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Simply the Pets

Puppy Biting and Nipping

What you need to know

Why do puppies nip?

Biting is an important part of your puppies development and is essential in teaching your puppy bite inhibition. This begins with their litter mates, however, once taken away from the litter they transfer this onto us. Puppy biting can be one of the most frustrating times for a new owner. Those razor sharp teeth can cause a lot of damage! But with this guide we hope to help you navigate this time as pain free as possible!

Firstly puppies nip for a variety of reasons.

These can include:



Attention Seeking


Breed Outlet

Invitation to play

Over stimulated


Working out WHY your puppy is biting is the first step to working out how to deal with it.

What can you do?


Work out Why, When and What

(see above)

When are they at their best? When are they at their worst?

Is there a pattern? What have you tried that makes it worse?


Have plenty of toys/ chews to hand to offer instead.

When exchanging say 'chew this' to teach your dog was is appropriate to chew. This can be natural dog chews, soft toys, toys specifically for chewing. Avoid rawhide or toys which can be broken into small pieces and swallowed. These are a choking hazards.


Their toys and chews so they don't become bored. Put some away for a few days before switching around.


Their favourite chew or toy for when they are at their worst moments.

Usually something big and squishy does the trick!


Their environment - move rooms, do something else


social interaction. Ignore them.

This teaches them that biting stops the fun!


Create a routine for your dog of sleep, feeding, toileting, play and training. Make this even and balanced so you're


What to avoid


This can create more excitement or over stimulate

No Tapping or grabbing

This can cause your dog to become fearful of your touch

No sprays or rattle cans

This can make nipping worse, cause frustration & in circumstances where is appears to be 'working' the behaviour is just being suppressed

Try to avoid saying "No"

No is confusing - your dog won't know what you are trying to tell them.

Instead redirect and tell them what you would like them to do instead.

Time Outs

This can create worry about being left.

Your aim is to create a secure bond of trust. You can ignore them but don't abandon.

If your dog begins to guard/ resource guard seek professional advice