There are lots of people on the forum at the moment with little crocopups! Biting, growling, zoomies, and puppies that are generally hyper can test your patience to the limits. Some of the people that come here with 12-14 week old puppies are at their wit’s end. Short of sleep, emotional, and even questioning whether or not they want to keep their pup. Some have tried saying NO BITE, pinning puppies down, crating, holding puppies muzzle shut, biting back, smacking and so on. They didn’t want this to happen, and they want to be kind to their puppy. If you recognize some of yourself in the above don’t panic. You are not a bad person, we can help and you are not alone. The first step is to stop with all the force and shouting Puppies don’t understand the word NO, squealing doesn’t stop all puppies from biting and encourages some to bite harder. The problem with using force whether it's pushing or pulling the puppy around, is that this is how puppies play. So it encourages the puppy to continue with rough play and become even rougher. Worse still, if you are successful in frightening the puppy sufficiently to stop it from play biting altogether you risk triggering a much worse type of biting - one based on fear aggression. So that is definitely a route you should avoid at all costs. The second step is to recognize that your puppy is completely normal Rough, hard biting is part of normal puppy play. Loud aggressive sounding growling is also part of normal puppy play. We’re talking snarling and snapping here. Not cute little puppy sounds. This is how puppies play The third step is to recognize that you are having a tough time This is a tough time, for any new puppy parent. Even experienced ones. Sleep deprivation and having your life turned completely upside down is extremely hard for anyone to deal with. For new puppy parents there is often a complete mismatch between what is happening to you and what you expected. You may even feel quite tricked! If you have other problems in your life, as most of us do, then the problems will seem magnified. The fourth step is to recognize that you will get through this The vast majority of puppy parents get through these early weeks a little wiser and relatively unscathed. Not only that but they have no regrets and would do it all again. They might change a few things, but they love their dog to bits and thoroughly enjoy him or her being a part of their lives. We can help you get through this, but there are a few things you may need to change. Let’s look at the things people do that make puppies even more bitey so that you can avoid them! The fifth step is to change the way you handle your puppy You can’t avoid the bitey stage altogether. But you can reduce the intensity, frequency and duration of biting and hyper episodes that are so wearing to deal with. Biting and growling are worse when a puppy is excited, or when humans engage the puppy in physical play Many new puppy parents expect to by able to play with a puppy with their hands. Many people roll a small puppy on it’s back and rub its cute squidgy tummy with their fingers. If your puppy is biting a lot, you’ll need to stop these kinds of games. Here are some things that people do that can increase biting in many puppies Ruffling fur, ear etc with hands Rubbing tummies with hands Pushing Pulling Growling back at a puppy Squealing when a puppy bites These and other similar behaviours all encourage puppies to bite and growl The best way to survive this stage is to reinforce calm behaviour, and to avoid over-exciting the puppy. Reinforcing calm: Place a treat between your puppy's paws when he is lying quietly. Teach your puppy how to behave around treats so that you can spend time together training. Teach your puppy to look at your face. Teach your puppy to touch your hand. Spend your time together reinforcing other calm behaviours such as lying in a bed or on a mat. When a puppy bites at your skin or clothing offer an alternative item to chew, separate your puppy for a few minutes if they start biting hard or get excited. Separating your puppy: If your puppy is getting over excited step over a baby gate or put your puppy on the other side of a baby gate. Or leave the room for a few moments, or crate the puppy for a few minutes. Avoiding over-exciting your puppy: Don't allow people to tease and wind up your puppy. Stop any games where the puppy seems to be losing control of himself or becoming a bit hysterical. Give a puppy chance to calm down in a quiet room or crate for a few minutes. More tips: Don't wear clothing that flaps and trails when you have a small puppy. Don't wear fluffy slippers or walk around barefoot with a ten week old puppy in the house. These encourage biting. Don't wear precious or valuable clothes with a very young puppy in the house because there will be chewing and damage. Put the puppy out in the garden or an outdoor puppy playpen with no attention if he gets the zoomies. The zoomies are normal, in fact some dogs have them all their lives, but there is no point trying to calm or pet a puppy mid zoom. Nor any reason why your furniture should suffer! The final step is to share and support one another Tell us how you are getting on, share your worries and concerns with other puppy parents Come back and help others when you are through the worst. That’s what the forum is for and it is you, and others like you that make the forum such a great resource.