Puppy Loves to Bite People and Things!!

Posted by glowgirl3
Mar 13, 2008
Hi everyone!! I have an 8 week old puppy who I love like crazy! I'm currently trying to potty train her but my biggest problem right now is that she bites on everything! She bites my fingers, my toes, my ankles, my wood furniture my couches, you get the idea. Does anyone have any advice on how to get her out of this biting mode? I don't want her getting older and really causing damage to people. Thanks!
Posted by Blue
Mar 14, 2008
Welcome to the forum! What's your puppy's name and breed?

To speed things along a bit faster, I have copied some information from other posts that have similar issues to yours. Feel free to browse around the forum and see what other dog owners are doing for similar circumstance as yours! There's a lot of useful information on this forum for many different situations!

I am going to write about very basics in case this is your first dog so please ignore if you already know about these.

First of all I am glad that you have started training your dog. However, there is more important things than sit, stay, etc. that your dog needs to learn - it is a socialization with people and other dogs. It is a very critical period now for the socialization because if he doesn't get enough of it now, he may develop some unfavorable behaviors when he gets older, such as being afraid of people, other dogs, new sounds, smells, car rides, vacuum cleaners, etc.

Please make occasions that your puppy can meet with as many people, including kids, and let him play with other puppies too. Dog obedience classes are a great way to socialize your pup both with humans as well as other dogs/puppies!

You said your puppy is nipping and biting but I think he is just playing with you. Puppies' teeth are tiny and sharp so I know they hurt you. He would probably not hurt dogs because they don't have bare skin like us. However he needs to learn that he shouldn't hurt people. What you can do is to make a loud noise like "OUCH!" as you look into his eyes when it hurts you and stop playing with him for a while. You will have to repeat this so that he will learn that he gets to play only when he does not put his teeth on your skin.

As for the treats, please make sure you cut up treats into very very tiny pieces. I cut my treats smaller than my pinky finger nail. Don't hold treats in your hand but put them in a training pouch or put them on a kitchen counter so that he can not get to them. This will help with his sniffing the treats and getting distracted. Those are rewards so he will get to eat when he does things right.

When you actually give a piece of treat to him, put it in your fist and extend in front of him with a little opening between fingers as you say "Gentle". If he tries to get it by biting your fingers, don't give it to him. If he tries to take it with his tongue, release it. It might take a while for him to learn it but he will get there.

Puppies are changing everyday so don't get discouraged if he gets better and then goes back where he was before. It is a long way but I am sure he will grow to be very nice obedient dog if you keep working on him.

When he bites/chews on your furniture, be sure to reprimand him. A good way to reprimand is by using a deep/low NO, a guttural growl (yes, literally) or saying Aaahh with a deep low voice, or shake a can of pennies/small pebbles. In addition to these, if a verbal reprimand is not enough, you can buy a little squirt gun to squirt him if he really refuses to stop chewing!

As a precursor preventative to his chewing on your furniture, you can apply a distasteful substance to your furniture (where possible without stains!) such as bitter apple. Many people also use a cayenne/chili and water mixture to stop chewing.

As soon as you have reprimanded your puppy and he stops, give him something appropriate to chew and praise him when he is chewing on it. Kong's are great for this as you can stuff them with peanut butter/treats and they can last quite a while (especially if you freeze them!) and they come in different sizes for all dogs/puppies! Durable squeaker toys are also great, Cuz makes some fabulous squeakers ([url=http://www.petacular.com/products/Cuz-Dog-Toys.html]Cuz Rubber Squeaky Dog Toy - Canada[/url] always supervise your dog with cuz balls as they do have feet that can be chewed off!) my dog Blue destroyed every chew toy we got for her, except for these Cuz toys and Kongs! You just have to learn to tolerate the squeaking . To entice your dog to chew on non-stuff-able chew toys, you can also put a little peanut butter on them to make them more wonderful then the couch!

I hope this was helpful!
Best of luck with your new pup! Feel free to post any more questions/concerns you have along the way!