If the puppy bites, it is entirely normal in the beginning. However, you should break the puppy’s biting habit because this behavior should not be tolerated.

Here you will learn why a puppy bites, what “bite inhibition” means and how you can wean puppies off biting.

Puppy Biting

If the puppy bites your hand or chews on objects, you should stop it in time so that it knows not to cross certain boundaries.

Why do Puppies Bite?

All puppies initially bite because puppies must first learn bite inhibition. Then, they must learn to use their pointed teeth in a well-dosed manner.

Early on, you should learn about “bite inhibition” and practice it with your beloved four-legged friend. Neither humans nor other dogs must be hurt.

As a puppy in contact with littermates, the dogs learn to use their teeth appropriately very quickly. With humans, however, this must be well-trained. Here it is important that the human can touch his dog everywhere and can interrupt a game with the puppy at any time.

Because fun quickly turns into seriousness. Dogs without bite inhibition are dangerous. Therefore, the dog must learn to accept a clear “NO.”

What does Bite Inhibition mean?

The so-called “bite inhibition” is a behavior among dogs that ensures that dogs do not seriously injure themselves by biting. Bite inhibition refers to a dog’s ability to direct and control the intensity of its bite.

This ability is ideally learned through the play between the 4th and 16th week of a puppy’s life. After that, the mother dog and the littermates are the best teachers because they clearly show their behavior when a puppy has gone too far.

The Bite Inhibition must first be learned by the puppy

Not only towards their siblings, puppies have to learn a natural bite inhibition; this should apply when living together with humans. Bite inhibition is not innate but is formed only over time due to experience.

If a puppy lacks this, for example, because it was separated from its family too early, it lacks self-assessment toward other dogs. The same is true if a puppy is raised in a kennel and has little contact with people.

This is why purchasing a dog from an experienced breeder is so important. He uses the time before his puppies move into a new home to familiarize them with many different situations and sounds.

This includes, for example, such everyday things as vacuuming, driving, radio or television. But also the contact with different people, preferably from toddlers to seniors, should be practiced early.

Jack Russel Puppys

Bite Training with the Puppy

Even if a puppy comes from a responsible breeder or has already been socialized by its siblings, it is important for a safe coexistence of man and dog that you continue bite training with your young four-legged friend in its new home.

This also includes bite inhibition, which he has already learned in the beginning but should now be worked on further.

If the puppy is now suddenly allowed to chew on all objects or bite the hands of his humans, then his previous experiences are thrown over the pile. So don’t be too generous, even if you are now okay with it.

Once the dog is fully grown, you may want to change your mind. But then, getting your dog out of the habitual and previously tolerated behavior is difficult or impossible.

Break the Puppy’s Biting Habit

If your puppy is constantly biting, you should establish clear rules as soon as possible. Everyone in the household must agree. The puppy can not understand why it is allowed to bite the hand of the master but not the children.

Your puppy must learn that the skin of his owner is sensitive and that he can hurt a person by snapping or biting. He also can’t tell a new slipper from an old one that he may be allowed to chew on.

It is best only to allow him to do this with his toys or tug toys. Everything else should be off-limits, which should be made clear to the dog from the beginning.

If he bites you in the pants, slipper or hand, there must be an immediate reaction that makes it clear to him that this is not allowed. Comment on the action with a clear “no” or “off” and stop any play immediately. If he bites your hand, you may “yelp” briefly and clarify that this has hurt.

Turn away and move away from him. Some dog owners temporarily leave the room to send a clear signal. What you should not do is stop playing for just a few seconds while you may even commiserate or talk the puppy down. The puppy might misunderstand that.

cute puppy plays and bites

Helpful Tips to stop your Puppy from Biting

Using consistent educational methods is only effective if they occur directly in connection with undesirable behavior, in this case, the constant biting beyond teething.

Wrong Dog Owner Behaviors that Cause Puppies to Bite

There are a few things that many dog owners do wrong that does not curb a puppy’s biting but rather increase it. These include, for example, asking them to romp by turning their hands toward the puppy. By offering your hands this way, you signal to him that there is nothing wrong with biting into them.

In addition, you should never play with your puppy so violently that he gets completely over-excited and uncontrollably starts biting into everything, growling or tugging. Of course, there is nothing wrong with light tug-of-war games. However, as the dog owner, you should always stay in charge and interrupt the game if the puppy gets over-excited.

Inconsistency is another big problem. If biting is tolerated from time to time, the puppy needs to be clearly shown that it is actually forbidden. If the puppy constantly growls, barks, and bites, and you always react differently – the puppy does not know what to do.

We also recommend avoiding chewing toys with squeakers for puppies that like to bite. This rewarding sound often leads to puppies getting even more excited during play and tending to uncontrolled behavior.

agressive puppy

Raising Puppies the Right Way

Even though there should be clear rules early on, there should never be more than a slight slap. Slapping or yelling is extremely negative for the dog and can disrupt the relationship.

Working with lots of praise when your dog does something right is important. On the other hand, unwanted behavior is commented on briefly, and the dog is disregarded.

If the guidelines are carried out consistently by everyone in the household, success should be visible very soon. If not, don’t wait too long to visit a dog trainer. Because the longer an undesirable behavior is practiced by a dog, the more difficult it will be to get it out of the habit again.

When to go to Dog School when Puppies bite?

If you get to the point where you realize the situation is just getting on top of you, going to a dog training school can help.

Also, if you want expert assistance from the start, you can always visit the dog school. Before that, you should do extensive research on different training methods and views and consider which methods you can reconcile with your own attitude.

You should generally exclude methods based on violence, aggression and fear, as they can never be a good foundation for raising your pet.

Sensitive behavior, patience and consistent communication will make it easier for your puppy to acquire the behavior you want him to have.


Marco Heitner

Hello, my Name is Marco. My family has had pets since I can remember. Today we have a large aquarium and, since recently, a four-month old Labrador. I am the owner of this website, and it is my great pleasure to provide helpful knowledge about pets. Our team is constantly working hard to publish well-researched reports here.


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