Bet you didn’t know your cute puppy could morph into a bitey piranha. How are your ankles doing? Have those sharp puppy teeth sunk in well already?
If you’re reading this article, it’s probably the case, isn’t it? Puppy biting feet is definitely a thing, and one you definitely want to help avoid and prevent. No worries, we’ll guide you through it in this article.
We’re here to help you understand all you need to know about your puppy biting feet, or anything else for that matter. Hands also tend to be popular ones.
This article will cover:
- Why puppy biting feet is a thing at all and why they are attracted to them (besides because they smell like tasty blue cheese)
- How to stop your puppy biting feet and hands
- How to prevent puppy biting from becoming an huge-er issue in your household.
Why is your puppy biting feet a thing?
Puppies learn how to play and interact whilst still in the litter with their siblings – which most of the time ends up being rough play. They explore everything with their mouths by biting on their siblings’ ears, tails or feet. As you can imagine, they take this behaviour along with them when they move into their new home with you, where without litter mates they turn their attention to.. yes you guessed it…. your feet!
Especially when you flutter your feet or hands quickly, it looks like moving prey to your puppy. Anything swishy like skirts, trousers, hands or feet flicks on a switch in your puppys’ internal biting alarm. And as you can probably tell already, the more you try to free yourself from their naughty bites, the harder they bite. And for them, that’s when the real fun begins.
How to stop a puppy from biting feet and hands
How to stop a puppy from biting your feet and hands. The million dollar question, answered in two easy parts.
Part 1 – Prevention and management
- The first step on how to stop a puppy biting feet is to always have a toy to offer them BEFORE their jaws come chomping at you. The less they are able to practice biting you, the better.
- Avoid wearing floaty clothing for a while. Wearing thick socks will also help if your puppy is particularly drawn to your cheesy feet.
- When you move around the house, keep it slow and calm…like a cool cat to avoid kicking off that prey drive.
- Do have lots of toys for your puppy to play with instead of hands or feet, it will help them take their chasing and biting somewhere else.
- Children. Make sure they keep fast movements and high pitched noises away since they trigger that prey drive quite a lot.
- Ignoring your puppy won’t work. It can frustrate them even more, and make the feet biting harder!
Part 2 Teach them to do something else
The Positive Interrupter
‘What’s this’ is known as a positive interrupter that can be useful when figuring out how to stop a puppy from biting your feet and hands, as well as many other things:
- Grab a pot with some tasty treats
- Get your excited pants on, and say ‘what’s this?!’ with great enthusiasm, and toss some treats under your pups nose onto the floor.
- When they finish the treats, do the same about 10 times more with about 5 to 6 treats or bits of kibble. Go on to have a break, and repeat again later in the day.
- Repeat every day for a week. In that time ‘what’s this’ will have become like the ice-cream truck music – a wonderful jingle to announce the bombing reward coming at them.
- You can use ‘Whats This’ to distract them from anything you want to get them away from…like your hands and feet. See? Works like magic.
On the Zigzag app, you can find many more tips for how to stop puppy biting feet, and other useful training information. At this point of your puppy training journey, any piece of information helps, right?
How can owners prevent their puppy biting feet and hands?
Well, it might be good to first say that it is entirely possible to do so. In many aspects of puppy training, prevention can actually be better than finding a cure. In other words, not allowing your puppy to frequently practice behaviours like biting and jumping can prevent them from sticking and becoming a bad habit.
Given the wide range of feelings and emotions that can cause puppy biting feet, this checklist can help you rule out some of the common causes:
- Sleep: You know what you’re like too when you’re tired…you could bite anyone too. Is your puppy overtired? You can tell if they’re not listening to a word you say, and just manically biting at everything. Puppies are like koalas and need to get 16 to 18 hours of sleep per day, so keep quality, undisturbed nap time in mind to keep those manic spells at bay. If the biting frenzy has already started, try popping your puppy in their pen, crate or safe space with something to chew on to help them calm and unwind.
- Eating: Puppies grow fast, which means meals have to match up. Make sure to check regularly that your pup is getting the correct food quantity and type for their size and breed. In the Zigzag app you can find a handy food calculator who will do all the working out for you. Love that.
- Boredom: Physical exercise like walking or playtime is helpful for sure. But puppies also need mental exercise using training activities, puzzle toys and enrichment activities. A busy mind means less busy teeth.
- Teething: The most annoying, isn’t it? Give your puppy plenty of chew toys and freeze them to help soothe sore gums so they chew those instead of your feet!
- Prevention: There are specific times of day when a puppy biting your feet can be more of a problem than in others. A good tip is to monitor these times so you can tell in advance when your puppy is more likely to take on bitey and give a stuffed chew toy in a separate area to chill out.
We hope we’ve made you feel better about puppy biting feet mayhems. Puppy biting is very normal (and annoying) but is easy to manage and prevent. Relatively. With love and patience.
For more information on puppy biting feet, as well as many other problem behaviours, why not download our puppy training app? Our lovely Puppy Training Experts are happy to help you with any of the struggles you have. Trust us, they’ve heard it all, and will be able to help!
By the way, is your puppy a jumper? We have a great article on how to stop your puppy from jumping up at everyone. No more muddy pants.