Biting is a natural thing all dogs do, whether for playing or for communication. During the puppyhood stages is when it’s most important for the dog to understand when it is appropriate to bite and how hard they may bite. Puppies will always use their mouths to bite and chew, that’s how they can understand the environment around them.
Usually, they learn how to play and bite through their littermates when they are all still together. By playing with their littermates, they’ll learn how to bite properly and not play as hard. If a puppy is biting their litter mate too hard, the other dog will usually make a loud yelp sound and start pushing them away. The mother also plays a big role in teaching her puppies how to socialize properly. If the puppy does something out of line or gets rowdy, their mother will bark or snap at them to correct their bad behavior as well.
When the puppy is brought into a human household it is up to the person to start disciplining and training their puppy at that point. If the puppies’ bad habits are left unchecked, it usually ends up turning into worse issues as the puppy gets older and matures. If your puppy still has biting issues when you get them, it most likely could mean they are still teething, wanting to play, or they’re still using their biting as a method of communication. If the biting persists, then training methods must be pursued.
Training your puppy to stop biting will take some time and patience but soon enough they should understand to stop. While training them, you want to use words like “leave it!” when they start biting. When your puppy starts biting, firmly say your training word to them and start to redirect their attention to a chew toy. If they stop biting and are redirected to the toy, you should praise them and reward them with a treat. For a puppy, positive reinforcement is the best method for training as they’ll learn quickly that doing the correct command will reward them. If the redirection doesn’t work and the puppy continues to bite, you should tether them to a table leg or something like that for a time out to show them that’s bad behavior.
Sometimes puppies will more than likely chew furniture or other household items rather than biting people. When this happens, you want to do the same kind of redirecting training and use their chew toy. Sometimes that doesn’t work, and the puppy may keep biting chair legs or desks. If this persists it may be wise to go to your local pet store and buy some bitter spray. You should use the spray on the furniture and household items the puppy is biting, this will most likely make the puppy not want to bite it anymore due to the bitter taste. You should not by any means spray them directly as a form of punishment and only on the objects they’re chewing on. Whether it’s the spray or through proper training, by 8 months or so your puppy should be done with the bad biting habits and know exactly how rough they can go during playtime.
Don’t forget that exercise cures 60% of all bad dog behaviors. A well-exercised pup may not even care to chew anything but rather rest. Further, doing regular training with your pup is another way to not only build their self-confidence, but tire them out as well.