My Puppy Keeps Biting Me! What Do I Do?

You have a new puppy and he would rather chew on you than on his bone. What do you do?

First, lets look at why he’s being so rough. Puppies explore their world by using their mouths. It is normal for puppies to play with their litter mates and use their mouths, but when it carries over to you, this can lead to puppy problems.

When puppies are young, they learn how much pressure is ok to use when playing by the reactions of their mother and their litter mates. Playing puppies will bite ears, necks, paws, tails, anything they can. Then all of a sudden you hear, “iey, iey, ieeeyyy” and you know that someone has bitten too hard. The puppy who was bitten will then walk off and refuse to play for awhile.

The yelp tells the other puppy that it has gotten too rough, and since he’s too rough, playtime is over. Because dogs are social animals, this correction stops the behavior. By spending a few months with his litter mates, this puppy will learn what is good play and what is bad play.

So how does this work for me?
By using the same kind of actions, you can teach your puppy not to bite in the same way his litter mates do. When your puppy starts to get rough and bites down, let out a high pitched shriek (you want it to be loud enough that he stops in his tracks). Quickly give him a toy to chew on instead. If he is still being obnoxious, fold your arms and ignore the puppy for a few minutes, or get up and leave the room. This will tell him that if he can’t play nice, then you won’t play at all.

It is important to not play games with your puppy that entice him to bite you or become aggressive. These include tug-of-war, chase and tackle, or waving your hands in front of our puppy’s mouth.

If yelping and walking away doesn’t work, you can try another technique. Use the same method as above, yelp loudly and if he is still trying to bite, scruff him and give him a firm (not violent) shake and tell him, “no bite.” Eventually, you should just be able to use the command without scruffing him. If you puppy is still being aggressive, you may want to consult your veterinarian or your dog trainer to help you find a technique that will work for your puppy.

For more information on dog training, please visit Dog Care 411 on 

9 thoughts on “My Puppy Keeps Biting Me! What Do I Do?

  1. Nice article with a good, easily understood example for how to help people understand what to do and how to fix the problem. We have an article on puppy biting at our website.

  2. Leonardo says:

    My Yorkie is Only 3 months old and yet he is very smart and already “PEE PEE’S” on the paper, Again my issue was with the biting. But instead of the shaking I take a newspaper and rap him on the butt. Only 2 sheets put together, But it doesnt always work. My pup was my father’s day gift and I am in love with this little monster. Am I wrong in rapping him with the paper. As I write he is in my lap Watching me. And yes this is my First Puppy We have always taken in dogs that people no longer want. Please answer this post. Thank You. L. C

    • Lissa says:

      I do not like to use any object to “discipline” puppies. They don’t understand why the are getting even a little paddle on the rear end. Dogs don’t have a very long memory when it comes to these types of situations and don’t remember what they are getting in trouble for.

      Puppies learn a lot of their behaviors from their mothers and litter mates. When “playing” with other litter mates, your puppy began to learn limits at that time. When getting too aggressive, litter mates yelp and usually walk away from the puppy that is getting too rambunctious. That same tactic can be used in your home too. When the puppy begins to bite or play too hard, immediately give the puppy a chew toy and walk away. This is your way of telling him what is ok to chew on and give him a distraction. If your dog is getting too excited and jumping up on you or “nipping” turn your back without saying anything and ignore the dog for that moment until he calms down. Always have chew toys available.

      Dogs begin to lose their baby teeth at around 4 months of age and it can continue until they are around 6 months, and in that time, your puppy is going to need lots of chew toys to chew on, to avoid any damage to any of your belongings. Best of Luck!

      Lauren, LVT

  3. jim says:

    i exactly have the same problem at first i tought its cool when my Tiptop tries always bites my feet. i tought its pure play but i find it disturbing now. everytime we met, he alwasy bites my feet and it hurts sometimes. THANKS for this article! this is helpful!

  4. Annette says:

    We have a new pup, he is 3mths old tomorrow but he bites and bites hard at times. We know that the biting is a normal behaviour in pupsbut it does get out of hand.

    We are trying the hands off approach by replacing toys, which he has a lot of, as soon as he starts biting. Doesnt always work though.

    If we fold our arms or put them behind our back he will automatically start biting somewhere else or grabbing your clothes and if we get up, ignore him and walk away he will chase you and start biting your feet, ankles etc or he might even go for someone else in the room.

    Sometimes if we walk past him he will suddenly get up latch on to something and start biting or pulling. He also shakes his head side to side when he’s got hold of something, but that’s not all the time.

    If you have any information that could help it would be appreciated.


  5. sam says:

    hi i’v got a 11 week old jack russel pup who just wont stop biting! i’v read all the comments and article and done what you’ve all said but he is just getting worse!!! he is now growling at all of us as well! hes my first ever dog/pup and i dont know what to do now, PLEASE help!!

  6. Emma says:

    We recently got 2 puppies who are trying to play by biting.. We’ve tried all the above and it’s not working, were now trying the leader of the pack approach.. Pinning the puppy down (very gently) using our hand like a mouth action the way another dog would do till the puppy calms down, once their totally calm we then let go and stroke them calmly.. So far its working, they don’t fear us they’ll gladly come for a fuss after.. but they know no means no, and that’s good enough for me.

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