Getting a puppy can be really exciting! While these little adorable doggies certainly are guaranteed to steal your heart, being a dog owner comes with a lot of learning and responsibility. Taking care of a puppy requires more out of you because not only do those puppies have a ton of energy, but you’ve got to be able to meet their needs every step of the way.

Puppies require a lot of care and attention at that stage of life. When socialization and exploration and playing meets sharp incoming puppy teeth, suddenly you have a unique situation on your hands. You may not be expecting your puppy to be a biter. But most puppies do bite! Don’t worry, it’s normal.

We’re covering this topic today below. Whether you have a puppy or are considering getting one, read on and find out more!

Is your puppy supposed to bite? Yes! Well, we’ll put it this way: it would be stranger for your puppy not to try and bite you. For a puppy, biting is natural and totally normal since dogs use their mouths as their primary way of interacting with their environment. For humans it might be their hands, but for dogs, it’s their teeth!

Once fierce weapons, it’s a natural thing for puppies to use their teeth — simply for the purpose of finding out what their teeth do or can’t do. Puppies investigate by way of play bites, and using their teeth now teaches puppies how to use them and allows them to control the force of the bit before dog teeth grow in.

It’s more about a natural puppy process and is not at all a reflection of you as an owner or a ‘bad’ puppy! You may be surprised when your puppy tries to bite you, but your puppy may just see it as playing with you. You should, however, teach your puppy how to use these natural weapons so they don’t see biting humans as a way to play.

Puppies often learn from their mothers, who teach bite inhibition by getting up and leaving after being bitten. Play biting with puppies helps them learn that teeth can hurt! But bite inhibiting behavior will be taught either from a human or by playing with other puppies and learning that their puppy might not like being bitten— or vice versa!

Puppies do need to learn to control their biting as they grow. If play biting is taught to be okay, they may continue the behavior in adult life. Bite inhibition is one of the most important things to teach a puppy, and it is smart to reinforce it throughout their lives.

You can go to a professional or simply stop playtime when nipping or biting occurs. When being bit, you should emit a high-pitched, sharp ‘ow’ and then look away or pull hands away, even walking away to reinforce the lesson that playtime is over if biting happens (bite inhibition). Teaching your puppy to inhibit bite force will teach them not to put their mouth on humans or do that as a way of socializing.

Will your puppy bite? Yes! Be ready to deal with teething puppies ahead of time. Have teething products and learn as much as you can to be as effective as possible. With your guidance, he or she can grow up to be a well-behaved, healthy, and well-adjusted dog that socializes well with humans and other canines alike.