Have you been wondering why your puppy can’t stop biting your feet? What causes this behavior? More importantly, how can you stop this terrible response from happening again and again? Let’s get into the details of this destructive puppy behavior and how you can resolve it yourself or with the help of a professional dog training service.
Mouthing and Biting – Knowing the Differences
Puppies tend to exhibit two destructive behaviors, namely biting and mouthing. Both of these commonly happens when a puppy starts teething. Young dogs also use such behaviors to explore their surroundings, especially when they’re newly rehomed.
At first, these responses may seem adorable. However, as the teeth start reaching their full length, such behaviors can result in injuries and damaged items. It’s crucial to learn the differences between the two, so you can deal with them effectively.
Mouthing is one of the most usual ways a puppy uses to get to know his environment. You can quickly distinguish this behavior from the other two because it rarely involves the teeth. Your puppy wants to feel objects like a ball or a shoe in his mouth out of curiosity.
Sometimes, a puppy can also use the mouthing response when someone touches them. In such cases, this behavior serves as a warning sign, telling you to leave him alone because he doesn’t feel comfortable.
When you fail to teach your pup how to control his mouthing response, it can potentially turn into a biting problem. This time, instead of just placing his mouth around objects or the skin of a human or fellow animal, your dog will start using his teeth as well.
Sometimes, your pup may move his head sideways while latching his teeth onto the surface of an object or the skin. When combined with force, this behavior can result in severe damages like a ripped carpet or a torn pair of shoes. It can also cause terrible injuries on the feet or other body parts.
Why Do Dogs Like Biting Feet and Ankles
So, which among the two behaviors above does your dog do? Chances are, you’re among the many dog owners out there who have a puppy that loves to bite feet and ankles. This happens to most dogs because of their innate behavior to herd or steer other animals.
Often, they bite the feet or ankles to guide livestock animals on where to go. Some specific dog breeds like Border Collies, Belgian Malinois, and Cardigan Welsh Corgi tend to retain this herding behavior. To correct or get rid of such tendencies, you need to redirect the behavior.
In other cases, the harsh response happens because your pup wants to get your attention. It might be your pup’s way of saying that he wants to enjoy some quality bonding time with you. The reaction can also stem from boredom or frustration when you forget to take your dog out to play. For some pups, biting feet or ankles could mean immense excitement or sudden bursts of playful energy.
It’s essential to pay close attention to your dog’s overall reaction besides the biting problem. This will help you figure out the situation and identify the best way for your to react.
How to Stop A Puppy From Biting Your Feet
Biting behavior in puppies can be quite destructive. It can also lead to serious injuries and aggression if you don’t correct it right away. If you have been dealing with the biting problem for quite a while, you can try the following steps:
Discourage the behavior
When teaching your dog that it’s not okay to bite, mouth, or nip your feet, never try pulling your leg away. This only encourages him to tug harder. We suggest making a yelping sound. After your dog eases his grip, you can pat him or resume doing your activity. This will help your dog understand that it’s not good to play rough.
Redirect your pup’s attention
It’s quite easy to tell when a pup might want to bite your ankle or feet. Pay close attention to tell-tale signs and try using the redirection technique. Before your puppy attempts to put his mouth on your skin, you should pull away quickly and use a toy or a treat to shift his focus. You can also try redirecting his attention by introducing games like tug-of-war or fetch.
Keep your pup distracted
Curious pups tend to bite everything they see besides your ankles and feet. Sometimes, they might end up chewing on furnishings, the carpet, and a long list of other things you have at home. To prevent your dog from destroying everything in his path, we suggest using chew toys. You might also want to try tiring out your dog in a daycare center or taking him out for a run or walk at the park.
Delaware K9 Academy Can Help!
Stopping your puppy from biting your feet can come with plenty of challenges. It can take a lot of practice and a couple of trial and error experiments to get the training right. You will also need to be extra patient, especially if you have a temperamental or super playful puppy.
If you’re a newbie dog owner, or if you struggle to teach your pup how to behave appropriately, you can check out our puppy training program. It’s a complete program that will help your dog learn basic things like:
- The most common dog commands
- How to stop mouthing or biting
- How to socialize with other dogs
We also offer a 2-week Bootcamp Training that will help any dog learn essential skills and proper discipline. It’s a comprehensive program that teaches dogs how to get used to using an e-collar, dealing with distractions, and more. In no time, you can enjoy the company of a well-mannered dog!
Find out more about our puppy training program and Bootcamp Training for dogs today!