Why do puppies bite you?
Puppies explore the world using their mouths and chewing also relieves tooth pain (which peaks at about 4-6 months when their adult teeth are coming through). All puppies nibble at hands, so don’t worry too much about it, but putting the right management and training in place for now will make this phase easier and ensure it doesn’t become a lifelong habit.
How can I stop them from biting me?
Your first option is always to redirect them to something that they ARE allowed to bite. Have a toy or chew with you at all times so that you can pop that into their mouth when they try to bite onto you instead. Redirecting them in this way will eventually help them learn what they can and can’t bite. DO NOT make loud noises, shake your hand, tap them on the nose – this will encourage them as they’ll think it is part of the game. Having many different toys and chews lying around on the floor and rotating them can help keep your pup interested in them – pups have short attention spans and love novelty.
If the hand biting is persistent, calmly move your hands away, stand up, or walk away. Teeth on skin means the end of the game. Away from them does not mean leaving them alone – this is too stressful for young puppies and we don’t want them to associate being away from you with bad things. Puppies can’t relate things that are more than two seconds apart so don’t move away for long. Come back with a toy for them to chomp on instead.
Help, why is my puppy a land shark?
If your pup is in a biting frenzy, they probably need a nap. Pop them into their crate/bed with a treat or let them have a cuddle for a sleep. Being overtired can make them grouchy – just like us humans!