Question: How do you get a 5 month old teething puppy to stop biting?

Answer: Some “mouthiness” is considered normal for teething puppies but you definitely want to “nip” it in the bud before it becomes a problem. Often a puppy is looking for attention and if we admonish loudly or wave our arms around and say “no-no-no”…this is still giving the puppy attention.

The first thing I would do when your puppy bites you again is to withdraw your hand quickly and firmly state, “ouch”. Then stop playing or interacting with your puppy for several minutes. This will teach him “bite inhibition”…if he bites you, you will stop playing with him.

This is not desirable in his world and most puppies catch on really quickly. If the problem seems more serious than this, ask your veterinarian for more advice on the situation. For more tips on good puppy behavior read my article on How to Socialize a Puppy.

Hope this information was helpful.
Dr. Donna Spector

Answers provided to pet owners by Dr. Donna Spector should be considered information and not specific advice. Answers are to be used for general information purposes only and not as a substitute for in-person evaluation or specific professional advice from your veterinarian. Communications on this site are very limited and should never be used in possible cases of emergency. Halo, Purely for Pets will not be liable for any loss or damage caused by your reliance on any information or content contained in a blog or article post. If you have consulted your veterinarian and if you are still concerned about your pet’s condition or if your pet has chronic, complicated or undiagnosed problems, Dr. Spector can offer consultations for you and your veterinarian via

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  1. Dee Wheat says:

    I have three, all rescues, all now adults of almost seven years, but you can imagine what it was like when they were little since two are litter mates that I hand raised from 10 hours old and the third is a min pin who is only about three weeks older. Additionally, there was a third litter mate that I lost to a brain aneurysm about two years ago.

    My method worked for them, although I can’t guarantee that it will work for you. I did, and still do, hand feed them (“finger feed”,as my granddaughter calls it) a fair amount so it was in my best interest to stop the nipping quickly. I would hold up a treat for them and say in my best alpha voice, “Fingers! Mommy has fingers!” If they lunged at it, I would withdraw both my fingers and the treat LOL and repeat myself. It only took a couple of times for them to figure out that my fingers were NOT part of the treat.

  2. Be Patient, sometimes a puppy will nip when their gums are sore or hurting. Just like a baby wants to bite when their gums are hurting or teething. There are lots things for puppies on the market that are safe and will help your puppy get through this. Puppies do get bored. Just like little kids, they go through a phase. Just part of growing.

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