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Play Biting 7 year old child


Kaylee – New Member

9:27 am – July 22, 2009

posts 1


My 6 month-old Labrador retriever puppy, Katie, plays rough with my 7 year-old son and won’t stop play-biting. When she was younger, my son and Katie spent hours tumbling and playing, but now he’s afraid of her. He’s tried holding her muzzle shut, but she only gets more aggressive. The situation is getting worse. Now she nips at his clothes, jumps up and knocks him down. 


How can I teach my pup to play nicely with my 7 year-old child? Katie is my son’s dog and I really want them to bond, but, I’m afraid she might have aggressive tendencies.

Administrator – Admin

9:30 am – July 22, 2009

posts 14


Post edited 2:52 pm – July 22, 2009 by Administrator

Answer: Thanks for submitting your question. It’s not likely that your puppy is aggressive. Katie is treating your son as a puppy playmate. Have you ever watched puppies playing together? They are a riot! They jump, mount, growl, bite, mouth, tumble, roll, nip, bark and chase. That’s the only way they know how to interact. Play-biting occurs when some of these normal, play behaviors are directed at human body parts and clothing. Yikes, those needle teeth are sharp!

It’s normal for all puppies to play bite, but the behavior should be decreasing at 6 months. In most situations, play biting by older pups is the consequence of our choices of play activities when they were younger. 

Your pup’s play-biting behaviors are due to miscommunications. I’m guessing earlier play involved your son being on the floor with Katie. Play consisted of some versions of tumbling, rolling, handling, hugging, et cetera. 

When children or adults exchange their two legged stances for four-on-the-floor kneeling, tumbling and handling, young puppies get the impressions that we play just like their canine playmates. As the puppies grow larger and more coordinated, canine play behaviors can become a real nuisance. 

Teaching Katie to play nicely is only one-half of your goal. You’ll need to teach your son how to interact with Katie as well. 

Kids (and adults) should avoid wrestling and tumbling with puppies. Instead, play games like hide-n-seek, fetch, find the treat, sit, down, and heel. And of course, adults should always supervise kids and dogs. 

For FREE details on how to reduce play biting, CLICK HERE, OR purchase Puppies for Thinkers, the ultimate puppy owner's manual. 

Happy Training! AT


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