Golden Retrievers’ playful nature often comes with a lot of biting and nipping. Here at Barksinthepark, we know exactly how frustrating this behavior can be. So, in this article, we’ll discuss when Golden Retriever puppies typically stop biting (mark the date in your calendar!) and how to manage their biting behavior in the meantime.
Table of Contents
- 1 Why Do Golden Retriever Puppies Bite?
- 2 Common Mistakes That Could Be Making Your Goldie Pup a Biting Machine
- 3 The Difference Between Puppy Nipping And Adult Dog Biting
- 4 When Do Golden Retrievers Stop Biting?
- 5 Should I Allow Biting When My Golden Retriever Puppy Is Teething?
- 6 How Can I Stop My Golden Retriever Puppy From Biting?
- 7 How To Stop Your Golden Retriever From Biting Other Puppies
- 8 FAQs
- 9 Final Thoughts
Why Do Golden Retriever Puppies Bite?
Goldie puppies, like all pups (and human babies!), bite as a way to explore their environment and learn about the world around them. Biting is a natural behavior for puppies, and it’s important for them to use their mouths to play and interact with other dogs and humans.
Golden puppies have a strong instinct to chew and bite as it helps them to relieve the discomfort caused by the process of teething (again, a bit like baby humans!). As their adult teeth come in, puppies may experience sore gums and may chew and bite on objects to ease the discomfort. Young Goldies also bite because…
Golden Retrievers are known for being a “mouthy” breed, as they have a natural inclination to pick up and hold objects in their mouths. Yes, that’s what they were bred to do – the clue is in the name: Retriever! So, we can hardly blame our canine companions for doing what we essentially ‘created’ them for.
Learning about the world
Golden Retriever puppy biting is a normal and natural behavior; it’s all part of their development. Since puppies don’t have hands to explore and interact with their environment, they rely on their mouths to discover the world around them.
Young Golden Retrievers bite and chew on anything and everything they come across, as you’re probably aware as a puppy parent! While this behavior is normal, you can help discourage it by redirecting their biting toward proper chew toys.
If you’ve ever been lucky enough to see a group of puppies playing together, you’ll have seen it’s common to see them nipping and biting at one another. This behavior is a natural way for them to socialize and start playing.
Pups don’t know that this isn’t how humans play!
That’s why this nipping might feature in playtime with you; it’s a natural and normal behavior for them. They view it as a form of play and communication, not as a form of aggression. Think of it as your pup trying to see you as a playmate!
Teething is a natural process that will happen to puppies but it’s not the only cause for the biting behavior (we covered the other causes above!).
If your Golden Retriever puppy is chewing or biting more frequently than usual, it may be down to teething.
How else can you tell if biting is due to teething?
You may also notice that they are drooling more than usual (lovely, right?!), which is a sign that they are producing more saliva to help soothe their gums. Your fur baby may also be more irritable or restless than usual. You may also notice that your puppy is rubbing their face or mouth against objects, which is another indication that they are experiencing discomfort in their mouth.
If you suspect that your puppy is biting due to teething, make sure they have plenty of appropriate teething toys to help soothe their gums and prevent them from chewing on inappropriate items. You can also try freezing a wet washcloth or offering frozen fruits and vegetables, such as carrots, to help numb their gums and provide relief (they’re sure to thank you for these snacks too!).
Common Mistakes That Could Be Making Your Goldie Pup a Biting Machine
Newbie Goldie owners often play a significant role in encouraging biting, often completely unknowingly. Make sure you don’t fall prey to these common mistakes puppy owners make…
Rewarding pups after biting
Often, puppies bite to grab your attention and start playtime. But, any attention you give to your puppy after it bites, even negative attention like pushing them away, can be seen as a reward by your puppy.
The best way to avoid falling into this trap is to ignore your puppy and walk away when they bite you. This will help your puppy learn that biting is not an appropriate way to get your attention and discourage the behavior.
Showing too much excitement
Playing with your furry friend is always a great time, but things can quickly get out of hand if you’re not careful. Rough play, chasing, and waving your hands around can all get your puppy super excited and trigger a biting frenzy.
If you have children around, they’re more likely to get bitten, as they can quickly become overexcited around your furry pal. Think how excited you get as an adult when you see a sweet puppy then multiply that feeling by 100 and you’ll be close to how kids feel around puppies!
Not teaching bite inhibition
Owners often believe that Golden Retriever puppy biting will stop on its own, but this is not always the case. Regardless of the breed, puppies must be taught bite inhibition, which they learn when interacting with their littermates.
This is just one of many reasons why it’s critical for them to stay with their littermates and mother until they’re eight weeks old. By doing so, they’ll learn how to interact appropriately with other canines and humans, and develop good bite inhibition.
What Is Acquired Bite Inhibition?
Acquired bite inhibition refers to a puppy’s ability to control the force of its bite, which is a learned behavior. Puppies that have developed good bite inhibition are less likely to cause injury when they bite.
However, puppies that are removed from their littermates too early or lack socialization with other dogs and humans may not develop good bite inhibition, making them more likely to bite hard and cause injury.
Remember, acquired bite inhibition is a process that starts from the moment the puppy is born and continues throughout their life. As the puppies grow, they will learn how to inhibit their bite force, but socialization and training are still necessary.
The Difference Between Puppy Nipping And Adult Dog Biting
You’re probably here because you’re struggling with a young pup that can’t keep their mouth off of everything, right? Don’t worry, puppy nipping is a completely normal and harmless behavior. Puppies use their mouths to explore and learn about their surroundings, so nipping is just a natural part of their development.
However, it’s important to understand that adult dog biting is a completely different ballgame. This type of behavior is often a result of fear, aggression, or poor training and socialization. And let’s face it, when it comes to a full-grown Goldie, their bite can be no laughing matter.
The good news is that there is a clear distinction between puppy nipping and adult dog biting, and it’s all about the intention behind the behavior (more on the signs of aggression in Goldies later).
So, if you want to avoid any unwanted chomping, it’s important to give your furry friend the right training and guidance they need to grow into a well-behaved and safe adult dog. Hopefully, our guide will help you do just that!
When Do Golden Retrievers Stop Biting?
Your Golden Retriever puppy will typically stop biting between 6 to 12 months of age. This is when they learn to control their biting and to use their mouths more appropriately (for dinnertime and giving you kisses – if you allow it!). It’s important to keep in mind that every puppy is different, and some may take longer to outgrow this behavior.
We’ve got some more tips later in the article on how you can help your pup stop biting sooner.
Should I Allow Biting When My Golden Retriever Puppy Is Teething?
It’s not recommended to allow your Golden Retriever puppy to bite when they’re teething. Teething can cause discomfort and puppies bite and chew on objects to ease that discomfort. But, it’s important to teach your puppy what’s appropriate and what’s not.
Allowing biting during teething can result in your puppy associating biting with positive reinforcement. They also may continue to bite even after they have finished teething. You can help your puppy to ease the discomfort of teething by providing them with appropriate things to bite, like rubber chew toys or frozen washcloths.
How Can I Stop My Golden Retriever Puppy From Biting?
When you’re ready to end your puppy’s bad biting behavior, you need to prepare yourself for what will seem like an uphill battle. Here are some handy tips that can make teaching Golden Retriever puppy bite inhibition a breeze and stop them from biting.
Use the “Leave it” command
Teach your Retriever the “Leave it” command and use it to stop them from biting or chewing on inappropriate items. Here are some tips on teaching your Goldie this invaluable command:
- Think about the items your dog might be tempted to bite or chew, such as shoes. Place this item on the floor and again tell your dog to “leave it”. Start off with items that aren’t too tempting for your puppy, then gradually increase the difficulty level by choosing things they can barely resist taking a bite out of! Make sure to be consistent with the wording and tone so your Goldie learns what you mean.
- Once they look away or stop trying to bite the item, immediately praise them and give them a treat.
- When your dog has mastered the “Leave it” command with items that are not food-related, you can start practicing with food items. Start with a low-value treat, like a piece of kibble, and gradually work your way up to more high-value treats like pieces of cheese or meat.
- Try holding a treat in your closed fist and show it to your dog. When your pup sniffs or tries to lick your hand, say “Leave it” in a firm, but not aggressive, tone.
- Again, wait until they look away or stop trying to get the treat, give them lots of verbal praise and cuddles and give them a different treat (and let them eat it!).
Exercise your puppy
Biting and nipping in puppies can often be a sign of boredom or even a tired puppy. To alleviate this, taking your puppy for a walk is a great solution. Not only will it provide your puppy with physical exercise, but being outside will also offer new sights, sounds, and smells that will stimulate their mind.
When on walks, it’s important to be aware that Retriever puppies have a tendency to try to eat things they shouldn’t, so supervise them closely. As for exercise, a general guideline is to provide 5 minutes of exercise for every month of your puppy’s life, twice a day.
For example, a three-month-old puppy should have 2x 15 minutes of exercise per day, a 5-month-old puppy should have 2x 25 minutes per day, and so on. This should be in addition to playtime, not instead of it. Remember, a tired puppy is less likely to have energy for boisterous activities (like chewing on that slipper AGAIN!).
Try a taste deterrent
Bitter Apple Spray is a popular solution among puppy owners for preventing unwanted chewing and biting. It’s a taste deterrent that can be sprayed on furniture or other objects to discourage chewing, and it can also be applied to clothing or skin to discourage nipping or biting.
Note that some puppies may not be deterred by the bitter taste and may even develop a liking for it, but it’s got to be worth a shot, right?
Redirect the biting
When your puppy bites any part of your body, immediately remove their jaw from your skin and give them a toy to bite on instead. This helps to communicate to your puppy that biting on you is not acceptable and redirects their chewing behavior to a more appropriate object.
Provide appropriate chew toys
Give your Goldie plenty of appropriate chew toys to redirect their biting behavior. When they’re chewing on appropriate toys, reward them with treats and praise. Make sure any toys you give your pup can withstand being chewed – A LOT! They need to be durable and made from safe, non-toxic materials. Here are some great options for your young Goldie:
- Rubber toys: These are great for heavy chewers like Goldies, as they are durable and often come in fun shapes and textures that can help keep your pup entertained.
- Rope toys: These toys are strong, durable and can also help clean your dog’s teeth and promote healthy chewing. Fresher breath and no chewed up slippers? Winner!
- Hard rubber toys: Another good pick for heavy chewers, these can withstand a lot of wear and tear (which your Golden is sure to give them!). They can also be filled with treats to keep your dog entertained and stimulated. Once your pup realizes they can get food from chewing their toy, we can pretty much promise you they’ll never look at your sneakers again!
Let out a loud sound
As soon as your pup bites, let them know that their bite is causing pain. This is a crucial step to teach bite inhibition to your Golden puppy. One way to do this is by making a loud “YELP” sound, which mimics how puppies communicate when one dog bites another too hard.
This startles your puppy and can cause them to stop biting. However, in some cases, the puppy may become more excited by the noise and continue biting. In this situation, it’s best to walk away until the puppy is calm.
Once the puppy is calm, you can resume playing with them. Repeat the process of yelping and walking away each time your puppy bites you. Over time, your puppy will learn that biting too hard results in playtime ending, which is definitely not what they want!
Reward good behavior
You should always recognize and reward positive behavior (when your puppy stops biting or nipping) rather than publishing the negative. This helps your puppy understand that they have done something good, and what dog doesn’t want to hear they’re a good boy or girl?!
Positive reinforcement can come in many forms, such as verbal praise, affection, treats, or a favorite chew toy. Sometimes the best reward for your puppy is simply spending quality time with them.
Get professional help
If the problem persists or if you’re not sure how to address the issue, consider seeking the help of a dog trainer or behaviorist. They’ll know the most effective techniques so your pup will be as good as gold in no time.
How To Stop Your Golden Retriever From Biting Other Puppies
Is Rufus causing a ruckus at the park or doggy daycare?
Stopping your Golden from biting other puppies can be challenging, but with patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement techniques, it can be done. The principles generally remain the same as the ones above. Here are some tips on how to stop your Golden Retriever from biting other pups:
- Positive reinforcement: Use positive reinforcement techniques to teach your Golden Retriever to leave unfamiliar dogs alone. Reinforce good behavior with treats and praise.
- Socialize your Golden Retriever: Socializing your Golden Retriever with fellow dogs can help them learn how to interact appropriately. Not to mention, it’s fun for you owners to get out there and meet other cute puppers!
- Consistency: Consistency is key when training your Golden Retriever. We know all too well how long and arduous the process can be, but try your best to remain consistent.Picture this: It’s a beautiful sunny day, you’re at the dog park with your Golden Retriever puppy, life is good. But what’s that yelping sound? Yup, it’s little Rufus getting a bit too rough with the other puppies there. They’re nipping and biting, and the other owners are starting to give you some disapproving looks. Yikes!To stop your Golden Retriever from biting other puppies, you need to be consistent in your training. That means intervening every time your puppy starts to get too rough, and redirecting their attention to appropriate toys or activities as outlined above.If you only intervene sometimes, your puppy won’t learn that their behavior is unacceptable. But if you consistently redirect their attention and reward good behavior, they’ll eventually learn what’s expected of them. It might take some time and patience, but it’ll be worth it in the end when your pup is able to play nicely with other dogs – nothing will make your heart happier as a paw-rent!
Why do puppies have sharp teeth?
Puppies have sharp puppy teeth because they’re designed to help them chew and bite in order to eat and explore their environment. Teeth are an important tool for puppies to use to learn about the world around them.
Are Golden Retriever puppies easy to train?
Golden Retriever puppies are generally considered to be easy to train due to their eagerness to please and their intelligence. They’re a highly trainable breed and are known for being quick learners. They’re also friendly and affectionate, which makes them easy to build a bond with, which in turn can make training more effective.
All in all, this should help you teach your pup when biting is okay (on their chew toys) and when it’s not (on your hands) pretty quickly!
Can Golden Retriever puppy biting be a sign of aggression?
Golden Retriever puppy biting can be a sign of aggression, but it’s mostly because your puppy is exploring and learning about its environment. Puppies use their mouths to play and interact with other dogs and humans, and biting is a natural behavior for them.
However, if a puppy’s biting becomes excessive, causes injury, or is accompanied by other aggressive behaviors such as growling or showing teeth, a stiff body posture, or raised fur, it may be a sign of aggression.
Golden Retriever puppies typically stop biting between 6 to 12 months of age, but you can speed things up with proper training and management. Throughout the process, it’s important to keep in mind that every Golden Retriever puppy is different, and some may take longer to outgrow this behavior.
By understanding why Golden Retriever puppies bite, providing them with an appropriate chew toy, consistently redirecting their biting behavior, and rewarding good behavior, you can successfully manage and train your pup to stop biting.
Remember that training and managing your puppy’s biting requires patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement. With the right approach, you can enjoy a well-behaved and loving companion.
Puppy owners, be sure to check out our other articles on the Golden Retriever breed, like how their shedding compares to Labradors.