Why Dogs Bite When They Play & How to Stop It

July 26, 2021

Why Dogs Bite When They Play & How to Stop It

Many pet owners may know that their pets have the tendency to bite when they are playing. It may be frustrating as the playful bites can become a bit more rough than you'd like. The good news is, there are ways in which you can help reduce and stop the playful biting. Read on to learn how.

Stop it From Becoming a Habit

When you are playing with your dog, be observant. Notice their body language so you can have an idea when your dog is more likely to bite. Look at their ears, tail, and gaze. Make sure that your pet is getting enough predatory play activity each day. Use their toy as their goal of attack and minimize using your hands. Do not make it a habit for your dog to use your hands as their play toy. They should often have some other object in their mouth. In this way, you are training your dog to understand what are appropriate bites and what aren't. In addition, try to avoid any form of punishment for biting. If you do punish them for biting, it could cause your dog to become more agitated and more likely to strike back or more physically aggressive with you.


Figure Out the Source

Try to figure out why your dog is behaving the way he is. Your dog may be fearful or anxious which could cause your dog to start biting. Some signs that your pet is stressed including pacing, whining, chewing on items other than his toys, excessive barking and more. In addition, dogs tend to show more signs of stress when they are left by themselves over long periods of time. Once you can identify the source that's causing your dog to bite more often when playing, you can take steps to eliminate the source.


Check With Your Vet

If your dog tends to bite while at play, it could be a medical condition as well, so first check in with your veterinarian so that they can provide you with some help. Some possible medical causes for biting are:

  • Tooth Pain
  • Arthiritis
  • Rabies
  • Epilepse
  • Trauma
  • Abscesses
  • Cognitive Impairment


Start Early

Although biting is a natural response of your dog, make sure that you make it clear to your pet that this type of behavior is acceptable to you during playtime. If you notice them biting, give your dog some toys to play with instead and give them a reward when they bite the toy and not you. The best thing is to do is start training your dogs early, when they are still puppies.



Free Stock photos by Vecteezy

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