Is it normal for the puppy to bite everything?


Articles to calm the discomfort in the teeth, as well as forget about certain games, calm the biting craving of the small dog

  • Publication date: November 1, 2012

The dog perceives tactile sensations through the mouth. If we add to this that a puppy has discomfort due to the change of dentition, we run into a dog that nibbles on everything: hands, slippers, curtains, socks. But if we know the causes for which it does, we can channel the situation. This article highlights the specific toys for the puppy to bite, two mistakes to avoid with the dog that bites everything, why the baby destroys the house in the absence of its owners and five guidelines to educate the puppy.

The puppy exercises its sense of touch through its mouth

The dog puppy is a small explorer who needs to discover the world, like all young mammals. To do this, it requires sniffing, seeing and hearing, but also exercising your sense of touch, and it does so through your mouth. "Dog puppies need to nibble because in this way they recognize and discover their surroundings. For them, their mouth represents the sense of touch, "explains José Luis Torres, veterinarian of the Protective Society of Animals and Plants of Madrid.

Puppies, like all young animals, are naughty and nibble as a way to interact with their surroundings. But another reason why they use their mouth so much is because they have discomfort until they change their baby teeth For the definitive. And biting relieves that pain.

My puppy bites everything, is it really normal?

It is important to highlight that until 3 weeks of life We must allow our puppy to bite everything he wants. That does not mean that we leave within your reach shoes or valuable objects, on the contrary, you must have own toys to those who bite (and specific to puppies), and we must even allow him to nibble at us, he is knowing and exploring us, something positive for him.

Do not forget that when you leave home and the dog is unsupervised it will be essential to leave him in a park (also called corral) for puppies. This way you will prevent him from biting all the objects he finds around the home.

Remember that even if your puppy is biting all day, at first you don't have to worryBiting is very necessary for a puppy, as well as sleeping, which is why puppies' sleep is characterized by taking up a large part of the day. You should only worry if your puppy bites very hard or if it aggressively bites some other family member, either a human or another pet.

In the other cases, although it is a normal behavior, it is important to set some limits So as the puppy grows it does not misunderstand our good intention to let him explore the environment with his teeth.

How to manage the bite>

Here are some basic guidelines so that this typical puppy behavior is managed in a healthy way and does not trigger behavior problems in the future:

  • On the basis that the puppy needs to nibble, it is best to offer toys specially designed for this purpose and make it clear what he can bite, congratulating him every time he uses them.
  • From three weeks of age, every time the puppy bites us we will make a little shriek and we will move away, ignoring the dog for a minute. Since he will want to continue playing with us, he will gradually understand what the acceptable bite level is. Each time we separate we will include the "loose" or "leave" order that will later help us in the basic obedience of the dog.
  • Avoid overexciting the puppy, that can lead to a stronger and uncontrolled bite. You can play biting with him but always calmly and calmly.
  • When the dog understands the limits and does not bite what we have forbidden, it is important to positively reinforce this success. We can use food, kind words and even a caress.
  • Prevents children play biting with the puppy, they should always interact with a toy that prevents them from harming them.

While it is normal and necessary for your puppy to spend much of his time biting, these simple tips will help you develop your dog in the best way possible.

If you want to read more articles similar to Is it normal for the puppy to bite everything?, we recommend that you enter our section of Basic Education.

What kind of things should we avoid?

  • We must avoid leaving things within your reach that can destroy.
  • Avoid letting him play with family objects (for example, broken shoes, socks ...) since the dog would not differentiate between your personal things, and the things you have given him so that he can play.
  • Avoid punishments. The punishment often makes the problem worse! Most of the time, the dog does not understand why he is being punished, and besides ... He can be afraid of his owner!
  • Do not reinforce their negative behaviors! That is, if your dog is doing something to get your attention, don't pay attention! If you listen to him, you would be reinforcing that behavior.

What kind of things should you promote?

(Photo via: rinconpastoraleman)

  • Do more sport with your pet, so you will get your hyperactivity level down.
  • Provide toys that spark your interestHave you tried Kong-type toys? With these toys you can boost your nose and your ability to search!
  • Power that is calmHow can you do this? Simply pay more attention to him if he is calm, this way you will boost him.
  • There are people who recommend smear an object with an unpleasant substance (such as citronella oil), in this way it is possible that your dog stops looking for a bite and begins to hate it.

However, if you think your dog has behavioral problems, at Wakyma we recommend you, Consult a professional! This can give you the best diagnosis, and treatment adapted to the case of your dog.

All puppies bite

The first thing you should know is that all puppies bite and this in principle is nothing conflicting. It is a way to explore the world and they are also in the period when their teeth come out, with the consequent discomfort, and they need to develop and strengthen their gums.

The trouble It arises when we don't teach them to differentiate what they can bite and what not. When a puppy spends his first two months with his mother, she teaches him to control his mouth and the strength of the bite. If he bites his breasts hard, he will get up and leave him without eating. If he bites his brothers hard, they will move away and learn progressively to control the bite. If he annoys his mother or siblings with his bites, they will growl or howl to teach him not to do it, and his mother can grab him by the neck and drive him away.

Upon arriving at your home, it is you who must teach him to control his bites. Provide a suitable toy for him who can bite. When you bite something inappropriate, stop your attitude and give the toy in return. You can use the same methods that his mother would use, since he will understand them instinctively.


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Establishes Short gripping and releasing game routines and bite pressure control so that he learns both to control his strength, and to release inappropriate objects and bite only his toys.

Usually, the bites of a puppy they are not a sign of aggression. Among them, they use bites as a form of interaction and learn to control force by the reaction of others. It is important that they spend the first two months with their mother, because at that time they learn to inhibit the bite. Otherwise, it should be you who teaches him to do it.

The best way to achieve this is to participate in the game as one more puppy. Allow him to bite your hand and when you consider him to squeeze too much, throw a pair of "woe" or short howls and remove your hand, stopping the game. After a pause, play again. When your puppy learns to stop, reward him with caresses and affection.

If this does not work, after giving a howl and removing your hand, get up and leave the room for a few seconds. Then come back and continue the game. You will learn that if you squeeze too much, the game is over and will gradually control your bite.

When you learn to bite and release, provide a toy that can bite, so you learn that when you need to exercise your jaw, it should be that toy and not anything else you should use.

Don't yell at him or hit him. He will interpret the screams as barks of anxiety and may think that you are happy to play and continue to bite. Or it can catch you fear and act defensively.

When the puppy's bite becomes a behavioral problem

If during the game the puppy growls or shows teeth showing tension in your face, that attitude is no longer part of a game and can end up becoming a problem. Try to calm your puppy, and if it gets aggressive, take him by the neck and lift him up, taking him to another place. If your dog is somewhat older, put it belly up and hold it by mouth without harming him, until he sticks out his tongue and licks his muzzle in a sign of calm. It may be a good idea to have a good dog training book, but if you finally fail to stop the aggressiveness, go to a canine trainer to help you solve the problem.

Do not move your hands or feet in front of your face, because he will interpret it as a game and will throw himself to bite them.

If you bite your feet, don't pick them up, since it will launch for them. It is better that you say "NO", stop the bite and leave them still, so that they are not an interesting prey. There are dogs, like the Border Collie, that tend to bite your ankles because it is part of your grazing instinct. You must teach him not to do it with yours.

Train your puppy with patience and affection and never stop teaching him to maintain proper behavior patterns.


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The internal diseases or ailments They can also trigger the aggressiveness of your puppy. Consult your veterinarian to rule out these problems or perform the appropriate treatment.

Toys for the puppy to bite

In the market, there are specific toys for puppies that are bothered by the change of teething. The dogs can focus their desire to bite on these objects, when they need to relieve the pain in their mouth. Keep in mind that canine items are only his. If there are children at home, we should not allow them to use them for their own games. In this way the puppy also learns that the family respects their belongings, just as he should do with the rest of the objects in the house.

It is a mistake to offer a small dog slippers or socks as toys

In any case, the objects that the puppy introduces in its mouth must be selected by the owners. It is a mistake to offer you an old shoe or a sock that is not used: it will assimilate that these are your toys and, when you are an adult animal, you will take them to nibble on them. Therefore the playful objects of the puppy must be specific to him and not resemble objects in the house that we do not want him to take. "It is difficult to correct an animal that has been allowed certain behaviors since childhood, so you have to set basic rules since the dog comes home," says canine educator Gregorio Sánchez.

Two mistakes to avoid with the puppy that bites everything

1. Let the little dog bite our hands It is a frequent mistake that should be avoided. The puppy must understand that it must abide by certain rules and that there are prohibited behaviors, such as doing home needs or biting the owners' hands. "If the animal is allowed to nibble us, a wrong message is transmitted, since it will believe that he is a leader and who is in charge at home," says Sánchez. Therefore, this behavior must be avoided with a resounding "no."

2. Play "tug of war" It is another mistake. Some owners fall into the error of playing "tug of war" with the puppy, that is, the person pulls on one side of a rope (or a cloth) and the animal, on the other end. With these games, the puppy's biting behavior is stimulated. "With this type of activities you enter the field of competition and when the puppy wins, it reinforces its behavior, and even, it will growl as soon as it gets the opposite," adds Torres.

Why does the puppy destroy the house in the absence of the owner?

The dog, since he is little, must learn to face the absence of its owners during specific times of the day. There are puppies that translate their rejection of loneliness with destruction in the house. A puppy that has walked and performed physical activity (games and walks) will be more relaxed before being alone. It is necessary to leave the dog provided with sufficient food and water, as well as accompanied by its nibbling toys, so that it is entertained during the absence of its owners.

In any case, puppies that share the home with other animals, be it another dog or another cat, feel more accompanied and spend more time playing with their partner than biting what they should not.

Five guidelines for educating the dog puppy

1. The patience is essential to educate the puppy. It is more practical to enjoy your stage of pranks than to stress yourself as a consequence of your behavior. As of the year, the dog stops being a puppy. It is a phase of his life that never comes back, so it is better to live it positively.

2. The nibbling is necessary for the little one. Therefore, we must make it clear from the moment we arrive at home what can be bitten and what is not.

3. The shoes, socks and children's toys they should not be offered to the puppy as objects to bite or play.

4. Education based on positive reinforcement is the best way to learn for the dog. You should never use physical violence with the animal. This type of methods generates serious and cruel consequences in the animal, as well as insecure and fearful adults.

5. The coherence is an important asset to get the puppy to comply with the rules. If you are forbidden to bite your shoes, the order must always be the same and all family members must act in that line.

How to prevent your puppy from biting everything?

Here are 5 tips to get your puppy to bite everything he finds. 👉 SUBSCRIBE TO OUR CHANNEL: DO YOU HAVE ANY DOUBT? Ask our veterinarians online for free:

Next, we analyze some of the most common causes by which our puppy can nibble objects and furniture of the house disproportionately, and how to prevent it:

1. Puppy exploratory behavior.

Puppies are extremely explorers, they love discovering new things, and that includes the objects at your fingertips. One of the ways to explore and recognize objects and new textures is by taking them by mouth and nibbling them. The exploratory behavior of the puppy is completely normal.

In these situations, if we see our puppy nibble on furniture or any of our belongings, we must redirect your behavior towards a toy of yours, so that we can stop biting our objects and focus on their toys.

2. Teeth exit.

Puppies are born without teeth, and around 3-4 weeks the upper canines appear, which are preceded by the rest of dental pieces (in total 28). From 4 months approximately, they begin to change them, replacing milk teeth or deciduous by the definitive ones (a total of 42).

Both processes involve slight discomfort and pain in the gums, which our puppy will try to relieve by biting some objects. Therefore, it is important to provide soft toys that can bite Without suffering damage. It is not advisable to use toys indicated for adults or bones, since their hardness could cause problems in the developing mouth of the puppy.

3. Lack of bite inhibition.

Through the game with his brothers and his mother, the puppy is learning to modulate the strength of your bite, that is, learn where the limits are when biting. When a puppy bites another too hard, he squeals and stops the game instantly. In this way, the puppy learns that it must bite softer to continue the game.

This is one of the reasons why It is not convenient to wean puppies before 7-8 weeks, since weaned puppies too soon often show a lack of bite inhibition, which results in a very abrupt game with other dogs and with us.

Regarding the latter, if our puppy bites us too hard when we play with him, we must shout and stop playing instantly. In this way, he will learn to control his strength when he plays with us, and we will avoid so he can hurt us by biting us.

It is usually recommended don't play with the dog using our hands or feet, it is preferable to use toys or objects that we can throw or that allow the dog to struggle without touching our hands.

4. Lack of stimulation (boredom).

Puppies are particularly active and need good doses of exercise and stimulation, always moderate to not saturate or deplete them.

If this physical and cognitive stimulation is very poor, our puppy you can find a way to entertain yourself, taking and biting objects and belongings of the owner.

Thus it is very important to take the walks necessary with the puppy (taking proper security measures until he has all his vaccinations), play with him and provide him with environmental enrichment.

5. Separation anxiety.

Through weaning, the mother teaches the puppies to be independent and detach from her. Many times we tend to pay attention to our puppy when he arrives home, paying continuous attention or not leaving him alone at any time. This causes a hyperapist to be generated between the puppy and us, which can eventually lead to a problem of separation anxiety when you don't have us for the first time. As we saw in previous articles, one of the symptoms of this behavior problem is destructiveness when the dog is left alone, due to the anxiety that this generates.

Therefore, it is essential habituate our puppy to be alone at certain times, gradually increasing the time of loneliness, and on the other hand we must avoid paying attention continuously so that he learns to be calm even if he is alone or we are not paying attention to him.

There are several reasons why our puppy can be especially destructive at home. Some of these reasons are normal due to natural age processes, while others may be due to improper handling on our part. In any case, it is important take appropriate preventive measures, redirecting the puppy's behavior so that it has objects to nibble on, such as its own toys, thus avoiding having to resort to household furniture and our belongings. On the other hand, we must provide you with the necessary exercise and stimulation to avoid boredom, since this may be the cause of our puppy biting and destroying everything he finds.

Adetcan is a project formed by two veterinary ethologists and canine educators that provide counseling, prevention, diagnosis and treatment of behavioral problems in dogs and cats. The service is at home. We are in Santiago de Compostela but we work throughout Galicia.

Por el Tiempo / GDA 03/29/2016 | 00: 00 a.m.

Many times people get desperate and decide to give them away.

The dogs that bite the furniture, eat the slippers, take the shoes, tear the cushions and end up with everything around them usually despair to their owners to the point that they are willing to abandon them, give them away, sell them, rather, to get rid of them.

But the problem is, in general, that a person or family who decides to have a dog, usually looks for a puppy "and they forget that they are like babies, who have to be patient and educate," says the doctor Carolina Alaguna

When dogs are puppies, between the first and third month, they are in a stage of development dedicated to exploring with their mouths and they take everything with it, they take it and examine it.

This biting everything in its path also has to do with the exit of the teeth. Alaguna explains that with puppies the same thing happens as with babies: biting soft things relieves them a little.

Therefore, the best way to prevent them from biting what they should not (shoes, flip flops, tights, stuffed animals, pillows, furniture.) Is to have appropriate toys for them to bite. "No stuffed animals, because you can eat things that do not feel good, or very small toys that can be swallowed," says the doctor.

In this sense, it is an advantage to adopt adult dogs, which have already passed this stage.

Another cause for dogs to destroy things is boredom, especially when they are adults. "If they don't pay attention to them, if they don't have to get distracted, if they don't have any physical activity, if they stay locked they get bored and look for what to do, like biting what they have around," the ethologist explains.

To prevent this behavior it is best to take them out for a walk every day, have appropriate toys and pay attention to them.

Another is the case, if it is separation anxiety.

Bark and bark until you are out of breath

One of the most frequent complaints among neighbors (and even because of complaints about living together) is a dog that barks nonstop at all times. “They can even run out of voice, be dysphonic,” says Carolina Alaguna, veterinarian and ethologist.

There are three main causes for a dog to do this. One, like children, also makes a "lollipop" to get the attention of its owner, because he wants to get into bed or go out. “If he pays attention, the dog will understand that‘ won ’and will always do so,” says the doctor. In this case, he advises, there is no need to pay attention (as do parents with children). “Ignore them completely: neither look at them nor talk to them. And if that is the case, push them away, reject them for their attitude until they calm down. This is what dogs do with their young when they put houses, they turn around and they understand that they should calm down, ”explains Alaguna.

The second reason for the desperate barking may be because of boredom, because the dog spends a lot of time alone, locked up, without walks or games. According to Alaguna, “dogs are high energy, they can run two hours in a row and they don't get tired, and we leave them locked up for hours at home, doing nothing. Well, they get bored, they get desperate and their primitive behaviors like barking and barking come out. ”

The obvious solution is not to leave them alone for so long, take them out for a walk (even with a dog walker), exercise them and leave them toys with which they entertain while they are alone.

Finally there is separation anxiety. This is common in dogs that have suffered abandonment, that have moved from one house to another or that have been adopted. “When they have a home and feel comfortable, they become fond of one or more people in the house. If they leave, they can't tolerate being far from that person, and they bark until they return, so there are other family members in the house, ”explains the ethologist.

These cases require an accompaniment of an ethologist to detach the dog from the owner, and for the animal to learn to handle anxiety.

Who walks who?

There are many pet owners who end up not enjoying walking their dog because it is he who walks them. Yes, they do so much that the animal is seen running and the master behind with his tongue out trying to stop him.

This can happen with dogs that have a lot of energy or are very anxious (they want to go out, see other dogs and pull to go where they want), but in general, it shouldn't happen, much less if the dog is an adult.

"This circumstance is frequently seen and it is because people do not know how to handle them and did not teach their pet from puppy to that he should go with the leash at his foot, and that he must obey certain orders," says Alaguna.

And the orders he refers to are basic, like ‘still’, ‘come here’, ‘sitting’ or answer if they call you by name. "These are necessary, because dogs need to understand that one is their leader, to have a healthy coexistence between humans and them," says the animal behavior expert.

When the puppy learns to obey the basics, he can learn things such as walking with his master, controlling his impulses and not running away just by opening the door of the house.

"If he starts to pull, one says 'still' and he responds and understands that they should walk together," says Alaguna.

In all these learning and training processes, positive reinforcements are important, that is, rewarding the dog when it does something right: if it walks calmly, it is given a cookie. "So they will repeat that behavior and learn that it is the right behavior," Alaguna adds.

If, on the contrary, the dog goes crazy, you must stand still, call him and wait for him to return, to start together.

If you are old and difficult to handle, you can change your behavior with the help of a specialist. You can also use a halty leash, especially for dogs that pull.