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Puppy biting 101: How to stop puppy biting

Puppy biting is a source of frustration for many new puppy owners. Your adorable little bundle is everything you dreamed of… but you never expected their teeth to be this sharp. Or that you’d be on the receiving end of quite so many landshark attacks! 

One of the most common struggles we hear from new puppy owners is that their puppy won’t stop nipping or biting - whether at hands and feet, furniture or clothes! 

So let’s look at why puppies bite and give you some quick tips to stop your puppy biting fast. 

Why do puppies bite? 

Puppies explore the world with their mouths. It’s completely natural for puppies to be mouthy and to nip and bite during play. After all, when your puppy was with its mum and littermates, there will have been lots of rough and tumble and bitey play. 

Now your puppy has a new human family, your puppy needs to learn how to play in a different way, keeping their bitey tendencies at bay (or at least reserved for toys!)! 

But there are other reasons why your puppy may have turned into a bite monster!

Puppies get zoomie and bitey when they are:

  • Overtired or Overexcited
  • Suffering from teething pain
  • Frustrated or Stressed
  • Trying to engage you in play

How to stop your puppy from biting

The first thing to do is to consider the reason why your puppy is biting, so you can address it accordingly! 

If your puppy is overtired or overexcited, they will need some help to calm down and get some rest. Puppies need a whopping 18-20 hours of sleep a day, and if they don’t get it - you’ll soon know about it! Offer your puppy a chew or calmly settle them in their bed or crate for some wind-down time. 

If your puppy is suffering from teething pain try offering a frozen carrot to relieve their sore teeth and gums, whilst giving them something appropriate to sink their puppy teeth into!

If your puppy is frustrated or stressed then it may help to distract them and give them an outlet to blow off some steam. Playing tug with your puppy is a brilliant way for them to work off their frustration whilst simultaneously increase your bond and their confidence! 

If your puppy wants to play, then playing tug with a nice, long puppy tug toy is ideal. Many puppy toys have short handles which put your hands too close to your puppy's mouth. Look for a toy that is both long, strong and durable so it can withstand ample puppy play!

Learn how to teach your puppy to play tug here. 

How to stop your puppy from biting your feet and hands

Movement can be really triggering for young puppies. Their play instinct is strong and anything that moves is enticing and needs to be chased and caught! 

Your puppy's prey drive is completely natural and it’s nothing to worry about. Offering your puppy a toy to engage their natural urges with is the best way to break the habit of nipping or biting at your hands and feet. 

Choose a long chaser toy so your puppy to get their fix, whilst keeping their bitey teeth a good distance away from your hands and feet. 

puppy toy with long handle

Whenever your puppy tries to bite your feet or hands, instantly redirect them onto their exciting puppy tug toy

The Crazy Thing Bungee Tug Toy is perfect for this. It’s equipped with a lovely long bungee handle which is shock-absorbing and a fun fleecy tug that provides ample movement during play! 

How to play with your puppy without encouraging biting

When your puppy gets really overexcited, it’s very hard for them to contain themselves. Often when we’re playing with puppies we naturally become very animated and you may even use a high-pitched excitable tone! 

This can really raz your puppy up, and what does a puppy do when it’s overexcited?!

Yup. They get all bitey! 

Instead, try to move your puppy tug toy more like prey. Keep it low to the ground to stop your puppy from jumping up and move it side to side rather than up and down. 

Wiggle your chaser tug toy along the ground and encourage your puppy to chase and pounce on the toy. Reserve your high-pitched squeaky play voice for when your puppy is reluctant to play and needs some extra motivation!

Keep your play sessions short to prevent your puppy from getting too overexcited. And don’t forget, your puppy needs an awful lot of sleep each day!


Discover more about the benefits of playing with your puppy here


5 top tips to help your puppy settle in

3 ways to use a chaser toy

5 easy ways to make indoor play super fun

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