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Why Do Dogs Bite And How To Stop A Dog From Biting

Last Updated on May 16, 2023

why do dogs bite

Dogs may bite for a variety of reasons, such as fear, excitement, or aggression. If your dog is biting, it is important to understand the reason behind the behavior and take steps to correct it. You can teach your dog that this isn’t OK. This article will explore 10 reasons why dogs bite and how to stop a dog from biting.

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Why Do Dogs Bite? The Top 10 Reasons

  1. A dog is displaying protective behavior toward its possessions like food or a water dish
  2. A mother dog being protective of her puppies
  3. The dog is being protective of his resting place
  4. The dog may be protecting its owner
  5. Someone has provoked or frightened the dog
  6. The dog is injured or not feeling well, which can cause it to react aggressively even toward trusted people
  7. Someone has hurt it, poked it, or pulled on its fur, tail, or ears
  8. The dog has not learned bite inhibition
  9. The dog is engaged in a rough play, and it gets overly excited
  10. Running away from a dog, even if it’s a part of the fun, could trigger herding behavior in some breeds

8 Ways For How To Stop Your Dog / Puppy Biting

As a dog owner, it’s up to you to determine how well your puppy behaves and interacts with others. It will take some time to train your dog to stop biting. But, with enough practice, you should be able to get your dog to stop biting. Follow these 8 tips for training your dog to stop biting:

1. Start Training Your Dog When It Is Young

puppy biting

Young dogs are more willing to learn new things, so it’s important that you start training them as soon as possible. To avoid bad habits forming early on, try keeping your puppy with its mother for at least one month after birth, and then use positive reinforcement or clicker commands when trying to teach the pup proper behaviors. Just as humans and other animals use play to inform each other about the differences between playful mouthing versus painful biting, so do puppies. Mothers also act as instructors during a puppy’s formative weeks—an important role that cannot be replicated or replaced by anything else.

2. Keep An Eye On Their Diet (No Chocolate)

Puppies, like human babies, will chew on almost anything they can get a hold of. The chocolate you love to give your dog as a gift is actually toxic for them. Energetic puppies love to chew on everything. Theobromine and caffeine, the main ingredients in chocolate, can speed up your dog’s heart rate while also stimulating their nervous system—which risks them getting sick as well! However, the risk varies depending on the type & amount eaten as well as weight. So it is not recommended that pet owners offer their dogs chocolate as a treat to keep them calm.

3. Socializing Dogs / Socializing Puppies

dogs playing

The best way to ensure a calm, friendly dog is by socializing them from an early age. Dogs who have been properly socialized in their youth often do not display any negative behavior patterns such as biting or showing fear when meeting new people and animals later on down the line! Expose your young pup (and even raise him/her) around children, so he can get used to having around different kinds of folks. Additionally, it’s important that your dog get to play with other dogs, so that he can learn when biting is appropriate, such as play biting with other dogs, versus inappropriate biting.

4. Basic Training

how to stop dogs from biting

Teaching your dog to “stay” is a good way of preventing biting.

Teaching them commands like ‘sit‘ and ‘come,’ which are used both in training dogs as well as playing games with friends, helps teach patience while also avoiding bad habits such as grabbing or jumping onto people’s laps without permission!

5. Train Your Puppy What To Chew On

The teething stages of puppies are a time when you should really expect them to bite and chew on anything in your home.

How To Stop A Dog / Puppy Biting Hands

You might ask, why does my dog bite my hands? Since we use our hands to do so many things, including holding and petting our dogs, hands are likely targets for puppies to chew on. To train your dog to not bite hands, substitute a chew toy or bone when he begins chewing on your hand or skin. Have the desired object ready and offer it as an alternative for his biting. Distractions like treats can help keep his attention away from sensitive areas on human hands, so they learn where they aren’t allowed to bite.

6. Provide Lots of Chew Toys

If you’re looking to give your puppy some extra comfort during teething, then chew toys are the way forward! Not only do they help ease the pain, but puppies also develop healthy adult teeth when chewing on them. If fireworks or storms stress out your dog, chewing toys can be especially useful for providing your dog calming distractions.

how to stop dog biting hands

7. Get Your Dog Spayed Or Neutered

If you don’t plan on getting more dogs, it is best to spay or neuter your pet. This simple procedure can help keep them from biting people when they are sexually active and reduce roaming behavior that causes fighting. Spaying / neutering will also lower any potential bad behaviors, including aggressiveness; this could be helpful if there’s an issue with controlled impulses, since many dog owners find themselves dealing with these types of problems at times.

8. Positive Reinforcement

Dog Reward

We know that rewarding good behavior is often the best way to promote actions we want. In the beginning, you may want to ignore your dog’s minor biting, from time-to-time, which are negative actions. But when good, positive actions occur (not biting),  give him some love and maybe a reward as well! You can just give some attention or food after every few nice things your pup does instead of saying “no” all day long. A lot of people think that only negative consequences work as incentives, but this isn’t true at all.


Biting is a natural dog behavior. You need to teach your dog quickly that biting your hands, other body parts, and your important household goods are inappropriate to chew on, to protect you, your family, other people, and your household goods. Remember, it’s never too late to train your dog—even a full-grown adult can learn new tricks! Never leave bad habits unaddressed, or they may become harder to fix.  Be patient and continue reinforcing good behavior, so your puppy can grow into a well-mannered dog. Thanks for following along with our series on puppy training!

Have you experienced problems with puppy chewing and biting? How did you address them? Let us know in the comments below. Thanks for reading!

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