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  • Writer's pictureKate Atkins

How to Stop A Puppy Nipping & Biting

Updated: Feb 7

Puppy nipping giving you a run for your money? Let's get to the bottom of it together.

puppy biting

Understanding the Why Behind Nipping:

Puppies are curious little explorers, and their mouths are their primary tools for understanding the world around them. From chewing on things to mouthing – including you – it's all part of their learning process.

In their puppy world, they establish boundaries for biting with their litter mates. Bite too hard or too much, and the game stops. But when they come to us, it's crucial to continue setting these boundaries.

Are You Unknowingly Encouraging Nipping?

Here's where it gets tricky – many dog guardians unintentionally encourage nipping:

  • Playful games can inadvertently promote nipping.

  • Children screaming and running away? It can turn into a game of chase and more nipping.

  • Saying 'no' might unknowingly give attention to their nipping habit.

  • Nipping results in getting a toy – signaling that nipping equals playtime.

How to Redirect and Reinforce Positive Behavior:

  1. Play on Your Terms: Ensure that play and attention are always on your terms.

  2. Immediate Stop to Interaction: If your pup nips or pulls clothes, cease all interaction and attention.

  3. Create Distance: Move away from your pup to make it crystal clear – nipping equals an immediate halt to everything.

  4. Calm Time-Out: If nipping persists, calmly place your pup in a designated safe space for a moment to calm down.

  5. Reward Calm Behavior: Once your pup is calm and relaxed, invite them to play with a toy. Calm behavior equals continued playtime.


  • Calm Behavior = Play Continues

  • Nipping = Play Stops Let's foster a bond with your pup that's filled with joy, not nips!

Ready to delve deeper into the art of canine communication and behavior?

Check out my puppy course HERE

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