Leo and his Dangerously Sharp Teeth

Believe it or not, that’s Leo in both pictures!

Wow. My sweet little puppy has been replaced by a savage monster. His adorable little nibbles have transformed into full-on chomps, and even though his teeth are still tiny, they are mighty. My fingers and arms are a war zone. Poor Erich has it worse. For some reason, Leo likes to take it out more on him than me. It might be because I have a low pain tolerance and yelp more.

At this point, I’m not sure what’s worse: the potty training or the teething. No matter how many times or different ways we try to get Leo to stop biting us, he keeps going. First, we tried saying “ow” loudly like another puppy would do, but that only caused him to start barking at us. Then we tried to stop playing and stand up, but that resulted in more barking and biting at our clothes and legs. We also tried distracting him by putting a toy in his mouth, but I guess our flesh is so much more satisfying to chew instead of the piles of toys surrounding him, including his favorite toy, Max. As somewhat of a last-ditch effort, we bought Sentry Stop That Behavior Correction Spray, which releases a startling hissing noise along with calming pheromones that are meant to distract and relax your dog. Leo has the most bizarre reaction to it. When it first goes off, he does a quick little “puppy zoomie” in a circle then plops down and relaxes.

Luckily, he hasn’t destroyed any household items. Yet. That may be because we watch him like a hawk at all times. I can’t say the same for myself though. While trying to move the crate by myself, I took a chunk out of the wall (Sorry, Erich). Unfortunately for me, I couldn’t blame it on Leo because it was too high up.


For my fingers’ sake, please let me know how to survive the teething stage in the comments below!

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  1. Same as I did with the litter of kittens, plenty of Peroxide and antiseptic ointment. They have sharp teeth too.

  2. Same as i did with the litter of kittens, plenty of peroxide and antiseptic. They have sharp teeth too.

  3. Teach him the command, “Get your toy.” When he starts biting you, always have a toy in your hand to give him or toss for him to fetch at the same time you give him the command.

  4. What worked for me in training my husky mix at 7 weeks old was this. She had those sharp needle teeth and kept on nipping and biting my hands. I realized she wasn’t doing this in a malicious manner, she just didn’t know any better. What I did was took a nylabone and froze it. Whenever she started biting I didn’t just say ow, I would say it in a high-pitched, non-loud tone. This I was told mimicks the sound that a momma dog would do to her pups if they bit her a little too hard. The first time I did this my dog stopped biting me and looked at me strangely. Every time she tried to bite me I made the same sound. I feel she must have been trying to figure out what she did to make that sound she didn’t like come out of me. I also at times would give her the frozen nylabone. She was teething and the frozen nylabone seemed to sooth her gums. After a while the nips and bites got less and less. I guess she figured out that whenever she would bite me that sound that she didn’t like to hear came out of me. Like I said this worked for me and I am not a professional dog trainer. It couldn’t hurt to try one or both of these. Another thought is if you have a friend who has a little older dog, maybe you can set up a play date. I foster dogs for a 100% no-kill shelter. One of the fosters I got kept nipping and biting at my hands. When he went to play with my 6 year-old dog I heard my dog yelp during the session. I watched the interaction a little more attentively to make sure nobody was bleeding. In a little while I heard my foster (the one who kept nipping and biting me) yelp. After that play session my foster no longer nipped or tried to bite my hands. I guess he figured he had no problem biting me that he would try it on my dog. Well, she must have taken it a little while but then decided to nip him back and I guess he didn’t like it too much.
    Dolores from NJ

  5. Annemarie LaredoJune 15, 2018 at 2:43 pm

    Oh! That’s a great idea, Sue. Thank you! I’ll try that a little later since Leo is totally passed out at my feet right now 🙂

    Thanks, Andrew! I can’t imagine how many bites you endured with the litter!

  6. We have three mini-schnauzers. Our first schnauzer loved to bite when she was a puppy and man did it hurt. The solution for us was a combination of saying OW very loudly, but we also put a single coin in a can and shook it every time she bit so she would associate it with the loud noise. It took a few day but eventually caught on! Also, do not engage with any play time that involves your hands. Only use toys. Hope this helps!

  7. i get raw hide bones for my dogs to chew on they actually really like them and they come in different sizes and the smaller size bones comes in a bag i do not remember the quantity though i do hope this idea helps

  8. Annemarie LaredoJune 15, 2018 at 2:51 pm

    Thanks for the advice, Kirby! I hope it works!

  9. Annemarie LaredoJune 15, 2018 at 2:54 pm

    Leo loves his rawhides. I didn’t think to incorporate them into playtime. Thanks, Ann!

  10. One thing that worked for us (having had many puppies), is to make a loud ‘yelping” noise when they bite. It shocks them a bit and re-directs their focus towards another ‘toy’. Good luck!

  11. I clamped my dogs mouth shut with my hand… firmly but not harshly and said in a mean voice ‘no bite’. But you have to do it every single time… and like Kirby said play time should never be with hands… only toys.
    Good luck!

  12. Annemarie LaredoJune 15, 2018 at 3:09 pm

    Thanks for the advice, Patti and Lisa!

  13. One thing we did with our pups was to give them a homemade teething ring to chew on. We used a wash rag that we knotted, wet it with water and then froze. When our little “teether” started in with the biting we let them chew on this frozen toy for a short while (would take it away before it was totally defrosted). I guess it numbed the gums a little, helping to cut down on the chewing.

  14. When all else fails, keep plenty of Band aids on hand and take heart. Leo will be losing those shark teeth before he is six months old and all of this will just be a memory of his puppyhood.

  15. Toys. Lots of toys. And get the Kong toy so you can put treats in it so it keeps him occupied. Use a frozen rag and let him chew on it

  16. A squirt bottle filled w water does wonders for MANY naughty behaviors. No pain, no chemicals, but a squirt to the face gets their attention. My malamute pup learned so quickly that all I had to do was pretend to reach for the bottle, and he’d stop whatever naughtiness he was up to. Like you, my hands and arms were so shredded, my vet was worried for ME !

  17. Ice is a lifesaver. A lot of the time they’re chewing to relieve themselves from the pain of inflamed gums as they teeth. Giving them ice to munch on soothes that inflammation and helps prevent them from taking it out on you and your belongings. Soaking a towel in water and freezing it also works really well. Actually, now that they’re adults, ice is one of my dogs’ favorite treats,

    Stuffed kongs and toys that make really satisfying noises are also great to encourage chewing of items that you want Leo to chew instead of your arms.

  18. Annemarie LaredoJune 18, 2018 at 2:33 pm

    WOW all these tips are great! Thanks, everyone! Leo has to respond to one of these. right? hopefully! 🙂

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