When you bring home a 2 month old puppy, you’re so excited about raising them and how cute they are. However, one common behavior that might take you by surprise is excessive puppy biting. It’s essential to understand why a 2 month old puppy bites and how to handle it. In this article, I’ll explore:
I’ll also touch upon the importance of timely training and when to consider professional help. I’m a dog trainer in Portland, Oregon and help my clients with these issues.
A 2-month-old puppy is still in the early stages of development. At this age, they’re typically just weaned from their mother and are still teething. Teething can be a painful process for puppies, and they often use their mouths to relieve discomfort.
That’s why you might find your puppy frequently biting or nibbling on anything they can get their tiny sharp teeth on, including your arms and fingers. Puppies also explore their world with their mouths which is why they can be generally mouthy.
It’s essential to remember that at 2 months old, a puppy is equivalent to a human infant in terms of development. They are adjusting to life away from their mother and littermates. This can be a challenging transition. Common issues include potty training and disrupted sleep patterns. Remember they have never lived with humans as fellow pack members before.
Adjusting to a human’s schedule and way of life is a huge change for them.
When your 2-month-old puppy bites, it’s crucial to handle the situation appropriately.
The first and most effective method is redirection. Offer your puppy toys and chews to chew on instead of your hand. I recommend Bully Sticks (you can buy them in bulk at Costco.com, and those “no hide raw hides, as real raw hide isn’t very good for dogs actually). If you want to buy dog toys at a good price, stores like Marshall’s and Ross have a great selection of dog toys for cheap.
When you redirect the biting and chewing, this not only provides relief for their teething pain but also teaches them what is acceptable to chew. Personally, I don’t want a puppy growing up learning that it’s okay to be chewing on humans.
As the puppy grows from 2 to 3 months old, their routine may start to stabilize, including potty training and crate training. However, some puppies may exhibit brattiness or increased biting and nipping during this stage. Their energy levels can also rise, leading to more rambunctious play. This can be difficult to deal with as an owner. This is another reason why crate training your puppy is so important!
If you are crate training them, you can always put them in the crate after some activity to get a break from your puppy. This also lets them rest. Plus puppies need around 20 hours of sleep a day. In addition, you do not want an over-stimulated puppy because it can lead to behavioral issues as an adult.
Around 12 weeks of age or 3 months, puppies start losing their baby teeth. This intensifies the teething stage. This can make their biting behavior even more intense. Check out my blog on kenneling dogs here.
However, by the time your puppy reaches 6 months of age, they will have lost all their baby teeth and grown in permanent ones, which should reduce the biting and nipping significantly. If the biting and nipping hasn’t gone away, you may have a bigger issue on your hands which I will address in this article.
Training your puppy is a crucial aspect of their development. Waiting too long to start training can lead to issues. The ideal approach is to begin training as early as possible.
But how long does it take to train a dog? The key is consistency. You don’t need to dedicate hours each day to training. Instead, incorporate short training sessions into your daily routine. When I raised my last puppy Goji, I fed her breakfast by doing training drills with her otherwise known as “place bouncing.” Then the rest of the day I just incorporated training into our daily routine.
By making training a regular part of our day, I ensured it wasn’t going to be overwhelming for either of us. But if you have the time, training your puppy while they work for their daily food is optimal. How much time is required to train a dog isn’t that much when you build it into little moments of your life.
Is it ever too late to train a dog? No. No matter what age your dog or puppy is, you can start training them immediately.
While most biting behavior in puppies is a normal part of their development and can be managed with consistent training and redirection, some cases may require the intervention of a professional dog trainer.
If your puppy’s biting becomes relentless and aggressive, it’s essential to consider consulting a dog trainer in Portland or your local area. An experienced trainer can assess the situation accurately and provide guidance on how to correct the behavior effectively.
It’s worth noting that in extreme cases, you might hear about a method called “bonking” as a way to correct overly aggressive biting in puppies. However, this should only be attempted under the guidance of a professional dog trainer. If your puppy or young dog bites relentlessly (over the top biting), you may want to consult a professional dog trainer that knows how to do this.
I once had a basset hound puppy that would tear our hands up like a Tasmanian devil. It was beyond normal and went on for months. I wish I had known back then that you can actually bonk a puppy if needed. It would have helped to communicate to him to stop doing this and to have some respect for us as humans.
In addition, he might have had a better life hanging out with us vs being crated so much due to his unruly behavior.
This isn’t something I recommend without seeking a professional because you need to make sure you have an accurate assessment of the situation. Most biting (probably 98%) nipping and teething behavior is normal and just needs redirection.
A bonker is a soft rolled up towel held together by rubber bands. It is designed to not hurt a dog or cause damage. You should never use or makeshift anything else (like a rolled up newspaper) but only use this soft tool. If you’re interested in bonking and want to learn more check out the work of Gary Wilkes at Clickandtreat.com.
There is no other way I personally would correct a young puppy. The bonker is not going to traumatize a puppy, it just sets up a fair contingency of behavior without harming them. There is a lot of misinformation out there about the bonker and unfortunately, people often view it from the lens of their own trauma. However we must remember we are raising dogs, not humans.
In conclusion, understanding your 2 month old puppy’s development is essential when dealing with puppy or dog bites. Redirecting their biting tendencies with toys and chews are key! This is in addition to consistent training from a young age, and seeking professional help when necessary.
If you’re looking for a reputable dog trainer in Portland, consider visiting my main site for expert assistance in training your puppy or dog. Remember, with patience and proper guidance, your puppy’s biting phase will eventually become a distant memory.