Should I let my puppy bite me? A Complete Guide

Things to keep in mind:

  • Be sure to give your pup attention and praise when they are behaving nicely!
  • All family members and guests MUST be consistent in order for this to work!
  • Be aware that even doing everything right, this behavior may not go away entirely until 5-6 months of age. Remember, this is a normal developmental period in puppies.
  • For extra-bitey puppies, or those that are biting after 5-6 months of age, this blog will help give you some additional tips and recommendations.
  • An Important Caveat:

    Some puppies find the act of a person walking away reinforcing. If your puppy seems to enjoy you removing yourself as a game of chase, you can alternatively use the side of your leg (not your knee, please!) as a “wall,” blocking your puppys advances and non-dramatically removing them from biting you without involving your hands.

    You may have to block them multiple times before they stop trying; dont give up! And most importantly, still avoid yelling or using your hands – bitey puppies tend to find both of these things very exciting.

    Should I let my puppy bite me?

    So, what should you do about puppy biting?

  • If your puppy bites you, you need to ignore the behavior and remove *yourself* from the interaction, with no drama.
    • Note: You are not putting your puppy in a time out. That involves way too much time, talking, and attention to be an effective punishment. You are either ignoring the behavior or removing yourself from it.
  • That means play is over, fun is over, attention is over. Be as non-dramatic as possible.
  • If the behavior is hard for you to ignore, go behind a door or baby gate where your puppy does not have access to continue nipping at you.
  • If your puppy tries to nip at you when you return, remove yourself again.
  • You should see a major decrease in the intensity of biting as well as the amount of biting attempts within a few days.
  • The BIGGEST Mistake People Make With A Puppy Biting Problem