*Discloser: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning, I get a commission if you decide to make a purchase through one of my links, at no cost to you.
If you’re a new dog parent, congratulations! Raising a dog is such a rewarding experience, and you and your pup are going to be friends for life.
But that doesn’t mean there isn’t a lot of work to put into raising your puppy. And, as all puppy owners know, one of the most frustrating parts of puppyhood is biting.
Puppies bite—a lot.
And those teeth are surprisingly sharp!
In this article we’ll look at when puppies stop biting. Plus, you’ll get a few tips that will help your puppy stop biting fast.
Why Do Puppies Bite?
If your puppy’s biting is driving you crazy, you might be wondering how to stop your puppy’s biting habit for good.
The first step, as usual, is learning why puppies bite so much in the first place!
Puppies Explore the World with Their Mouths
Your puppy is still super young. He’s learning about how the world works, figuring out his new routine, and overall just getting used to his new home!
Your puppy’s curiosity about the world encourages him to do a lot of exploring. And the best way puppies know how to explore is by using their mouths.
They’ll put their mouths on anything they can find to figure out what it is and how it works. And, often, puppies don’t realize that they’re biting hard.
So if your puppy is chomping down on your hands or feet, or he’s mouthing on all your furniture, that’s very normal behavior. He’s just learning what everything is!
It’s Part of Puppy Play Behavior
Have you ever watched puppies play? If you have, then you’ve probably seen how strangely aggressive it is.
When puppies play with each other, they jump all over each other, bite, and growl at each other. It can look a lot more like fighting than like playing!
But don’t worry, it’s a very normal way for puppies to interact with each other. And it’s a chance for puppies to learn more about how to play with other dogs.
During this play time, puppies learn something called bite inhibition. This refers to a puppy’s ability to stop himself from biting others too hard.
For example, if two puppies are playing together and one bites the other too hard, the bitten puppy might yelp and stop playing. This shows the biting puppy, “Hey, I don’t like that and don’t want to play with you when you bite me hard.”
Usually, puppy biting is not a sign of aggression. But just if you’re worried, here are 6 signs of an aggressive puppy and how to stop it.
They Don’t Know It Hurts You
Let’s be honest—puppies are not very smart. They’ll get smarter as they get older, but for now there’s still so much they don’t know or understand.
So, when your puppy bites your hand full-force, he’s probably not doing it out of meanness. He’s probably doing it because he doesn’t actually know that it hurts you!
So while you know that your puppy’s razor sharp teeth hurt you when he bites, that’s something that he might not realize.
What Age Do Puppies Bite the Most?
All puppies are different, and there’s no set age where you know your puppy will completely stop biting.
While yes, puppies do grow out of biting eventually, some puppies grow out of it super fast while others take a little longer.
You should also bear in mind that you play a huge role in your puppy’s behavior! You can help curb your puppy’s biting and make the overall process much easier on everyone.
Now, that said, there are a few periods in your dog’s puppyhood where you can expect more biting than usual. Specifically, your puppy will probably be mouthier when he’s teething.
While your puppy is between 12 to 16 weeks old, you may find little baby teeth around the house. At the same time, your puppy’s adult teeth will be growing in.
This can be a super uncomfortable and even painful process for him! You can help make it easier on his poor little mouth by providing him with lots of puppy-safe things to chew. This will help relieve the discomfort he’s feeling, and prevent him from chewing and biting things you don’t want him to.
When Do Puppies Stop Biting?
Okay, now let’s get to the actual question of this article: when do puppies stop biting?
Actually, we’ll look at 3 different behaviors that go hand in hand: biting, chewing and teething.
Puppies tend to bite throughout their puppyhood. Even adult dogs will mouth a little bit if that’s just their play style, though they should have a good grasp of bite inhibition by then.
It’s different for every dog, but puppies will generally reduce biting by the time they reach around 6 months old.
At this age, your puppy is starting to calm down a little bit. While he’ll still have a lot of puppy energy and he may still bite while playing, he’s getting closer to adulthood and should know not to bite hard.
By the time your puppy reaches adulthood, at around a year old for most breeds, you should find that this excessive biting has stopped.
Dogs are natural chewers! Chewing is a really normal behavior for dogs, and dogs of all ages do it.
Dogs love to chew because it encourages their brains to release a hormone called serotonin. This hormone is known for causing feelings of relaxation, well-being, and it stabilizes the mood.
Your dog will probably chew his whole life. But if he’s chewing on things like your furniture or your body parts, then that’s a problem!
It’s really important to make sure that your dog always has safe things to chew nearby. This will help him get out all his chewing urges without being destructive!
Here are a few related articles:
- How to Stop a Dog from Chewing Himself
- How to Stop a Dog from Chewing on Things
- How to Stop a Dog from Eating Everything on Walks
As I said earlier, puppies go through their teething process when they’re around 12 to 16 weeks old. This period of time can be super frustrating for both of you.
Your puppy is in a lot of discomfort. And he keeps destroying your stuff or biting way too hard!
If your puppy is teething, make sure that he’s got plenty of safe-to-chew toys around. And just be patient with him during this time. He’s not having fun either!
How to Get Your Puppy to Stop Biting Fast
Alright, now let’s look at how you can help your puppy to stop biting fast.
One of the ways you might accidentally be encouraging your puppy to keep biting you is by moving too much once he’s bitten.
During playtime, your puppy is very interested in you and the movements you’re making. After all, moving around is what makes you so much fun to play with!
If you keep moving or interacting with your puppy after he bites you, then your puppy might think you’re still playing the game. That’s why, if your puppy bites you, you should stop moving right away.
This makes you boring to your puppy. It also tells him that if he bites you, then the super fun game is over!
Ignore the Biting
This tip goes hand in hand with the last one.
Puppies and dogs don’t always understand the difference between positive attention and negative attention. To them, it’s all just attention.
And your attention and focus are two of the things that your little guy wants the most!
Help teach your dog that biting isn’t the way to get your attention by using positive reinforcement dog training and ignoring the behavior.
It’s definitely not easy to ignore, especially since your puppy’s teeth are so darned sharp! But it’s really important that you do ignore him if you want the behavior to stop.
If your puppy seems super intent on continuing to try and get you to play, then you can always get up and walk away. Or you can move yourself into a position where it’s harder for your puppy to grab hold of you.
In case it actually hurts, yelp, like his littermates would do. Then ignore him and walk out the room. That will teach him that biting stops all the fun as well.
Give Him a Time Out
If you haven’t already started crate training your puppy, then now might be the time to start.
Crates are places where your puppy can go to calm down and relax. They’re also a good place for your puppy to go settle down during a time out if he needs one.
If you’re not sure where to begin when it comes to crate training, then check out how to crate train a dog easily in 13 steps.
When your puppy refuses to stop biting you even when you stop moving and ignore his antics, then sending him to the crate for a time out might be in order.
Raising a puppy is a super rewarding experience. But that doesn’t mean that it isn’t frustrating at times.
One of the most common complaints when it comes to puppy ownership is biting, and for good reason! Biting is annoying, painful, and frustrating.
But don’t worry—your bitey little puppy is going to grow out of this phase eventually. Just make sure that you’re working with him to show him what is and isn’t appropriate to bite.
Over time, he’ll learn that there are better ways to get his urges out. He might just need a little bit of your help along the way!