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August 31, 2012 at 8:42 AMComments: 1 Faves: 0

How to Stop Your Puppy from Play-Biting

By Bri Luginbill More Blogs by This Author

Puppies love to play, play, play! Whether it be running around or playing fetch, they're always little balls of energy. Unfortunately though, when they become really focused in on playing, they can end up getting a little carried away. Add to this that puppies are normally going through a teething stage as well and you have a recipe for inappropriate biting. However, fortunately, with a little training, you can train your puppy and save your hands from nipping.

The first, most popular, and most effective method?

“The Yelp and Shun Method”

How's it work? It's simple! When your pup nips, make a loud yelping then “shun” them by refusing to play. Resist the urge to give in to their puppy eye and start playing again until your puppy has calmed down. This tactic actually mimics what dogs naturally do when a canine playmate starts playing too rough.

My husband actually uses this with our friend’s dog, Bailey, a husky/beagle mix (crazy mix, I know!). Bailey is 18 months old and is usually very good about not nipping, but sometimes he just gets too excited and forgets. When he does, Luke will yelp really loud and Bailey will  instantly stop. Then, since he feels bad about it, so Bailey will say "sorry" with a cuddle.

However, every dog is different, so here are two other methods that you can use as well.

Make a Trade

Think of the trade method as a way to make an exchange with your dog. If your dog is biting your arm, you show them a toy as to offer a “trade.” When they take the toy, make sure to praise them because now their biting has been re-directed to something that is deemed as OK to bite.

Instant Muzzle

The instant muzzle is just how it sounds. When your puppy bites, turn your hand around and grasp his muzzle closed. This shows him that what he did was wrong and it also makes him feel uncomfortable. No dog likes it when someone grabs their mouth! This will discourage them from biting.


Remember, nipping is not only painful, it can also lead to a lifetime of bad behavior if your puppy doesn’t learn that biting isn’t okay. For that reason,  start training as soon as possible and nip that habit in the butt! ;)



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1 Comment

  • I have tried all the methods mentioned here, none have worked!!! I have put bitter apple spray on my hands, which does work, abut can't spray my whole body!!!! I really need some help. She has terrier in her, so I assume its natural...thank you

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