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Dog Training/question about beagle puppy


Hello, I have recently acquired a beagle puppy.  He is biting everything, which I am not too concerned about because I've heard that puppies that are teething bite.  However I am concerned that he is biting when he gets upset, for instance when we have to take something away from him.  Is this usual for puppies, or is this more personality?  I'm concerned because of small children that play with him.  I've had a dog before but never a beagle pup.  Thanks for your help!

My dog Opal
My dog Opal  
Hi Lauren,

Yes, it is normal for puppies to bite and what you want to do is develop bite inhibition in your puppy. The proper way to do this is by ceasing interaction when your puppy bites to hard. No need to yelp - this practice may actually stimulate the puppy further and cause him to bite more. By the time your puppy is about 5-6 months of age he should have developed good bite inhibition and if he mouths you at all you should not feel teeth.

Don't let anyone tell you to try to teach your puppy to stop biting in a few days. What you want to do is to teach your puppy to gradually inhibit his bite so that in the future when he is an adult dog he will not bite down with full force when stressed. You want him to learn to inhibit his bite. You do not want to stop biting altogether - otherwise he will not learn this important lesson and when under stress he is likely to bite with full force and limited inhibition.

At first you should stop interacting with your puppy (don't even make eye contact with him) and withdraw your hands slowly (vs. quickly which could result in a tearing bite to your skin)when his biting hurts, then start ceasing interaction when he bites hard but it hurts less and so on until he is only mouthing and finally not mouthing at all or very little. It is a learning process.

The other thing you need to do is give your puppy acceptable things to chew on to satisfy his chewing urge. Always monitor his chewing until you know for certain how he will respond to anything you give him to chew on. I recommend the durable Nylabones. They come in a variety of styles. I personally prefer the knobby ones.

I also like the real white (cleaned) bones made by Dentley or Red Barn. I prefer the ones that aren't filled. If you want to fill them , fill them with moistened kibble and a little peanut butter. Kongs work well this way too.

You can also give your puppy something cold to ease the soreness of his gums due to "teething." You can purchase soft chew toys you can saturate with water and then freeze. You can also create your own chew toys with leftover fabric or a clean rag such as T-shirt

You need to supervise your puppy's interaction with small children to prevent any injury to them and teach them how to behave appropriately around the dog. No hugs or kisses and no rough play! Dog bites to young children most often occur to the head and neck area and most often children are bitten by dogs they know.

Some dogs take treats hard, meaning you can feel their teeth and they sort of grab the food. Do not allow children to give your puppy food or play with him or near him when eating or chewing on a bone. I recommend hand feeding your dog his kibble to build your bond as well as teach him to be gentle with his mouth.

I think mouthiness is common to all puppies. They are exploring their environment and teething. They have to learn to inhibit their bites. Some of this is learned in the litter from the puppy's litter mates and mother. If the puppy leaves the litter too young (before 8 weeks), he may be more of a biter because he didn't have the advantage of this early learning, but you can still work with him an should. He can still learn to inhibit his bite.

Hope that helps - good luck!


PS I tied to attach an image of my dog holding my glasses, bit it doesn't look like it uploaded. This dog came to me at one and a half years of age with terrible bite inhibition. I taught her bite inhibition and to retrieve using clicker training and now I trust her to retrieve my glasses!  

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Cindy Ludwig, M.A., R.N., KPA-CTP, CPDT-KA


My specialty is clicker training. I'm a Karen Pryor Academy graduate and Certified Training Partner (certified clicker trainer). Karen Pryor was a marine mammal trainer and one of the early proponents of force-free animal training who helped popularize clicker training in the early 90's. I also do behavior modification with dogs that have fear, anxiety and aggression. I work with service dogs and was a certified therapy dog evaluator with two other organizations before starting my own therapy dog program, the first of its kind requiring all dog candidates to be trained with force-free methods and all evaluators to demonstrate a commitment to force-free methods. I made weekly visits with my own therapy dog to a nursing center in Dubuque, Iowa for four and a half years. I have an undergraduate degree in science and am a registered nurse with a previous specialty and certification in critical care, so I can answer questions pertaining to biology, behavior and pharmacology but because I am not a licensed veterinarian I cannot legally or ethically answer questions requesting a diagnosis. I have done graduate work in animal learning and wolf ethology, and have also completed coursework in dog biology, behavior and pet nutrition at regionally accredited U.S. universities. I continue my study of applied behavior analysis with top experts in the field. For more information and to schedule a consultation or enroll in classes, see my Canine Connection website:


Prior to becoming a full time professional dog trainer in May 2009 and opening my business, Canine Connection LLC I worked part time as a professional dog trainer and behavior consultant and also volunteered at humane societies in several states over a period from 1992-2009. My previous full time occupation was in the medical profession. I have completed various continuing education programs including but not limited to the Purdue University Veterinary School Principles and Techniques of Behavior Modification course; Clicker Expo; undergraduate courses in dog biology, behavior, and pet nutrition; and graduate coursework in wolf ethology. I was a Field Representative for Paws with a Cause for 3 years and train service dogs. My Golden Retriever that accompanies me in my work as a Field Representative is a "career changed" dog from the Paws breeding program that I have clicker trained as a demonstration service dog. This same dog I trained to earn the first Dog Scout title in the State of Iowa. She and I were also members of the Badger Kennel Club Drill Team and performed with the group annually at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison, Wisconsin. My dog, Ginger and I provided weekly pet therapy visits to a local nursing center for the past three and a half years. I continue my education by participating in seminars and class offerings provided by such notable experts as Dr. Sophia Yin, Dr. Ray Coppinger, Michele Pouliot and others. My services include in-home private training and behavior modification, group classes and pet sitting. More information is available on my website:

Founder and owner, Canine Connection LLC; Founder, Canine Connection Positively Trained Certified Therapy Dogs; Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT); 2010 APDT Education Committee; Truly Dog-Friendly Trainer Coalition; Doggone Safe; American Kennel Club

Top Tips from Top Trainers: 1001 Practical Tips & Techniques for Successful Dog Care and Training (March 2010); The Golden View; Family Connections;; Animal info Publications; HubPages; Finding Fuzzybutt Four Blog; Petopia Newsletter, Galena, Illinois; Suite 101;;; Dubuque 365 Ink Magazine; Dubuque Telegraph Herald; Columbia Business Times; Columbia Senior Times; Columbia Missourian; Columbia Daily Tribune; Graphic Education Corporation; Belson-Hanwright; Critical Care Nurse; Journal of Emergency Nursing; Home Healthcare Nurse; Nursing; Journal of Emergency Medical Services; Shape; Houston Community College Egalitarian; Findlay College Obelisk

B.S., Science; M.A., Higher & Adult Education with graduate work in animal learning, canine biology and behavior, pet nutrition; Graduate, Karen Pryor Academy for Animal Training & Behavior; Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner; Diploma, professional nursing; licensed registered nurse (R.N.); Paramedic completion program; previously licensed paramedic in Texas and Missouri

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