While your puppy may be small … and oh so cute! … but the bite of an excited and energetic pup can hurt! Many new puppy parents can’t wait for their teething puppy to slow down and stop nipping at them non-stop. So when does a puppy stop biting?
A puppy will begin to stop biting and nipping around seven months old. At about four or five months old, you can expect your puppy to settle down a little bit, and you will no longer have to anticipate painful biting from your furry friend as often. However, this depends on your bite-reduction training methods.
In this article, we’ll explore what you can expect for a teething puppy that loves to bite, as well as how long you can expect this behavior to last and how you can make your furry friend stop. If you’re interested in learning more about this topic, keep on reading.
Teething Begins at 2 Weeks
While puppies may be interested in playfully nipping at you for several reasons, teething is the most common. Teething starts at two weeks old for puppies and continues for a few months.
Teething can be quite uncomfortable, and your puppy can cope by getting their little chompers on anything and everything. That’s because, at around four months old, those baby teeth are slowly being replaced by adult teeth.
This, in turn, can lead to even more harsh nipping and biting. While many dog owners may assume that their puppy is becoming more aggressive, the truth is your puppy is simply becoming stronger and isn’t aware that they’re hurting you.
When Does A Puppy Stop Biting and Nipping?
It’s essential to be mindful that your puppy might stay in the nipping stage shorter or longer, depending on how quickly and correctly their adult teeth come in. But, in general, while your puppy’s bites may hurt, you can expect the constant biting to cease once they’re around seven months old.
Why Do Puppies Bite?
As we stated above, one of the main reasons your puppy is constantly nipping and biting away at you is due to teething. But puppies are also prone to biting for several other reasons, so it’s essential to be mindful of all the factors that may cause your puppy to bite.
You may find your puppy is prone to biting when they’re overly excited or during play. Your little furry friend may express their pent-up energy and excitement with biting, which can become painful, as many puppy owners know.
Many dog owners have observed that younger puppies are more likely to nip at children than adults. This can raise some concern with parents, as they worry that their dog will become aggressive in adulthood.
Thankfully, studies have shown that young animals’ behaviors are not reflective of what they’ll be like in adulthood. Puppies are simply more likely to nip and bite at children playfully due to the conflicting signals children give to animals during play.
While this is not a sign of aggression, your excitable puppy can still deliver firm bites that can hurt just about anyone. Once again, you can expect the nipping stage to end around seven months old and for biting to become less frequent around four or five months old.
Any kind of noise will spark your puppy’s interest and get them excited. If your puppy becomes excited enough, it may end up biting away at anyone and anything in sight.
Some dog owners find the more excited your puppy gets, the harder they tend to bite down. It’s important to note, as tedious as it may be, your puppy isn’t aware that they’re hurting you and usually do this out of excitement.
While you can’t possibly avoid all forms of stimuli that may excite your puppy, it’s best to be mindful of what factors may cause your nipping puppy to act up.
As we stated earlier, one of the main reasons your puppy keeps on biting is due to teething. Your puppy is experiencing lots of pain in their gums and mouth, and finding something for them to gnaw on relieves that pain.
Thankfully, as your puppy grows older and their adult teeth fully form, you can anticipate your puppy to be less interested in biting. If you have a teething puppy roaming around the house, it’s best to find better alternatives for you and your puppy, such as chew toys.
Most puppies will stop this behavior entirely by the seven-month-mark.
How To Help Your Puppy Stop Biting
Hopefully, now you have a better understanding as to why your puppy is so interested in biting. Now that we’ve discussed some of the common reasons why puppies bite, let’s explore how to gently discourage this behavior with proper training.
Teach Them Bite Inhibition
Bite inhibition is your puppy’s ability to control the force they use when they bite or begin mouthing. Most puppies learn bite inhibition at a very early age when interacting with their mothers or other dogs.
If your young pup didn’t interact with others too much at a very young age, they might not have a firm understanding of bite inhibition. This might explain why your puppy is biting down so hard, as they are engaging in play without realizing how much they’re hurting you.
To teach your puppy bite inhibition, it’s recommended to engage with them in the same way two young puppies participating in play would. If two puppies are engaging in play, and one is hurt by the other’s sharp teeth, that puppy will usually let out a quick yelp to signal they’ve been hurt.
The biter is usually taken aback, realizing they’ve caused the other one pain. Soon enough, they’re back to playing like before, but now they have an understanding of how to play without hurting the other.
When your puppy bites down too hard, you can let out a yelp or a stern “no” to signal that you’ve been hurt. It’s also best to stop interacting with your puppy altogether to discourage this kind of behavior again.
Once you and your puppy have had a moment apart free of any interaction, it’s okay to go back and start playing with your puppy again. If your puppy once again bites too hard, repeat this process. Your playful puppy will soon learn how far is too far, and they’ll slowly learn bite inhibition and how they can play with you safely.
Give Them Alternatives
As we stated earlier, it’s best to have plenty of alternatives on hand when your puppy is acting incredibly nippy. There are lots of chew toys designed specifically for puppies who are teething.
Not only will having plenty of chew toys save all your belongings from becoming destroyed, but it will also save your skin, literally. Having more options available to your puppy will make them less likely to take all their energy out on you in painful ways.
Give Them Space
If your puppy is biting at you non-stop, they most likely need to burn off some energy. It’s best to give your furry friend some space to play or run around on their own. If there are other puppies they can play with, this is an excellent way for them to remain active without tearing at your skin.
Your puppy may also be biting at you because they’re over-tired, which is another reason to give your dog some space. It’s important to keep all these factors in mind to ensure that you and your beloved puppy get through their tedious biting stage in one piece.
When Does a Puppy Stop Biting? Our Final Thoughts
In this article, we discussed when you could expect your puppy to stop biting. Thankfully, around seven months old, you’ll find that your puppy is no longer interested in nipping at everything like they once were.
We also went over why your puppy loves to bite, as well as what you can do to discourage this behavior gently. Hopefully, now you have all the information you need to train your puppy to stop biting so hard and play without using their teeth.