Puppies are cute, but those little teeth can be really sharp. Not ideal when they’re trying to nip your fingers and ankles every second. We thought we’d take a look at the reasons behind it, so you know what to do if your puppy is biting or chewing something they shouldn’t be.
Why is my puppy biting?
Biting is key to how a puppy explores the world – and it’s been part of some memorable play sessions with other puppies. Boundaries are the thing – and it’s really important you help them learn them.
How do I stop my puppy biting?
The odd nibble is common, but if your puppy bites down hard, make sure you respond with a sharp ‘no’ and take yourself away from the situation. This will help to teach them bite inhibition – they’ll realise that hard biting is a no-no.
Get your puppy socialised early. We can’t stress this enough. Puppies are in their key development stage up until they’re about 16-18 weeks which is when interacting with other dogs – and being told off by them from time to time – is a great way to learn boundaries.
For more tips on getting your puppy socialised, have a look here.
Why is my puppy chewing?
Puppies chew things. Sometimes things you love and wish they wouldn’t. Chewing supports play, exploration, teething, and it’s an occupier. In other words, it keeps them busy. But give them boundaries on what they can – and can’t – chew.
How do I stop my puppy chewing everything?
It’s an easy fix :
- Take away whatever they’re gnawing on
- Replace it with a suitable toy or dog chew
- Have a mix of different toys around
- Keep them entertained with flavoured, noisy and puzzle toys. They help mental development as well as being fun, safe ways to play.
If teething is the issue, try popping their toys in the fridge or freezer. Chewing on something cool will soothe their gums.
Another great tip: puppy-proof your house. Get down on the floor and have a good look around. What would you chew on if you were a puppy? Wires, plants, shoes…they’re all fair game, so move them away or keep them covered.
My puppy is chewing wood – help!
Teeth marks on skirting boards, door frames and table legs can be very annoying (and costly!). It’s usually just boredom, but it can also be a sign of separation anxiety as your puppy sees chewing on these things as a way to escape.
A little bite won’t do much harm (we can’t say the same for your furniture) but it’s important to stop them from getting into any bad habits. Wood can break and splinter which can be dangerous.
Keep lots of fun toys around to distract them from the table legs, and if that doesn’t help, there are a few special sprays available that taste bitter and act as a deterrent. Have a look in your local pet shop, or have a chat with your vet to find the best one for you.