PetFAQCategory: BehaviorHow can I tell if my puppy is play biting or aggressive biting?
wedamirswedamirs asked 11 months ago

How can I tell if my puppy is play biting or aggressive biting?

1 Answers
Best Answer
PetFAQ.netPetFAQ.net Staff answered 11 months ago

Puppies explore the world through biting and mouthing, which is a natural behavior. However, it’s important to distinguish between play biting and aggressive biting. Here are some ways to tell if your puppy is play biting or aggressive biting:

Play biting:

1. Soft mouth: When a puppy is play biting, they will usually have a soft mouth. This means that they will bite gently without applying too much pressure. If your puppy is play biting, they may also wag their tail and be excited.
2. Playful behavior: Play biting is usually accompanied by other playful behaviors, such as running, jumping, and chasing. If your puppy is exhibiting playful behaviors, they are likely play biting.
3. Bite inhibition: Bite inhibition is a behavior that puppies learn from their littermates and mother. It involves learning how hard to bite without causing harm. If your puppy has learned bite inhibition, they will be less likely to bite too hard during play.
4. No growling or snarling: Play biting usually does not involve growling or snarling. If your puppy is growling or snarling, they may be exhibiting aggressive behavior.

Aggressive biting:

1. Stiff body: When a puppy is exhibiting aggressive biting behavior, they will have a stiff body. This means that they will not be relaxed and may be standing tall with their ears forward.
2. Growling and snarling: Aggressive biting is usually accompanied by growling and snarling. This is a warning sign that your puppy is feeling threatened or scared.
3. Biting with force: If your puppy is biting with force and not letting go, they may be exhibiting aggressive behavior. This can cause injury and is a cause for concern.
4. Protective behavior: Aggressive biting may also involve protective behavior. If your puppy is guarding their toys, food, or territory, they may become aggressive when someone tries to take these things away from them.

In conclusion, it’s important to be able to distinguish between play biting and aggressive biting. Play biting is a natural behavior that puppies use to explore the world around them. Aggressive biting, on the other hand, is a cause for concern and can be dangerous. By understanding the differences between these behaviors, you can take the appropriate steps to ensure the safety of your puppy and those around them. If you are unsure whether your puppy’s biting behavior is play biting or aggressive biting, seek professional help from a veterinarian or certified dog trainer. They can provide you with the necessary guidance and training to address the behavior appropriately.

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