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Seven Month Old Puppy Biting or Chewing Everything - Is it normal? What to do?

Updated on January 16, 2016

Our Puppies

My Schipperke "Sweetie Pie"
My Schipperke "Sweetie Pie"
Our Beagle mix "BJ"
Our Beagle mix "BJ"

So your puppy is biting...

The first question that comes to mind is, is your puppy teething?

The second is are you leash training your puppy to always heel and to never go through a doorway first, but only after you?

First of all, puppy biting is very normal. The more you verbally correct him/her as his/her leader, the more the puppy will learn to inhibit the strength of the biting. Biting is a natural part of play and if your dog is socialized with dogs of different ages it will learn to inhibit its biting naturally during play. Snapping back is a way of dogs communicating their disagreement with the strength of the bite so extra socialization is a good way to help your puppy learn to inhibit biting, but it is not the only method you should use. Never hit or slap the puppy in the face. This kind of behavior can be misconstrued as play or you can make your dog fearful of you.

If indeed your puppy is teething, you should also provide one or two chew toys for him/her to use for teething. If your puppy is becoming destructive it is best to crate your pup when you are not able to supervise their behavior. But do not crate them simply because you are tired of supervising them. You chose to have that cute little thing! Unfortunately, just like all young there are many stages to endure and correct prior to adulthood.

During walks you should be heeling your puppy. Yes it is difficult if you are not used to that type of training, but you will reap the benefit of well balanced behavior and a sense of contentment from your dog. They understand life as a pack mentality. You must take the leadership roll. If you allow your puppy to enter doors ahead of you and to walk in front of you during walks he/she will interpret this as being in a leadership or equality roll. It is much harder to get your puppy to obey you if they feel they are the pack leader. As in all social environments, when the young are not given boundaries they tend to get an inflated sense of self and then feel unbalanced and neurotic if their world does not conform to their understanding of the pack and its rolls.

I assume you are now thinking, 'what exactly does heeling my dog have to do with biting?' Well, behavior in dogs is a package deal. You have to assume the roll as pack leader. If you gently, but firmly make them aware that you go first in all things then they will feel comfortable in settling into the subordinate roll. This in turn will make them pay attention to your instruction and directives more readily.


Consider the Breed

There is one other major factor you need to consider about your puppy. That would be,' What breed of dog is he/she?' Some breeds are more easy to train than others and you should research this in order to determine how they are progressing in their training. If you have a puppy that is a breed that is normally easy to train but you are still having difficulty, you should find a training class and take it with your puppy to learn some new techniques or determine if you are handling situations in the best training manner possible. If however your puppy is a breed that is much harder to train, you may just need to continue repetitive efforts to get results.

The last thing to consider is if you have not started training your puppy please start right away. It is not too late and you both will be much happier in the long run.

Teaching puppy not to bite

Answer to question...

Hopefully this has helped to answer the question of whether it is normal for your 7 month old puppy to bite and maybe given you some ideas on what to do about it.

Comments

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    • Marla Neogra profile imageAUTHOR

      Marla J Neogra 

      9 years ago from Parkersburg, West Virginia

      Yes, they are always cute and loveable. I have rescued several dogs over the years, most recently the beagle mix I portrayed on the hub. He was the most difficult to train, but is a difficult breed. If you have a friend with a crate, I recommend borrowing it and putting it in a place in your bedroom that you would normally crate your dog, but leave it open for a day with one of his toys in it and a blanket or towel with his scent on it. Then crate for an hour or so during a time that is difficult to supervise, like cooking dinner. Once you get your puppy used to crate he will come to feel safe in it. I used to leave the door open all the time when we were home and our Schipperke was small. She loved it and we used it for about 10-12 months. That was so long ago now, she was born on Valentines day in 2000. We would close the door at bed time or when we had to be at work with no one home but otherwise just left it open. Even now she has a corner that she likes to go to to sleep. Our Beagle definitely chewed on furniture when we were gone so I put a little bit of peanut butter on my finger and rubbed it on the knots of a rope chew toy. That seemed to draw his interest. I had to wash it every week but it seemed to do the trick for me.

    • Mardi profile image

      Mardi Winder-Adams 

      9 years ago from Western Canada and Texas

      Good ideas here. You may also want to look at the exercise level the puppy is getting and if he or she is biting because of lack of socialization. The biting may also be a result of the breed instinct such as a herding dog or heeler, terrier or other working breed that uses biting as part of his or her natural behaviors.

    • ananceleste profile image

      Anan Celeste 

      9 years ago from California

      Hi! Thank you for taking the time to write this informative Hub. Please don't laugh. He is the baby and prince of the house. My teens ( and I admmit, myself)have him spoiled rotten. We resued him when he was only 3 months old from an abusive owner. He was terrified of anything that moved. He was malnutricioned and sick. When he started to play and get better, we just wanted to make him feel safe, but our lack of knowledge of dogs in general, has us walking on egg shells so he can be comfortable. He is so playful now and very obedient,(to some extent)but he chews on wood and furniture when he is alone. I bought some books, and we are trying to be firm. But I have to admit, he is too cute!

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