Our newly adopted puppy is biting everyone and everything in our house! Is this normal and how can we make him to stop?
Congratulations on your new family member! Rest assured your puppies’ biting is very normal! Here are some tips to get you through this stage of his life.
When puppies play they use their mouths and will bite one another. If one gets too rough the other will yelp. This is how they learn to inhibit their bite with one another. While the biting they are doing now is very painful to us with those sharp teeth, but they don’t have jaw strength. As they age their jaws become stronger. While they are at this young stage we want to give them appropriate feedback for future interactions.
I like to use an Ouch cue to let the puppy know when they have hurt me. If I am playing with my puppy and they bite me I will say Ouch! and they should back off at that point. Most puppies will not and they will continue to bite, which is what we want so that we have an opportunity to give appropriate feedback. When they bite again, you will give your “Ouch’ and follow with a cue such as Too Bad! and then you will follow that with a time out. The time out should be short to start, 10 to 20 seconds, once they come back out, you will want to go back to the play you were doing. With luck your pup will bite again so that again you can give a time out. It is through this repetition that they learn what is creating the time out and how to control their biting down the road. Consistency is a big key for success with this exercise, everyone needs to be on board.
Additionally you can look into signing up for one of puppy classes to help build a strong bond with you and your pup and get everyone off to a good start!