The question I am most asked from dog owners is How to Stop a Puppy from Biting and Growling Its so annoying isn’t it when you get this cute little and he just sits there with, what seems so full of hate for you.
When your puppy is growing up, he is definitely experimenting with things. He wants to learn how his surroundings work and to do so he will use his mouth. During this process, it is not going to be uncommon to see him mouthing your fingers, hand and sometimes limbs. When biting is accompanied by growling, there is a chance that your puppy is getting aggressive.
Some breeds are actually more aggressive than others. In some cases, biting and growling does not mean that your puppy is being aggressive. Far from it actually, some of these pups are only trying to play. When he wants to play with you, he will nip, bite on you or your clothes while growling. This is meant to initiate play. However, you should not be comfortable with this behavior. Let us look at how to examine aggressiveness in puppies as well as how to stop a puppy from biting and growling.
Is your puppy biting a sign of aggressiveness?
Well, it is not always that biting will be a sign of aggressiveness in puppies. They do like to mouth and still have to learn that biting is not okay. However, other puppies will bite hard and growl, exposing their teeth. This is never a good sign as it might the start of his aggressing and dominance issues. However, do not worry, we are going to determine if your puppy is being aggressive when biting and growling.
Biting and growling is commonly observed during play. Well, we love the extreme play with our puppies. Sometimes they get too excited and can actually bite on you, which is totally normal. We chase, wrestle and touch with our puppies when we are playing. This means that every time this is taking place, he has the chance to bite.
Some signs of aggressiveness in puppies will include deep and prolonged growling when he is in a very stiff posture. In addition to this, your puppy will stare and you, ready to attack at any movement. Usually, your puppy will be very angry and with a tense and wrinkled face. In most cases, however, aggression in most puppies will be situational. For instance, when subjected to a situation where he has to defend himself.
Use the above signs to discover if your pup is only playing or being aggressive. Puppies that bite out of aggression are going to be a little hard to control. However, you should take some time and train your puppy against biting. You should do this immediately you observe biting and growling.
Once you are able to determine why your puppy is biting and growling, it is time you embark on a journey to stop him. This is going to take much of your patience but he will eventually learn that biting is not allowed.
How do I stop my playful puppy from biting and growling?
This is not exactly a new question among puppy owners. Now, these little creatures are friendly and quite playful. However, sometimes your dog cannot handle too much pleasure from the play. This is why you might observe biting and growling during play. However, it is going to be difficult for you to discern play aggression from dangerous aggression.
When your puppy is mouthing your hand gently, he is being playful. However, you cannot underestimate how quickly this could change. If triggered, your puppy will actually nip at you hard. No matter the circumstance, here is how to stop a puppy from biting and growling.
Teaching your puppy biting inhibiting is a great step to stop a puppy from biting and growling. However, you will have to first examine if he is being aggressive or it plays aggression. Either way, it is necessary to stop mouthing and biting as it can turn out to be dangerous. For instance, a puppy that bites and growls a child or guests could end up being messy.
Biting inhibition is not exactly difficult but you will have to be patient with your puppy. This is because it can take quite some time before you are able to completely stop him from growling and biting. You should start by letting your puppy know that you do not like it when he bites and also that it hurts. However, you cannot teach a super aggressive dog on how to do this.
For instance, when your puppy bites on you, do not pull away. This will actually entice him to pull and chase some more. Instead, you can simply let out a yelp. This way, your puppy will understand that he is hurting you and let go. Unfortunately, it is not as easy as it sounds right now. It takes a lot for a puppy to understand what your yelp means.
In addition to this, you can also let your puppy learn biting inhibition from other puppies. In most cases, biting inhibition is taught by the puppy’s mother. However, if your puppy was not taught, you can expose him to other puppies. Allow him to play with them. In case your puppy bites on another, the other puppy will withdraw and refuse to play with yours. This way, your puppy will learn that biting is not at all appreciated.
Often, we are tempted to wrestle and even pick our puppies up. However, if your puppy has developed a habit of biting and growling during play, it is time to stop touching him. Encourage games that will not require you to come anywhere near your puppy.
For instance, you may invest in a tug-of-war kit for your puppy. There is no way he is going to manage to bite or even growl when he pulls the tug using his mouth. This will also serve to strengthen your puppy’s jaws. When your puppy jumps up to bite your hands, calmly withdraw from play and walk away from him. This way, he will learn that you won’t play when he bites.
Ensure that your skin does not come into contact with his teeth whatsoever. Be very careful if your dog has some type of aggression during this time.
Toys to chew
This is another methodology to quit biting in dogs. Invest in high quality chew toys for your puppy, especially if he is teething. Dogs are naturally adapted to hunting, pulling things using their mouths. Therefore, we cannot take this away from them, when they clearly want to mouth.
Now, we have previously mentioned that biting in young puppies is not exactly harmful. In most occasions, your playful puppy will not inflict pain when he is mouthing your hands or ankles. However, this can turn out to be very dangerous when your puppy starts hurting you. Once again, rule out aggression so that you can have him checked up by a vet.
Otherwise, get your dog nice chew toys to help him with mouthing and chewing on your hands or other people. There are many types of chew toys you can get from the stores. Always go for interesting and exciting toys that are of high quality.
Take him for a checkup
Biting and growling might be just playful until someone gets hurt. Keep an eye on your dog and watch how he behaves while biting. Does he bite so hard with the intention of hurting you? If the answer to this question is yes, then you might be dealing with aggression in dogs.
Aggressiveness in dogs can result from many things among them the breed of your dog or situation he is it. Some breeds like the Labrador and Golden Retrievers are common perpetrators to aggression. Well, if you have a German Shepherd puppy, then aggression should be something to consider.
When your puppy is exhibiting aggression, he will most often stand in a stiff posture with a scary gaze in his eyes. Growling will also be witnessed and your dog prepares to attack. At this point, do not make a move else he is going to bite hard.
If you suspect that your dog is having issues with aggression, seek professional assistance. In fact, do not try the biting inhibition methods on him as he might bite you. A professional dog behaviorist will be able to recognize aggression and also help you stop your puppy from biting and growling.
Stop aggression in puppies
Once you determine that your puppy is actually having real aggression issues, you should stop this behavior completely. Well, I have heard puppy parents complaining of aggression in their puppies. We have already looked at the signs of aggression in dogs. Once you observe them, it is time to eliminate that behavior as it could lead to puppy biting you or children with the intention of hurting you.
In order to stop aggression in your puppy, take him to the vet care. Your vet is going to examine for pain or injuries that could cause this type of reaction. Once the vet rules out pain or injuries, you are going to have to deal with aggression head on.
To be able to deal with aggression, you will have to put your pup on a leash. Have someone hold the leash while you initiate play with him. This is aimed at introducing him to the environments where it is safe for you to train. Whenever he starts growling and trying to bite, ask him to sit. When he does, offer him a reward.
Do not disturb while he sleeps
This is also another common reason why a puppy might bite at you while growling. Well, just the way you hate it when people disturb you in your sleep so does your puppy. In fact, the biting is not necessarily from an aggressive point of view. If you look at it well, he is scared and thus ready to defend himself and his space.
Unfortunately, in homes with kids, puppies will barely get to rest. And when they do, kids tend to poke them, which is annoying. Just like human beings, some puppies are gentle while others will react angrily towards the poke. Your puppy will start by growling before he actually bites.
Therefore, warn your children not to go near the puppy’s bed when he is sleeping. Instead, only allow them to play with the puppy gently and under supervision at all times. However, if it turns out that your puppy is aggressive, do not let him near children until you correct this behavior.
Avoid startling your puppy
Startling your dog could end up in a very messy way, especially when your puppy is big enough, say 10 to 11 months. Now, as we have consistently said, dogs do not love surprised. When subjected to a situation where he is supposed to run or attack, his immediate reflex will be to attack.
Therefore, do not approach your dog quietly from the back. Remember that he is quite sensitive to movements as well as scents. He might not be able to hear you coming from behind him and therefore can be startled.
These kinds of bites will often be accompanied by growling and aggressiveness. He is only trying to defend himself and there is no better way than biting. Therefore, if you have guests on, put your puppy on a leash. Also, warn your friends or children from approaching a Golden Retriever puppy from behind. Drawing from his past purpose, you can understand why these puppies are too quick to bite.
Always approach your dog from the front so that he can see you coming towards him. Warn children from deliberately scare the dog away as he might bite in return. Consider setting aside some time to teach your kids, since they are going to be living together anyway, how to treat your puppy at home.
Some puppies will bite in efforts to initiate play with them. Even though they do not get enough of the play, make sure you play with him every day. In fact, be the one to calmly initiate play with your puppy. You can use playtime to teach your puppy that biting is not going to work for both of you.
In addition to the other methods that you can use to curb biting and growling, ensure that your puppy is happy. Not only does playing with him curb undesirable behaviors, but it will also be a way to exercise your puppy. During this time, your puppy will also be reassured of your care and friendship with him. Increase playtime so that you can get to understand your pup better.
Train puppy to be gentle
Once again, gentleness is taught to puppies. This is because failure to do so, your dog will continue having these animalistic instincts that could be dangerous. Thus, train your puppy to be gentle from the moment you adopt him.
You can be able to train this by teaching him a few phrases and also refraining from rough play. For instance, when your puppy comes towards you running and waving, he will jump at you. I mean, this is how you say hello to each other, isn’t it? This seems cool and cute for both of you but then remember that any dog can bite if presented with a chance.
Therefore, desist from engaging in rough play with your puppy. Instead, play gently and always have a toy in your hand or pocket. Once again, avoid playing with your puppy using your bare hands. In efforts to teach gentleness, invest your time in making him understand the phrase ‘be gentle.’
You can be able to do this by having someone stand with the puppy on a leash. Hold a snack or his toy in your hand and show it to him. To back up a little, ensure that you have already fed your pup. Once you show the snack to him, he is going to come for it. If he is rough and jumpy about it, hold the treat away from him and urge him to be gentle. Repeat the method until your dog gets it.
Redirect his attention
Redirecting your puppy’s attention will work well to stop growling and even biting. For instance, when your puppy is biting on your hand, command him to so something else. For instance, telling him to sit, or actually throwing a ball for him to fetch will make him release.
However, when you are using this method to curb biting, you have to offer something better and more enticing than biting on you. A good example is when you instruct your puppy to sit and he does so. You should prepare yourself with a treat or other forms of play.
The goal is to redirect his attention from biting your hand and offering something better.
You should make sure that you are not dealing with an aggressive dog before trying to stop your puppy from biting and growling. This way, you will be able to determine the best way to approach this vice without causing injuries. As mentioned above, a stiff posture, growling, and gaze should be the indicators of an aggressive puppy. However, do not worry as you can be able to correct this behavior using the above-discussed tips.
However, always warn children against scaring or hitting your puppy especially if he bites. Do not leave him near children without supervision. If you must, then train children on the correct way of handling the puppy without triggering him to bite.
I hope you success to stop your puppy from biting and growling using this guide. We are all for happy and healthy dog handling.