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  • Writer's pictureClinique Vet LaSalle

Nibbling in puppies

Updated: May 24, 2023


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Possible causes: exploring the environment, playing, reaction to teething.


Between puppies: learning bite inhibition (controlling their strength) Some puppies nibbling more than others tend to keep that behavior when they’re all grown up. That’s why we need to teach them where and what to nibble on when they’re young, so that the behavior doesn’t become an issue when they get older. We should never tolerate a dog that nibbles our hands or legs and leave teeth marks.

Recommandations :

  • Daily exercising! Create a daily routine.

  • Never play very physically with a puppy, especially not with your fingers or feet.

  • Use appropriate toys when playing with the puppy.

  • If the puppy tries to bite, cease interactions. Step back for a moment and ignore the puppy a couple minutes (do not look at him or talk to him)

  • If the puppy insists on nibbling even though you are ignoring him, call him by his name, ask him to come to you and give him an appropriate toy to nibble on.

  • If the puppy is out of control, gently and quietly take him to his crate, the time that he calms down. Once calm, you may let him out.

  • Try to exercise your puppy when it has the most energy in the day.

  • You can also give your puppy toys to distract him: rawhide chews, fillable toys (ex: Kong).

If the nibbling becomes out of control and unacceptable, call your veterinary professional and ask for help before the problem becomes too hard to fix.


Isabelle Ladouceur

Certified animal health technician supervisor

Assistant technician supervisor

Fear free certified

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