We're Accepting New Patients!
Complete our New Client Form


Biting Puppies

Although often thought to be a teething behaviour – nipping, mouthing and biting in young dogs is generally a form of social play. Teething is more likely to involve gnawing or chewing on household objects.  Puppies need to be provided ample opportunity to play, without biting. (Read more about Dental Care for Dogs)

The most important survival lesson for a puppy to learn is that biting causes pain.

 When puppy’s teeth meet your skin, keep in mind the following. 

  • Respond the same way a puppy playmate might – let out a yip or high pitched ouch, it is okay to be dramatic.
  • If you have no success with the ‘ouch’ response and the biting continues – immediately stop the play session and leave the room.
  • Do not punish the puppy by hitting, swatting, holding his muzzle or yelling (play biting is natural for a puppy, learning how not to bite is the lesson we hope to teach).
  • Children should only play with a puppy using a toy; this rule also applies to any adult who cannot play reasonably with a puppy.
  • Children need to be supervised and should immediately stop playing with a puppy who attempts to bite or mouth.
  • Use only large soft indestructible toys for your play sessions.
  • Reinforce the sit and stay commands so you can take control during the play session.
  • Stop play at the first sign of over arousal.
  • Never allow your puppy to mouth human hair or clothing as hair and clothing cannot feel. Allowing a puppy to mouth hair, scarves, shoelaces, trouser legs or gloved hands, inadvertently trains the puppy to bite harder.
  • Our hands, feet and clothing are not toys.
  • Social play with people should involve controlled games such as retrieving, hide and seek as well as long walks or short jogs.
  • Although wrestling and tug-of-war games can be fun, they may lead to play that is too rough or rambunctious – setting your puppy up to bite or grab.

We need to teach the puppy acceptable rules of conduct – learning to not bite is the first step on the road to good canine citizenship.

Marie Hearn



cat dog christmas

Christmas Hazards for Pets

Christmas is such a wonderful time of year. However, it can also come with some serious and potentially lethal dangers to our pets. 

Read More
See All Articles