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How to Stop a Puppy from Jumping Up and Biting?

Boston Terrier puppy leaning against a person's leg and biting their thumb

Puppies frequently jump and bite, so owners devise ways to prevent this. To stop your puppy from repeatedly jumping up at you, you should ignore them (or even turn your back on them), wait until their paws are on the ground, and then kneel and give them the attention they need. Keep reading to know why your puppy is jumping up and biting, and learn how to control this behavior.

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Why Does My Puppy Jump Up and Bite Me?

Why do pups nip and bite their owners while out for a walk? What benefits do pups get from practicing this activity, and what are some potential triggers? Pups could leap up and attack humans for the following reasons.

Mistake During Playtime

Brown and white dog standing on hind legs biting a person's arm

Some puppies bite out of play when they jump up. These are canines that love to be amused and have a lot of energy and enthusiasm. Young dogs and puppies are more likely to tend toward this behavior.

Your puppy will likely be highly charged if you take him for a stroll shortly after you get home from work and don’t provide him much stimulation during the day. Therefore, in this situation, being overly energetic or in need of amusement is the antecedent, while being entertained or using up extra energy is the consequent.


Dalmatian puppy sitting on lawn furniture biting a person's fingers

Many dogs find such activities rewarding because leaping and biting “activate” their humans. They want a response from their boring companions (humans) and would consider it a fun activity. Dog owners are more likely to say, “ouch!” and walk away when their puppy bites or scratches them.

This resistance makes the game of tugging on hands, arms, or garments much more entertaining. All of that is perceived as interaction by puppies, who like the interaction on walks. Thus, obtaining some interaction is the result that sustains the behavior.

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Small brown dog biting a man's finger while the man grimaces in pain.

Some puppies are desperate for attention and will engage in any actions that will get it. These are the puppies who like interacting and being around their owners. Being ignored is the worst thing they can experience, especially after spending most of the day at home alone. When puppies become highly enthusiastic, they may bite, and leaping is a method for dogs to say hello. Because these actions are nearly difficult to ignore, they are the ideal approach for dogs to attract attention.

In this instance, the dog owner offering attention is the result, with the position of seeking attention serving as the antecedent. Yes, because if your puppy comes up on you and nips you, you’ll probably respond and perhaps even become upset. To an attention-seeking puppy, even unfavorable attention is preferable to receiving none.


Black and white collie laying under a piece of furniture on hard wood floors

Dogs who leap up and bite might occasionally become overstimulated by stimuli or circumstances that make them feel uneasy. When a dog feels threatened, it may react by springing up and biting when it is exposed to it. The jumping and biting behavior can occasionally be brought on by cumulative effects of exposure to several stimuli.


Puppy backing away for something looking frightful

When taken on walks, puppies may occasionally become irritable. That is frequently caused by an inability to handle their high levels of arousal. When on a leash, which they see as a restriction that restricts them from engaging with their surroundings, certain puppies may get very irritated.

Sometimes seeing a human or a puppy is the precursor. The puppy becomes so agitated and eager when he sees other puppies and humans that he vents his annoyance by leaping and biting the leash or the owner.

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How Do You Discipline a Puppy for Jumping?

Overhead view of a person holding their hand out to 2 brown and white puppies

Remember that it takes more time to extinguish behaviors that have been practiced for a while. Here are some suggestions for reducing this irritating habit.

Understand Body Language

Learn to read your puppy’s cues from its body language. Learn to interpret your puppy’s body language so you can see physical clues that indicate your puppy is moving up the arousal ladder. Your puppy could have an expression on his face or his ears might quiver. Knowing these indicators will enable you to shift your puppy to another activity before he gets a chance to practice the problematic behavior. Knowledge is power.

Tackle the Emotions

Beagle puppy howling against a light blue background.

It’s crucial to address the problem with behavior modification techniques that include counterconditioning and desensitization, such as the engage-disengage game, open bar and closed bar, and look at that game if your dog is scared or concerned about whatever they meet on walks. To ensure proper implementation, seek the assistance of a dog trainer who uses force-free behavior modification.

Provide Mental Stimulation

Red Kong chew toy with treats spilling from it against a white background.

Increase the mental stimulus for your puppy. Give him a frozen Kong or some puzzle toys. Spend money on Kong Wobblers, and snuffles mats, and include him in a range of cognitive activities. He should also use his nose.

Prepare a treasure hunt game for him to play when he comes home after using the restroom outside. Scatter treats or his kibble throughout the house and instruct him to go locate them. Don’t encourage mouth-to-mouth contact with people’s clothes or skin during wrestling games or other roughhousing.

What Age Does a Puppy Stop Biting?

Golden retriever puppy sitting outdoors

Even if you don’t take any action and don’t engage in a lot of physical play with your puppy, the biting will naturally start to subside at approximately four to five months of age. It frequently occurs in households with just one or two individuals who are accustomed to raising pups and don’t overexcite them, without any active “no-bite” teaching.

Additionally, it occurs in working dog households, where the dogs may be kenneled, or at the very least are not permitted to engage unsupervised with anyone other than their trainer or primary caregiver.

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