Puppy Biting Reason #5: Excitement & Fear


Like humans, dogs are largely controlled by emotions:

  • They feel sadness and joy just like we do
  • They experience fear and excitement just like us

Unfortunately, these emotions can run amuck, which explains why its hard to stop an excited or scared puppy from biting?

It’s hard, but not impossible.  Let’s explore the why and how….

Puppies Bite Because They’re Excited

Every time you come home from a long day of work, your young puppy is thrilled (absolutely THRILLED) to see you again.  The longer the time apart, the bigger the greeting.

  • Her little tail wags uncontrollably…
  • She might jump around in excitement barking wildly…
  • And in some cases, she may begin to bite or nip….

For the most part, this ritualistic dance is terrific.

It’s gratifying to know that you’re missed.  And receiving a hero’s welcome after a tough day is just one of many reasons why we love our dogs so much.

But we don’t particularly like the biting.  It’s not the puppy’s fault.  She can’t really help it.

But the biting has to stop.

How Do You Stop an Excited Puppy from Biting?

Forbidding your puppy from becoming excited is one way to prevent biting.  But I’m sure you’ll agree – that’s just silly.  After all, excited dogs are fun to play with.

Another solution is the substitution method.  With enough patience and practice, it can yield results.

We also encourage bite inhibition or the time-out method.   However, these are a little harder to nail down if your puppy is truly riled up.  We recommend these techniques for calmer playtime moments.

If none of these dog biting prevention strategies work, you may need to dig a little deeper.  Check out these more in-depth resources on how to stop a puppy from biting.

Puppies Bite Because They’re Scared

New to the world and surrounded by so many unfamiliar things, it’s not uncommon for puppy dogs to shake with fright and begin biting.

Typical triggers include:

  • Thunderstorms
  • Vacuum cleaners
  • Baths and showers
  • Car alarms
  • Other dogs (or cats)
  • “Menacing” strangers

In these cases, the biting stems from confusion, uncertainty, and uncontrolled fear.  Your parental instincts usually kick in, and you try to calm your puppy with soothing noises and comforting strokes.  But sometimes, these are not enough and your defensive puppy bites at your hand whenever you approach.

How Do You Stop a Scared Puppy Dog from Biting?

9 times out of 10, this is behavior that goes away on its own as your puppy grows older.

Things that were totally scary and unfamiliar yesterday become more commonplace today.  Your puppy should become frightened less often as time passes.  And she typically learns to cope with stress and fear more easily.

But if this behavior doesn’t go away completely – and your puppy continues to bite and attack out of fear – you need to investigate stronger prevention techniques.

For additional dog biting tips, use the resources down below: