I’ve never met a puppy who doesn’t nip! This is completely normal behaviour from a young dog who is still exploring the world, and learning how to play nicely with others. The problem is, those needle teeth hurt! As a puppy owner, the best thing you can do to help teach them not to bite is to recognise why your puppy is biting in the first place.
Physical exercise – Is your puppy getting the right balance between high stimulation exercise (eg. play, chase) and low stimulation (eg. sniff walks, swimming)? Make sure to consult your vet about what exercise is suitable for your puppy’s age and breed.
Mental stimulation – Is your puppy bored? Don’t forget how important it is to give your puppy mental stimulation (eg. sniffing, training, shredding).
Teething – It’s always handy to give your puppy appropriate objects to chew on. This helps with teething pain, and a gives them an outlet which won’t leave you having to buy a new set of dining chairs!
Over tired – Give your puppy plenty of opportunities for undisturbed sleep throughout the day. We all get cranky when we’re tired!
Over aroused – Playing too roughly or for too long produces lots of adrenaline which causes puppies to bite. When this happens, switch to mental enrichment games or allow your puppy to nap.
Defensive biting- It can be easy for owners to miss those subtle bits of body language which dogs exhibit when they are uncomfortable. This can lead to defensive biting if the puppy feels like it is being ignored and people are continuing to pester or touch it. Why not do a bit of research about dog body language so you know what to look for?