article which I hope you found really useful.
Let’s summarize what we discussed before we finish:
- First, we answered the question, why does my puppy bite me?
- Next, we looked at the common causes of puppy biting: boredom, lack of exercise, and a dry food diet
- After that, we examined the 3 simple ways to stop your puppy biting
If you found some value in this information, please consider sharing it on social media to help others to find it.
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