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Puppy Play Biting

How to deal with puppy play biting:

For several new puppy owners, dealing with puppy biting can be a source of great annoyance. Your cute little furry friend may be all that you have ever wanted, but you didn't anticipate the sharpness of their teeth. Neither did you expect to be at the receiving end of numerous landshark assaults!

We often hear from new puppy owners that their furry friend just won't quit nipping or biting. This behaviour can be directed towards hands, feet, furniture, or even clothes! However, we must understand why puppies bite and provide some simple solutions to curb this behaviour quickly.

Why do puppies bite?

Puppies have a natural tendency to explore the world through their mouths. It is typical for puppies to nip and bite during playtime. When they were with their littermates and mother, there would have been lots of rough and tumble play, including biting. However, now that they are with their human family, they must learn to play differently and control their biting tendencies, preferably limiting them to toys only. Nonetheless, there are other reasons why your puppy may be biting excessively, such as being overtired, overexcited, experiencing teething pain, feeling frustrated or stressed, or attempting to initiate play with you.

How to deal with your puppy when they are biting.

To prevent your puppy from biting (or as much as we can help!!) the first step is to identify the cause of their behaviour and address it accordingly.

If your puppy is overtired or overexcited, they may require assistance in calming down and getting some rest. Puppies need about 18-20 hours of sleep per day, and if they don't get it, they can become irritable. Provide your puppy with a chew (like our Original Tug) or help them settle down in their crate or bed for some relaxation time with the aid of a Trufflemat.

If your puppy is experiencing teething pain, offering them a frozen carrot can provide relief for their sore teeth and gums while also giving them an appropriate item to chew on.

If your puppy is frustrated or stressed, distracting them and providing an outlet for their energy can help. Playing tug with your puppy is an excellent way to release their frustration while also strengthening your bond and increasing their confidence.

Lastly, if your puppy wants to play, find a long, strong, and durable toy that allows you to play tug-of-war without putting your hands too close to their mouth. Avoid toys with short handles that can be easily bitten.

How to stop your puppy from biting your feet and hands?

Puppies are triggered by movement, and their play instinct is strong. They tend to chase and catch anything that moves, including your feet and hands. However, you can break this biting habit by redirecting their attention to a toy that engages their natural urges.

Choose a long chaser toy that allows your puppy to play while keeping their biting teeth at a safe distance from your hands and feet. Whenever your puppy tries to bite your hands or feet, redirect them to their exciting puppy tug toy immediately. We recommend our Fluffy Chasers.

How to play with your puppy without encouraging biting?

When playing with your puppy, it's important to avoid getting them too overexcited, which can lead to biting. To prevent this from happening, move your puppy tug toy more like prey by keeping it low to the ground and moving it side to side instead of up and down.

Wiggle the chaser tug toy along the ground and encourage your puppy to chase and pounce on the toy. Additionally, reserve your high-pitched squeaky play voice for when your puppy is less motivated to play.

Ensure that your play sessions are short to prevent your puppy from becoming too overexcited. Remember that puppies need a lot of sleep every day, so make sure they get enough rest between play sessions.

Other areas to consider;

  • Handling skills

  • Physical & mental energy

  • Learnt behaviour

  • Nutrition/Hunger issues (food not satisfying or causing gut inflammation)

  • Medical reasons (worming regime)

  • Resource guarding

Head to our Etsy shop to find the perfect puppy play toy.

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