Playfull puppies in a yellow container.Learning the techniques for how to stop dogs from biting is very important from the time you bring your new puppy home. It is normal for a puppy to orally fixate on everything it sees. Human babies are not much different …everything into the mouth…but for puppies, you need to “nip” this behavior in the bud before it ever gets out of hand.

Many people tend to think that it is cute when their puppy wants to chew on everything, including fingers, toes, clothes, and new furniture, until they get a little older with a more forceful grip. Then it is not so cute anymore. If you let your puppy do something once that you don’t want it to do again, breaking that habit just gets harder and eventually more dangerous.

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How to Stop Dogs from Biting as Puppies

The best time to teach your puppy good manners is when they are still under six months of age. Puppies do have an instinct to chew on whatever they can find so it isn’t fair to try to stop them from chewing altogether. As the owner, learning how to stop dogs from biting humans when they are puppies will make it much easier if you start young.

One of the techniques commonly used when discovering how to stop dogs from biting is to startle your puppy when it misbehaves. When your puppy starts bites your hand or foot, let them know it hurt you by exclaiming, “Ouch!” right when it happens. Most dogs want to please you, their pack leader, and if you walk away for a short time and then bring them something that it is okay for them to chew on, this will teach them human skin is not okay.

If your dog doesn’t understand that you are the one in charge, the chewing could be your puppy’s way of asserting its position in the pack even though you assume it isn’t really trying to hurt you.  Of course, some of the oral fixation does have to do with teething, but it is also a power struggle to be the leader, so make sure you let them know it’s not acceptable by yelping and offering a chewy toy in return.

This socialization of your puppy happens because you are treating it just like its mother and litter mates would.  If the verbal “Ouch!” doesn’t work, try a gentle pull on the scruff of the neck as well. It is similar to a Mother’s reminder when teaching a puppy how to behave.  Also follow up with lots of love so your dog feels secure.

Other methods when learning how to stop dogs from biting are to take an empty aluminum can and fill it with pennies or rocks. When your puppy starts biting, say “No!” loudly and shake the can to startle him. Another possible method is to squirt water from a spray bottle when you puppy won’t stop biting and then praise him when he stops with positive reinforcement.

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How to Stop Dogs from Biting When They are Older

As your puppy matures and becomes a rebellious teenager at around 2 years old, it still needs that same type of strong guidance in its leader.  If your dog is still nipping at you or your family, stop playing physical games with your puppy right away. No more wrestling, tug of war or other dominance related games.

You might have to remind them they aren’t in charge by taking away some of their privileges in the house. Give them boundaries and even revert back to crating them if necessary. Also, make sure your dog is getting plenty of exercise to help burn off some energy and provide them with plenty of their own toys to play with.

The golden rule for how to stop dogs from biting is to be consistent, rewarding your dog for good behavior and never slapping or hitting them for biting.  This can create unwanted aggression in some dogs.  Be sure to always praise and reward your puppy for the acceptable behavior and be a strong leader for your dog so it feels secure with its place in the pack.

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