Chewing and Biting in Puppies
Puppies love to explore their world with their mouths—and they have no idea how sharp those little teeth are! When puppy’s teeth meet your skin, keep in mind the following:
- Our hands (feet, clothes, etc.) are not toys!
- Respond the same way a puppy playmate might—let out a little yipe! Or a high-pitched Ow! Be over-dramatic, it’s ok!
- Don’t punish—no swatting, holding muzzle, or yelling.
- Instead, turn your back, hide your hands, avoid eye contact, and generally refuse to play!
- Redirect puppy’s chewing instincts towards an appropriate toy, and praise him when he chews the right thing!
Luckily, those sharp teeth start to fall out around 5-6 months of age! Chewing will continue (it’s part of being a dog), but it will be gentler if you help him learn appropriate behavior as a puppy.