Have you been bitten by a beagle puppy? If so, don’t worry! It is not your fault. Puppies bite their owners as a sign of affection and to establish dominance with one another. But if you are tired of being nipped or bitten, then this blog post is for you. We will teach how to stop a beagle puppy from biting by providing 11 tips that can help put an end to the biting and save your hands in the process!
A Beagle will likely stop biting once they have been through the teething stage (typically between 4 and 8 months old) and are also trained to know that it’s wrong to use their teeth when playing with people (using their teeth during play with other dogs is normal for puppies).
Let’s explore why a puppy might bite and how with some basic dog training, a little time, and plenty of patience you can stop your puppy biting.
Identifying why your beagle is biting
Before you can address your beagle biting problem, you need to figure out what is causing it in the first place and implement the proper training to stop the biting.
A beagle needs to be taught that biting is not the correct way to interact. Teaching your pooch how to socialize with humans at an early age is necessary.
What reasons cause beagles to bite?
Beagles may bite when they are;
- Beagle puppies may be teething
- Separation anxiety
- Play biting
Beagle puppy teething
Like children, a beagle puppy can go through a teething phase. Teething usually occurs between 4 and 8 months of age, though sometimes it can be earlier or later.
Teething can be a very frustrating time for your little fur baby, and indeed yourself!
When a Beagle puppy is teething, all they want to do is relieve the discomfort — relieving teething pain usually involves chewing, and lots of it.
Toys, clothes, bedding, other dogs, your hands and feet, and in the case of one of our Beagles an Ipad, two pairs of Rayban sunglasses, Nike air sneakers, and countless pairs of socks! Thanks, Bonnie!
So while teething can be annoying, and expensive, it’s not intentional biting, more relief to their discomfort.
Recognizing the signs of teething, and understanding what to do can make this time a bit easier for everyone:
- teeth appear lower in their mouth and are often visible when chewing on things or yawning. Gums might look redder than usual too.
- chewing more intensely than normal
- drooling can be a sign of teething
- biting more often than usual, biting at inappropriate times (like when petting them)
- a decrease in appetite during the time leading up to teeth coming in.
- puppy might also sleep with its head on hard surfaces, like a table leg, because it’s relieving pain.
Beagle puppy play biting
It’s quite natural for a Beagle puppy to bite when playing with other dogs.
Within the first eight weeks of a puppy’s life, while they are still with their brothers and sisters, a lot of playing and biting will take place. It’s during this time that a Beagle is learning some valuable life lessons.
If a Beagle is playing with another dog, biting is an instinctive way for a puppy to know where its boundaries are.
If a puppy goes too far, the other dog will usually let them know they have overstepped a boundary and will yelp and back off.
These are cues to the biting puppy that they have gone too far, and it now knows where the limit is with the other dog or puppy.
You may be tempted to stop your Beagle puppies from biting each other at playtime.
You may think that they are too aggressive with each other when, in fact, it’s just their way of establishing boundaries.
Over time the puppies will establish their own set of rules with each other, knowing how far they can go with each member of the pack.
This behavior will teach the puppy how to interact with new dogs and hopefully, stop them from sinking their teeth into a dog they have never met before!
Once a Beagle puppy leaves its litter, it will no longer have its littermates to tell them if they have gone too far.
If the Beagle starts to bite you excessively during play, then it’s time for some extra training.
Your beagle puppy maybe play biting during playtime, as you play tug of war with your puppy’s favorite toy they might decide instead to bite your fingers!
Biting is a natural way for a beagle to work out boundaries, including what parts of another dog or person are off-limits!
It’s important not to shout at your beagle puppy for play biting, this will confuse them and may make the problem worse.
Instead, try to redirect your beagle puppy’s attention with a toy or treat so they focus on something other than biting you or another dog!
Beagles are also known for being very food-motivated, using treats is a great way to redirect their attention from biting you!
Some beagles may also have a higher energy level than others, which means they need more exercise to burn off that excess energy in order to prevent destructive behavior from occurring.
Here are some ways you can discourage your puppy’s play biting;
- Use a toy and encourage your puppy to play with that instead of you or another dog
- Get your puppy used to you touching him so that they become used to you
- Offer treats as an alternative for them to bite on
- Use treats to rewards good behavior. Try short training sessions of a few minutes to encourage new behavior.
- Use specific chew toys to help with teething issues
- Ice cubes or a cold carrot can help with teething discomfort
- Throw toys around so that they’re off the ground, this will discourage them from biting at it because their teeth can’t reach it.
Beagle biting due to being bored from separation anxiety
A beagle may bite when they are bored. A beagle that is left alone for long periods of time may not have anything to do, and this can lead them to develop behavior problems such as biting.
If your puppy starts to nip at your ankles or feet as you leave him then this could be a sign of separation anxiety.
At first, you might think your puppy is just playing around, but it could be early signs of separation anxiety. Your puppy is letting you know that they don’t want to be left alone.
Monitor the situation and see how regularly this happens. If it starts to become a regular pattern then you will need to do some training to ensure this doesn’t become a bigger problem down the line.
Like most dogs, beagles do not like being alone. They need to be around other dogs and have companionship with their owners on a regular basis or they can start developing behavior problems like biting.
Beagles are pack animals and as such need to be around other dogs or people.
We wrote an article about how long you can leave a Beagle alone, you can read it here.
It is important that you provide your beagle with plenty of exercise, attention, toys, and stimulation during the day so that they do not resort to chewing furniture or exhibiting separation anxiety.
Hire someone who is willing to take care of your dog during the day if you work long hours.
How to limit the damage from a beagle bite
So how can help your poor little Beag with teething and move their attention away from valuable chewing items? Firstly, move anything of value away from the reach of puppies.
Remember, nothing is off-limits, so move everything that you don’t want to be destroyed by a beagle!
A quick note, electrical cables are dangerous and can prove deadly if a Beagle was to chew through one, so take extra care where electrical items are concerned.
Next, invest in some quality dog toys and chews. Beagles (even puppies) are pretty good at destroying even the toughest of toys. In our experience, some of the best man-made toys for Beagles are Kongs.
Made from natural rubber, Kongs are pretty tough and resistant to puppy teeth. Kongs come in various colors for different ages of dogs, the pink and blue are the correct density for chewing puppies.
Kongs are pretty tough, and the classic Kong toy enables you to place treats inside them, holding your Beagle’s attention for much longer.
The rubberized texture of Kongs and different treat textures will rub their gums and help the puppy to alleviate some of the discomforts from teething.
For a natural chew alternative, we would recommend using deer antlers (4-6″ long pieces).
Deer antlers can be readily purchased online, are inexpensive, and a great natural way for your dog or puppy to chew on something other than your socks.
They are great for the puppy to chew on, bringing relief to their gums, are super tough, and your Beagle puppy will spend an age trying to get the marrow from the middle!
By having a few different toys and chews, with different textures at the puppy’s disposal, they will choose the best option for relieving their teething discomfort.
By encouraging and rewarding them to chew on toys as a puppy, they are more likely to do so into adult life, rather than seeking out your favorite pair of sneakers to destroy.
The “redirect the bite” method
The “redirect the bite” method is a simple way to stop a dog from biting. The first step is to redirect the puppy’s attention onto something else, such as playing with an interactive toy or giving him a treat with a favorite flavor.
Once the bite has been redirected you reward the dog/puppy for good behavior so that they recognize the difference between biting you and taking the treat or toy instead.
What not to do if your beagle bites you
If your beagle puppy or adult beagle bites you must not hit your dog or shout aggressively.
This will not work because you are rewarding the dog for biting by giving it attention. The beagle may learn to escalate this behavior in order to receive more attention from its owner when they want or need it most.
If you are playing with your beagle and they start to bite you, walk away from the situation, do not make a fuss.
If they are biting you as a sign of dominance or aggression, make sure that the dog knows who is in charge.
This can be done by giving a stern “No” command and following up with obedience training if needed. If your pup continues to bite do not hesitate to contact a dog trainer for advice on how to stop your beagle biting.
Knowing the difference between real and play biting
Knowing the difference between real and play biting can seem difficult at first, but with a little observation, it’s not too hard to tell.
If you’re unsure whether your pup is playing or if he really wants to bite you, there are some helpful hints below:
Playful bites usually involve grabbing onto an object such as clothing or a toy.
The bite is light and doesn’t involve a lot of pressure. Playful bites usually don’t hurt at all, but if they do, it’s because the pup was trying to get your attention or engage in fun roughhousing with you.
Real biting happens when the dog might be scared or threatened by something and tries to defend themselves from a perceived threat or from fear.
How to train your beagle to stop biting
A beagle using its teeth to play with another puppy is quite natural. However, once the puppy has left its littermates and gone to his or her new home, there’s a good chance it will continue to bite when playing with you.
Now is the time to introduce a little extra training to show the puppy that biting you is wrong.
An adult dog that feels threatened, injured, or frightened may try and bite. However, a puppy taught that biting people is wrong, is much less likely to bite in these situations.
Training a dog that biting is wrong is especially important if the dog is to be in contact with children.
Teaching a puppy not to bite a person should be done in three stages and should take approximately 3 weeks.
Week 1 of training a puppy not to bite
If your puppy bites your hand hard enough for it to hurt, you should yelp or shout out and turn away. Ignore him for a short while, usually around 30 seconds or so, before commencing whatever you were doing before.
Week 2 of training a puppy not to bite
Once the puppy has stopped biting you hard enough to hurt, you can start to fine-tune their behavior. By repeating the above instruction, even if he bites gently or tugs at clothing, you can begin to show that no biting is acceptable.
Week 3 of training a puppy not to bite
Eventually, you should repeat the process even if he brushes your skin or clothes with his mouth. Any contact with his mouth on skin or clothing while playing with a toy and you should stop the activity immediately.
Doing this mimics the behavior they are used to from their littermates, and they should get the message pretty quickly. If things don’t get better after a few weeks, you may have to give a clear and calm ‘NO’ and isolate the puppy in another room for a few minutes. Once he’s allowed to rejoin you, only restart the previous activity if he’s sitting or lying down quietly, this is his reward.
Taking the time to show a puppy that biting is not acceptable behavior gives them the chance to adjust. If you don’t teach them it’s wrong then how will they know? The best way to do this to stop playing or interacting with your puppy the moment they bite too roughly.
Show your beautiful Beagle some patience, give them the training they deserve and help them through a problematic teething phase. You will soon have solved their biting issues, rewarding yourself with great companionship and on the way to becoming a loving part of your family.