Puppy nipping OK?

Posted by lacamps
Dec 16, 2010
We just welcomed our 9-wk old English Bulldog puppy into our home yesterday. I've been reading methods to correct biting/nipping, but I also know that it's natural for a puppy to nip. Should I let the puppy nip at my fingers during play, and hold off on biting/nipping training (i.e. turn my back from playing, time-outs, etc.) until the pup has reached a certain age (i.e. isn't a puppy anymore)? If so, what age is reasonable to start no-biting training?

Posted by KOPCaroline
Dec 16, 2010
Hey lacamps,

I think this question is one to be answered by each owner, based on their preferences. You can start bite training as soon as you want to. Nipping is a normal puppy behaviour, but you can learn to draw a line for yourself as to what is too much and then start correcting once puppy has crossed that line.

What I did with my dog, Jackson, was to allow a bit of mouthing as a pup, and even now I'll let him put my hand in his mouth, but I always removed it and said "no" as soon as he put any kind of real pressure behind his jaws; that is, I was ok with mouthing, but no real teeth contact. Now when he puts his mouth on my hand, its a very loose contact and he immediately stops when I say "enough".

I think as you play with your new fur baby you'll figure out where you want the line drawn, and can train him on that. Its just a matter of removing your hand, saying "no", and praising when he stops trying to bite or mouth. If he keeps on after you've said no, stop playing altogether, and ignore him until he's calm and got the point, then go back to play

Have fun! Let us know how he does
Posted by kjd
Feb 7, 2011

I handle it a bit differently from KOPCaroline. I enjoyed play-fighting with my first dog, but the 2nd one taught me the joys of no-biting. Since then, if I feel teeth, I yipe (like a hurt puppy) and turn away. I may also ask the dog to "gentle."

However, as KOPCaroline said, it is up to you where you want to draw the line.

Posted by diane-martin
Jun 10, 2013
Had to put my Chihuahua down last July and I just bought a 6 week old purebred one with no papers, she is sweet and always wants to be near me but she gets this extreme burst of energy sometimes lasting up to 3 hours where she tears through the house at high speeds, she weighs about one pound, if I pick her up during this time she will growl, squirm and bite to be let down, any type of discipline with loud noises, shaking pebbles, or clapping go unnoticed, this behavior goes on at least 3 times a day. When can you worm puppies this small or use any type powders on as she is always itching too. I am older so should remember this but don't.
Posted by Preethi KOP
Jun 14, 2013
Hi Diane,

Thank you for your email and congrats on your new pet!

It is quite normal for pups to have these bursts of energy, they are little bundles of energy! I would recommend exercising her daily, just a half hour quick walk twice a day would be beneficial. Consider socializing her, this will help dissipate some of that energy in addition to teaching her good doggie manners! As for the itching, please take her in to your vets to discuss the issue and set up a good worming programme with them .

I hope this helps!

Kind regards,
Posted by susan-sole
Jun 25, 2013
I have a 3 month old Schnauzer who bites my fingers a lot and actually draws blood. I have tried everything to no avail. I am desperate to stop this behaviour - otherwise he is learning discipline well. I really need help.
Thank you
Posted by Preethi KOP
Jun 27, 2013
Hi Susan,

Thank you for writing in!

Schnauzer pups are adorable. We had a couple of them come in for vaccines yesterday at the vet clinic I am working at. So full of energy!!

It is good that you realize that the biting is a problem. It is so much easier to teach them when they are young. I would recommend teaching him the word NO and giving him a good growl whenever he gets too nippy. If this doesn't work, write back and we will look into alternatives for you.

Good luck!

Kind regards,