Save BIG with Subscriptions!

Earn with our Treat Ambassador Program

Check out our New Antler Chews! 🦌

Training Puppies not to Bite with Healthy Puppy Treats and Chews

Written by: Michelle Toma Olson



Time to read 5 min

There are a few undeniable truths about puppies: they are adorably cute, they are irresistibly cuddly…and they love to chew and bite! In fact, this behavior is totally normal for puppies. Not only are they teething for the first six months of their lives, but their mouths are a key way baby doggos learn about the world around them, express themselves, and of course, play! However, that doesn’t mean that we should just let them nip, bite and chew willy nilly. As pet parents, it’s up to us to guide our fur babies’ energies and interests in positive directions rather than sinking their surprisingly sharp little teeth into our favorite pair of shoes – or us! Fortunately, Farm To Pet is here to help! Read on for tips on training puppies not to bite or chew inappropriately, including using healthy puppy treats and food toppers along the way.

"Bite-Proof" the Puppy Zone

The adage “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” fits perfectly when training your puppy not to bite. Limiting inappropriate biting opportunities for your puppy upfront sets him up for success, reducing stress and unpleasantness for both of you in the process. For example, simply removing temptations like slippers, shoes or bags from the floor, and keeping human food and drink out of reach drastically reduces the chances of misbehaved mouthing. So does limiting space puppy has to roam and find things to chew, such as with a puppy gate or by confining them to a particular room. And just like the human variety, they are babies! They can’t and shouldn’t be left alone for long stretches; unless they are sleeping in a crate, they need supervision and a watchful eye most of the time to be sure they are safe, sound and not creating a path of destruction!

Give Puppy Plenty of Exercise and Attention

Along the same lines of prevention, being sure your puppy routinely gets enough stimulation – including mental, physical and emotional stimulation – will keep them from seeking it in unhealthy or destructive ways. After all, their main motivation for misbehaving, intentionally or not, is to get your attention. If they get it up front, and expend energy at the same time, puppies won’t have to resort to acting out. Boredom and loneliness are the underpinnings of most misbehavior, and understandably so.


As we have learned in previous posts, puppies need a lot of exercise. Depending on their breed, that could be thirty minutes to two hours a day! According to the AKC, puppies should get at least two to three exercise sessions a day, including two walks and one play activity like tug of war or fetch. This ensures that she is getting not only physical exercise, but also mental stimulation from exploring, learning how to walk on a lead, and feeling a sense of accomplishment once the walk or game is done. The length of the sessions will vary by pup, but you will quickly learn when he is tuckered out and ready for a nap. Most importantly, each of these sessions will give your pup quality time with you, and vice versa, to build the bonds and sense of security that help puppies thrive. 

Doodle on a walk in the great outdoors with mountains in the background.

Reward the Positive – with Healthy Puppy Treats!

This puppy training tactic not only helps dissuade biting, but it also helps “stealth train” other desirable behaviors in the process! For example, when your puppy is calm and relaxed, reward him with lots of pets, a healthy puppy treats and verbal praise such as “good dog” so he gets two things he likes – treats and your attention – when he does something positive. Similarly, when she sits, produce a pat, a treat and a “good sit,” and do the same when she lies down or brings you a toy. Perhaps most importantly, if your puppy is coming toward you, announce “come!” then react with a treat and “good come!” Again, this not only helps keep puppies from doing unwanted things, it also helps them learn commands and overall good behavior by association with positive outcomes.

When Bites Happen, Redirect and Distract

So far we’ve talked about what to do to avoid biting or chewing before it starts, but what if despite all our best intentions the biting begins? The first thing to keep in mind is to stay calm. Yelling or storming away will only confuse the pup. The key is to be sure he gets the idea that playing or spending time with you stops with the unwanted behavior. 

If puppy bites or chews an object that is off limits, the best thing to do is to redirect her attention to something else. Say “drop it” and replace the forbidden object with a toy or other appropriate chew. You can also leave or turn away for a minute, and when you return, distract him with another activity like a walk. What if puppy bites you? This could happen if play time gets too rambunctious, or in an attempt to draw your attention – and it might even hurt! While some experts at the ASPCA say to respond with a high pitched yelp like a puppy might make first, most agree that you should also calmly walk away. Return a few moments later, perhaps with a distraction like a toy. If he bites again, repeat this cycle, keeping your hands out of reach and ignoring him as best you can. Once he is calm, reward him with affection, a treat and praise. 

Doodle chews on an Antler Chew to distract and help stay calm during times indoors.

The Best Puppy Treats for Training Puppies Not to Bite

So what treats are best for training puppies not to bite – or to train puppies in general for that matter? Our healthy, nutritious, all-natural  chicken chips or turkey chips and pet food toppers , of course! Here’s how to use them for best puppy training results:

  • Keep pieces of chicken chips on hand – even in your pocket – to reward good behavior on the spot when it happens, as noted above. 
  • Put chips into treat toys to challenge puppies to get the reward inside and tire them out in the process. 
  • Use powdered Treat Topper puppy food toppers as a mode of distraction on a licking mat or to add flavor to a rubber chew toy. 

Our organic antler chews also make an ideal substitute for that shoe your puppy keeps gnawing! For puppies who have lost their milk teeth, usually after six months of age, a split reindeer chew can be a great option to relieve teething discomfort without being so hard it could hurt. Of course, always monitor puppies when chewing and take away an antler if it breaks or becomes small enough to swallow.


While inappropriate biting and chewing can feel like a hassle or worse at times, just remember that puppyhood doesn’t last forever! We pet parents will likely look back at even annoying things our puppies may do with fondness, so try to relish these times and turn them into teachable moments! The helpful tips above and incorporating healthy puppy treats as positive reinforcement are sure to help train your puppy not to bite as well as encourage positive behaviors. The benefits will extend well beyond puppyhood and throughout your years together, making them even more rewarding for pet parent and fur baby alike! 

Leave a comment