Puppies are like little piranhas. They’re harmless to look at but if you’re reached down to touch, you’re likely to a bloody finger wondering what the heck happened.

All puppies go through the biting phase, which lasts anywhere from about 2-4 months after you get them, so usually by the time they’re about 5 to 6 months they’ve outgrown the worst part of it. So, it is a normal process that puppies go through. However, one of the things we do need to do is to teach puppies to be really gentle with their mouths because they just don’t understand that humans don’t interact the same way that other dogs do. So let’s talk about how to minimize the biting and teach them not to bite.

1 Say “Ouch”

Use a really sharp “ouch” when your puppy puts their mouth on you to let them know that it was really uncomfortable. But when you say “ouch”, don’t just pull your hand away. Puppies will chase any kind of movement, so your puppy’s going to chase the movement rather than hearing the “ouch” and changing their action.

2 Make Sure Your Puppy Isn’t Too Wound up

When puppies get overexcited, they get really bitey. You can say “ouch” all day long but if they’re too wound up, it actually will make the biting worse. So when you’re playing with your puppy, make sure that you take lots of little breaks. For example, if you’re wrestling with them or playing with a toy, make sure you do it for a few seconds at a time or even stop let them have the toy.

3 Use Toys

If you are always playing with them with your hands, your puppy is likely to come back and bite your hands, so we suggest using toys as an intermediate as you’re playing with your puppy. This will minimize the chance that your puppies grab onto you because there’s something more interesting to hold onto.

4 Give Your Puppy Lots of Chewy Things

Give your puppy things like bones, bully sticks to focus their mouths. Puppies start chewing at the age of around 4 months and that teething goes on until about 5-6 months. During this period, they need something to direct their chewing onto. Make sure they have access to lots of delicious bones and chewy things so that it’s not directed onto you or anything else inappropriate.

5 Limit Your Petting till They’re Calmer

For a puppy, anytime you put your hand on their body, it’s fair game for them to turn around and bite you. When dogs interact with each other, they are wrestling or licking one another, but they don’t actually put their paws on each other. If you put your hand on your puppy when they are overexcited, that means “play” to them.