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Canine Behavior/Teething issues


My beagle puppy is about 10 weeks old. She has had her first set of shots. We've had her since she was 8 weeks old. The past week has been very rough. She insists on biting constantly. Every-time she bites my husband or I, we redirect her. We give her some of her chew toys or teething toys. This only works for a few seconds. We have tried flicking her on the nose as well. Are there any tricks that would help to get her to stop biting us so much? We are constantly praising her when she is biting on her toys. We're willing to try anything. We're only able to handle her when she's sleepy. She is doing great in terms of potty training and various other things. The biting is getting very brutal though. She has drawn blood on a few occasions.

Thank you for your question. Puppy bites is one of the most frustrating parts of puppyhood on the humans. At 10 weeks of age, your puppy actually isn't teething. Her puppy teeth came in at around 3 weeks and she won't lose them and get adult teeth until between 4-6 months of age. Right now, all this biting is just her normal puppy explore-the-world behavior. The first thing to understand - that her behavior is ABSOLUTELY NORMAL. Puppies explore their world with their mouth. Human infants use their hands and their mouth to explore the world. Dogs don't have hands and so it's all mouth.

At 10 weeks of age, your puppy actually isn't teething. Her puppy teeth came in at around 3 weeks and she won't lose her puppy teeth until between 4-6 months of age. Right now, all this biting is just her normal puppy explore-the-world behavior.

Puppies have needle-sharp teeth in their little mouths precisely to educate them about bite pressure as they interact with the world. The single best teacher of bite inhibition (the ability to control or inhibit the force of a bite) is other dogs. Puppies playing with puppies will elicit lots of squeals and game interruptions if they bite their play partner too hard. Well socialized adult dogs will tolerate a LOT of poor behavior and too-hard bites from young puppies, but as the puppy gets older, they'll begin to give corrections and, depending on the responsiveness of the puppy to those corrections, the adult dog will escalate from disengaging to breathy growl/hiss, to growl to show of teeth to air snap to well inhibited bite to make their point clear.

But, we also need to teach the puppy about interacting with humans. To this end, consistency of response is important - this means that everyone who interacts with the puppy responds the same way. This means everyone living in the house, all visitors and all greeters out in the world, which means you will have to educate others how you want them to respond.

I have a blog on exactly this topic - recently updated. The first several paragraphs help to explain the anatomy, timelines and reasons why puppies bite and chew. The rest of the first half is about the dog-dog interactions. The second half, below the large purple heading: All this Dog Etiquette socialization is great, but how do we get Puppy to stop biting US?!?!
is about human-dog interactions. I think you'll find it quite useful. If you still have questions after reading the blog, please feel free to followup and I'll be happy to elaborate on anything that wasn't clear.

Puppies Bite - What Can We Do About That?

Los Angeles Behaviorist

Canine Behavior

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Jody Epstein, MS, CPDT-KA


IF YOU BELIEVE YOUR DOG IS ILL OR INJURED, PLEASE CONTACT YOUR LOCAL VETERINARIAN IMMEDIATELY. THIS IS NOT THE FORUM TO ADDRESS URGENT MEDICAL ISSUES. I AM NOT A LICENSED VET AND HAVE NO DIAGNOSTIC SKILLS. ***I have been answering questions on All Experts for over 8 years now. I enjoy being able to offer assistance in this forum. I do need to be clear, though. If you’re looking for free advice about a specific behavior question, you MUST submit your question to me via All Experts. If you bypass All Experts and write to me directly through my website, I will ask you to submit via All Experts. On the flip side, if you’re local to Los Angeles and you wish to speak to me privately about an in person consultation, please go through my website. I appreciate your assistance in keeping my volunteer work on the volunteer site.*** I can answer questions about the following canine behavior issues: obedience, timid/fearful & fear-based aggression, nuisance behaviors, families that are expanding with either new human or new animal members and many other issues. If you have potty training questions please first read my trio of blogs at If you still have questions after reading the blogs you can post your specific questions here. PLEASE be as specific as possible when asking a question. Give me a detailed example of the situation - dog's behavior, body language, circumstances surrounding the issue, what the consequences are (another dog's response, your response), etc. I can only provide insight if I can get a picture of the whole scenario. If I ask for further details, please provide them. In person I would normally observe for at least 90 minutes to assess the situation and the dynamics before offering tools and suggestions to modify it. In writing it is ever so much more difficult. Thank you for your participation in the process.


I have been a professional obedience trainer for 9 years, and specializing in behavior modification for 8 years. I have owned dogs my entire life. I own my own dog training and behavior modification business called Nutz About Mutz.

I am a Certified Profession Dog Trainer - Knowledge Assessed (CPDT-KA), #2133301 ; I am a member in good standing with the Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT), #77763 ; I am an AKC certified Canine Good Citizen evaluator (CGC), #71253

Publications ; ; Multiple articles in the local pet magazine Pet Press (found across Southern California)

I have a masters degree (MS) in Animals and Public Policy, with a minor in Animal Behavior, from Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine. I also have 3 years of graduate education in Animal Behavior and Learning from UM-Missoula and UL-Lafayette. I continue to educate myself to canine-specific behavior through extensive reading, online interactive workshops, vidoes and attending canine behavior conferences, workshops and seminars. Beginning in March, 2017, I will be the Behavior & Training Manager at Second Chance Center for Animals in Flagstaff, AZ.

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