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The Dog Training POV Series with Trevor Smith - Puppy Biting | Pupford

December 27th, 2023

Filed under Training

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As parents to puppies, it can feel at times like we are their chew toys. While dogs are teething they may try to bite anything and everything they can get their paws on (like us). In this series we already covered puppy chewing (you can watch that video here) so now we will talk all about what to do when your dog tries to bite you!

When training your dog, it’s also so important to have the correct reinforcements so that your dog is motivated to perform the behaviors, skills, and tricks you are asking them to do as well as be able to successfully redirect your dog.


Here are some of Trevor’s favorite Pupford products for his own dogs as well as clients!

1. Freeze Dried Beef Liver Training Treats

These three ingredient treats are perfect for training sessions, as they are less than 1kcal each and come in different flavors so that you can switch them up and find your dog’s favorites!

2. Freeze Dried Sweet Potato Training Treats

As a great meatless option, these two ingredient treats are also great for training sessions, throwing in a snuffle mat, or mixing with some treats and putting into an enrichment toy. We also love them because sweet potatoes are full of vitamins and minerals, and are high in fiber and low in fat.

3. Bully Sticks

These single ingredient chews are perfect for redirecting your dog’s biting and chewing, as well as keeping your dog engaged for extended periods of time.

4. Snuffle Mat

Help your dog tap into their food drive and keep them happy and distracted. We love using this at mealtime to put your dog’s dry food in or to put treats in during the day.




Trying to figure out why puppies bite so much can sometimes feel like an overly-complex riddle, but here we go...

Puppies try to bite us because this is what they do with each other. This is how they play. They use their mouth like their hands and they think that it’s okay to play with you like this. In fact, as the pup parent we may encourage this behavior (even on accident).

Dogs also bite us during their puppy teething phase because teething is uncomfortable! The increased chewing is occurring to try to alleviate some of the pain they are feeling at this time. But there are things that we can do to help and save ourselves from tiny, sharp puppy teeth!


Here are some general tips on how to stop a puppy from biting. 👇

1. Use the word “Ouch” in a loud tone to stop or interrupt the behavior. This may not work for every dog, so you’ll have to try it out yourself to see if it will work for yours.

2. Replace the behavior with toys (redirection). Try this: dump a variety of toys on the ground (tug toy, squeaker toy, balls, etc) and figure out which toys your dog loves. Once you find the toys your dog likes, encourage the behavior of playing! Anytime you see your dog with a toy in their mouth, reward your dog (with attention, praise, or play).

Where things can go wrong: Most of the time, when our dogs are chewing on things that they are supposed to be chewing on, we ignore them. We don’t engage them because they don’t need to be interrupted. When they stop chewing that and chew on something we don’t want them to, that’s when they get interrupted - which means attention to them. So anytime your dog is doing something good, make sure to reward them!

3. Replace the behavior with chews. Like the above, find which treats are the most rewarding to your dog, and use those to redirect your dog! Check out some different dog chew options!

4. Don’t play with your dog using your hands. If you use your hands to play and your dog bites on your hands you can’t be mad when they try to bite you at a later time. They can’t differentiate between times it’s okay and not okay, so using toys is a lot better!

We hope these tips are helpful as you work through puppy biting! Have any other tips / questions? Let us know in the comments below! We will see you for the next video on jumping!


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