How to stop a ridgeback puppy from biting | 7 Simple ways

Ridgeback puppies are busy, excited, fun and happy pups. Like all puppies they will go through a phase of biting when they play. They will eventually grow out of this phase if you set the right boundaries, train them in basic obedience and socialize them well.

This article will explore how to stop a ridgeback puppy from biting and help them to become a wonderful member of your family.

Learning bite inhibition

Ridgebacks like all pups start biting when they are young when they are teething and playing. They will normally learn bite inhibition or when it is time to stop biting from their brothers and sisters and their mother.

If a ridgeback puppy bites its mum too hard she will walk away or nip back to tell the pup that is enough. If your ridgeback puppy bites its brothers too hard, they will yelp, pull away and stop the game. This is how your pup will know when to stop biting.

Once you take your pup home after 12 weeks old you will need to continue this bite inhibition training. Moving away and a firm command of no will be needed to help them understand when to stop biting.

Why ridgeback puppies bite

It is important to understand why ridgeback puppies bite so you can help them to learn to stop when it is time.


Puppies will start to lose their milk teeth from around 12 weeks old and grow all of their adult teeth by around 6 months old. From 12 weeks they will start to bite and chew as their teeth feel uncomfortable during teething.

Biting will help the baby teeth to come out and make room for the adult teeth. Pups will need safe toys to chew on. Kongs are great for their teeth and tough toys where pieces will not break off.

Playful behaviour

Biting is a natural part of puppy play. They will bite their littermates and their parents to invite a game, to strengthen their jaw and to form relationships.

When the biting gets too much, pups and dogs will yelp, letting their playmate know that is enough. When the game stops the pup learns they have gone too far and need to stop.

My ridgeback playing with his best friend.

Fear or anxiety

Puppies may turn to biting if they are scared or feeling anxious. Pups that are not socialized or treated poorly can become scared and can turn to biting to defend themselves.

Take the time to let your pup spend time with other pups, people and dogs. Treat them kindly and avoid punishment. Ridgebacks are sensitive dogs and can get upset when they are punished. Ignoring biting behaviour or a firm ‘no’ is all that is needed to teach your pup to stop biting.

How to stop your ridgeback form biting

Here are the top ways to stop your ridgeback from biting.

1. Ignore the behaviour

The best thing to do to help your puppy to control his biting is to ignore the behavior. If they are biting too much or too hard get up, walk away and ignore them. Over time they will learn to control their bites, and will understand that the game will stop.

Over time ridgebacks will grow out of biting, after around 6 months their biting will decrease significantly if you continue to ignore it and reinforce the right behaviour.

2. Give firm commands

Another way to teach your ridgeback to stop biting is to use firm commands. A firm no with a hand held up can help your ridgeback to learn to stop. Use this consistently and your ridgeback will learn to respect your boudaries.

Getting up and walking away paired with a firm no is a simple way to teach your ridgeback to learn to control their biting.

3. Redirect behaviour

Biting is a natural part of puppy behaviour. While you can’t stop them completely you can redirect their biting to something other than you. Give them good quality chew toys to give them something to bite on and release their energy.

4. Positive reinforcement training

Positive reinforcement training is a great way to redirect your puppy’s biting behaviour. Using treats you can get your pups attention and move them into following basic commands like sit, stay and come. Grabbing their attention and getting the to move into a sit position can break the biting cycle.

5. Give them appropriate toys

Toys are essential for a puppy that has been brought home and no longer has littermates to play with. Good quality chew toys that they can chase, you can fill with treats and throw are all great ways to help your ridgeback gets his biting energy out.

6. Socialize your puppy

Taking the time to socialize your pup with other dogs is a good way to help them to learn to control their biting. Puppy preschool will give your pup a chance to meet other dogs his age and to reinforce the message of when it is time to stop biting.

Spending time with well socialised older dogs can also be great. Make sure they are not too boisterous and will hurt your pup but well trained dogs will help them to understand when to stop biting.

7. Establish boundaries

Boundaries are essential for teaching your ridgeback pup to stop biting. Let them know that it is not ok to bite you as you walk away or to jump and bite at you. Establish yourself as the leader by teaching them basic command and being firm with them when they step over the line.

Feeding your dog after you eat, keeping them off the bed, or letting them now they can only get up when you say are all good ways to keep yourself in charge. Teach them to walk nicely on a lead and follow basic commands. They will soon learn that when you say stop it means stop and you can control their biting.

How to stop a ridgeback puppy from biting | Summary

Biting is natural puppy behaviour but they need to be taught when to stop. Walking away, ignoring the behaviour and a consistent, firm no are all great ways to help your puppy understand when to stop. Ridgebacks are fantastic dogs but need consistency to help them to understand the boundaries. They will eventually grow out of this behaviour with the support of you and some clear boundaries.