How to prevent your dog from biting or nipping

Why do dogs bite or nip?

Your puppy can bite or nip for any of the following reasons:

  • It’s a natural instinct: Dogs naturally have an instinct to hunt. So biting and chewing is a natural part of their development. Biting or nipping helps to keep their teeth and jaws strong.
  • They’re teething: Your puppy tends to nip or bite nonstop while they’re teething. This action helps to alleviate the pain that comes with the development of their adult teeth, and this is a healthy response to this kind of pain.
  • They need attention: Your dog may nip or bite when they’re bored and needs your attention. Dogs need constant mental and physical stimulation to stay at their best. So if you’re not walking them or allowing them observe their playtime, they tend to nip or bite.
  • They are stressed out: When your puppy is stressed, perhaps they feel overstimulated, they tend to bite or nip. Rough play can cause them to bite in self-defense. And most times, they would display a body language to show you they don’t like your style of play.

How to prevent your dog from biting or nipping

As a dog owner, you can try many methods to prevent your puppy or older dog form biting or nipping.

Teach them bite inhibition

Puppies tend to play bites as they grow and sometimes they bite down too hard on their littermates. But the unexpected yelping sound that the victim feels snaps the puppy out their bite. This is an effective method.

No teeth on skin

This is also part of the bite inhibition training. After your puppy has learned to quit nipping or biting after a yelping sound, you should try to yelp and go limp at the slightest nipping or biting. This will help your pooch understand that no level of teeth on the skin is acceptable.

Quit playtime

Whenever your puppy bites or nip you during playtime, you can end the play session to make them understand that their action means no more play.

Offer alternatives

Just like teething in babies cause them to bite at your hands and body, teething in puppies makes them eager to always use their new teeth. Unfortunately, your arms and legs can be trapped by your puppy bites. But instead of punishing them, you can try offer a chew toy as an alternative.

Teach your puppy to leave it and drop it

You can prevent your dog from biting or nipping by teaching them these two cues- leave it and drop it. When we work with a nipping puppy, ensure you don’t mix up the meaning of these cues.

Give your puppy lots of Mental Enrichment

When your puppy is full of energy, they tend to bite, nip, or exhibit other unwanted behaviors. At the puppy stage, you should engage your dog in moderate physical exercises.

Enroll in a puppy class

A puppy class gives your puppy a chance to socialize with other dogs. In this class, trained professionals teach your puppy not to bite or nip and give you some strategies to reinforce lessons learned in the class.


Puppies have the innate tendency to bite and nip at people’s hands, legs, ankles, clothes, and other items. But with proper training, they tend to stop this behavior and behave more friendly.

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