Biting and Mouthing

When puppies bite and mouth it is generally a form of play.  For humans though, biting is not an appropriate form of play because it hurts!!
Your puppy may bite or mouth another puppy, dog or toy as a form of play and puppies LOVE to play.  However, if your puppy bites you or any person, they must be taught that this is an unacceptable behaviour.  Your puppy will not stop discovering and playing with their mouths so it is important to teach them that biting hurts and your hands are not toys. 
If your puppy keeps biting you instead of the toy: 
  • Avoid attention seeking behaviour – be sure that you initiate play and not your puppy
  • Play games that do not involve biting your hands
  • Give your puppy a chew toy to mouth while you play with your puppy.
  • Ensure that you control the level of excitement in play and do not allow it to get out of control.  If your puppy becomes over excited our rough, stop the play before it becomes unsafe. 
If biting/mouthing becomes uncontrolled or inappropriate tell your puppy by following these simple steps:
  • Stop the play immediately and stand up if you were playing on the floor.
  • If your puppy persists or tries to bite again leave the room and your puppy for 5 – 10 seconds.
  • Only return to play when your puppy has calmed and is no longer biting.
  • If your puppy starts biting again, repeat the process.


  • Push your puppy away.
  • Yell or shout if your puppy is barking at you.
  • “Bite” your puppy.
  • Don’t forget that consistency is the key to success.  All friends and family who play with your puppy must follow the same steps and refrain from harsh physical punishment such as hitting or swatting your puppy to control biting. This will only excite your puppy further and may result in future aggression or anxiety in your puppy’s behaviour.