Why Do Puppies Bite?

First, when considering the question, why do puppies bite, we need to ask – what puppy biting is and why it is so important. Puppy biting is all part of developmental behavior. Puppies inspect things with their mouths and teeth to get feedback on the pressure of their bites. If you observe them playing with each other, you will see play biting is extremely popular among them.

Photo by kogo_blackshiba from Instagram

This could all be about puppies learning to control their biting.  According to The Academy of Dog Trainers, Acquired Bite Inhibition (ABI) refers to ‘the ability of a dog to bite with inhibited force’.

It adds, ‘Unfortunately, research on this is scant. Like all behavior, it seems reasonable to assume it has genetic and environmental determinants and influences.  Many experts and practitioners believe that dogs learn, or refine, their ABI through play biting as puppies.’

Photo by homer.sweet.homer from Instagram

ABI needs to happen in puppyhood, and play biting between puppies is absolutely necessary. Puppies bite each other and receive feedback. If they don’t learn this during the puppyhood, they might bite when something shocks them or when they panic. With their adult teeth and jaw muscles, this could be dangerous, and it would be worse than a puppy bite.

Photo by sir_charlie_of_london from Instagram

Play biting can be an inconvenience for us, but it is not bad behavior. The bites will get softer and softer with proper training and feedback.
Click here to see how to stop your puppy from biting.

Photo by crazycocker_dex from Instagram
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