If you have recently acquired a beagle puppy, you might be wondering why it is so keen to nip and nibble at you. Even though puppy bites are rarely hard, this isn’t a habit you want to encourage, and understanding why they do it is the key to working out how to discourage them in the future. It’s important to pay attention to this behavior and respond appropriately so that you can discourage them and teach them better ways of expressing themselves. Puppies bite in play, but as they grow, they need to learn not to do this or they could hurt someone.
How to stop beagles from biting? You can try a few tricks to stop your beagle from biting you, including withdrawing your attention, providing chew toys, and handling your dog frequently so that it gets used to people and understands appropriate play and social responses to stimuli.
We’re going to uncover exactly what causes beagle puppies to bite and then some of the best methods for steering them away from this behavior. We’re also going to look at exactly what you shouldn’t do when your puppy nips you, as the wrong reaction can prolong your dog’s tendency to bite. Read on for information on chew toys and getting your dog to use them, the best responses for when your dog bites you, and a better understanding of why beagles are prone to biting in the first place.
Why Do Beagle Puppies Bite So Much?
So, what encourages beagle puppies to bite? Understanding this is key because it lets you pinpoint the issue and address it at the core, rather than just dealing with the symptom (the biting). Behavioral issues should always be followed to their root where possible, as this is much more effective than just scolding when the behavior occurs.
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There are a number of reasons for beagle puppies to bite (and different types of biting). Often, young beagles bite because they are in the teething phase (teething stage), and they want to bite on something to relieve the pressure and soreness in their mouths until they grow permanent teeth.
They are indiscriminate when it comes to this sort of biting and chewing, and will go for furniture, hands, and littermates. Their intent is not to hurt; they are just seeking to relieve the sensation in their gums. Young children also do this, which is why teething rings are popular. You may be able to find something similar for your puppy.
A second reason is that the puppy is intending to play. This is an instinctive part of how they build bonds with each other and learn boundaries. Puppies nip each other a lot and use the behavior of the nipped dog to determine when they have crossed a line. If the other puppy yelps and backs away, they know they have passed a limit, and not to do that again.
They will do this with you, other people, and possibly other dogs too. It is a means of testing the waters and understanding the limits around them, and it should disappear as the dog gets older. You don’t want to discourage this kind of playful biting when the puppy is young, as it teaches valuable social skills and it’s a crucial part of development. However, the biting needs to fade as they get bigger, and should not be allowed to continue when it comes to people, as it may hurt and can make others nervous.
Your dog may also bite because it is feeling anxious or scared, or because he is bored. This sort of biting is common among beagles, even older ones, as they don’t know how else to express their frustration and emotions. Be aware of your dog’s feelings so you can pinpoint this kind of behavior.
How To Train Your Beagle To Stop Biting (Best Methods)
Once you know what is causing your beagle to bite, you can take steps to reduce and discourage the biting. Let’s explore how to stop beagles from biting?
First off, if your puppy is teething, you need to provide chew toys. However, you also need to encourage your dog to use them. If your puppy has got used to biting the couch when its gums are sore, it won’t automatically know a chew toy is a replacement option.
You need to gently redirect your dog’s attention, removing it from the couch and giving it the chew toy instead. Keep doing this consistently, with gentleness and patience. Do not shout at the puppy for teething; it is not deliberately misbehaving, but just following its instinct to relieve the discomfort in its mouth.
Reward it for using its chew toys (positive reinforcement), and keep removing it from things you don’t want it to chew. You should put valuable items away, because a teething puppy may go for pretty much anything!
If your puppy biting you just for fun (play biting), you may need to redirect its attention, especially as it gets bigger. Again, remember that patience is key. Your dog doesn’t know its behavior is undesirable and shouting won’t help. You will simply confuse it.
Instead, you need to send the cue that your puppy understands. If it bites you too hard, yelp or say “ouch” and back away from it. Stop interacting for a while. Your puppy will realize that the bite led to a negative response and you won’t play with it when it bites you.
After a few repetitions, the puppy should start to take this lesson on board. It may try softer bites for a while, but if you keep yelping and then moving away, this should discourage it. You don’t need to ignore your puppy for too long after a bite, but make it clear that you are unhappy by ending the game and walking off for a while.
If your puppy bites you because it is anxious or scared, you need to take action. Often, nipping at your ankles when you are trying to leave the house is an indication that your dog is starting to feel some separation anxiety, and this is not good.
You should monitor this behavior and discuss it with your vet or an animal behaviorist. You need to spend time reassuring and interacting with your puppy, and make sure that you are not leaving it alone for too long. As pack animals, even adult beagles don’t cope well if they are left alone for more than about four hours, and puppies won’t manage for more than a couple of hours a day.
Play, reassurance, and fun will help to ensure your beagle pup doesn’t develop separation anxiety, but if the problem persists, you may need to speak to a behavior expert or consider a companion dog for your puppy. Separation anxiety in beagles is not an easy one to deal with and you may need specialist advice on proper training session.
What Not To Do If Your Adult Beagle Bites You
In order to understand how to stop beagles from aggressive biting, you also need to know what you should avoid doing when the dog does bite.
It is really important not to lash out at your dog or raise your voice. Although it may seem like this shows the dog it has done something bad, it is a form of attention, and your dog may continue to seek it even when the attention is not positive. This could actually encourage more biting, especially if the dog is lonely or bored.
Your dog needs a cue that it understands. Its littermates do not shout when it bites them; they yelp and walk away. Try the same tactic to let your dog know that it hurts and you are not happy about it. Do not interact with your dog for half an hour or so after a bite.
If you think your dog is trying to assert dominance over you, you may wish to try a firm “no” when it goes to bite you. This should be said in a stern voice, accompanied by a hard stare. Do not look away until your dog does; this will help to show your dog that you are in charge and it needs to submit to you.
As a responsible beagle owner, you should contact a professional trainer if you are having real issues with biting and your dog developing bad habits and unwanted behavior. While your dog may not mean any harm, this is not acceptable behavior and could be dangerous if it continues into adulthood, as even small dogs like beagles are strong and can do a lot of damage to their mouths. There is no shame in asking for some help with the obedience training!