Goldendoodles can be excellent dogs, but one thing many people struggle with when training this headstrong hybrid dog is biting.
Dealing with a Goldendoodle who is prone to biting will get seriously old very quickly. Why do Goldendoodles bite so much?
Why Is My Goldendoodle Biting So Much?
One of the reasons why your Goldendoodle might be biting so much is because they are teething. If your Goldendoodle is a puppy, biting can be expected as a natural part of their teething process. If they are an adult, they are biting you because they were not properly trained not to during the critical teething period.
Proper training even at the puppy level can shape how a growing puppy behaves as an adult dog. The training during the puppy months can be easier since the Goldendoodle puppy is small, but they should still begin to learn the basics.
Goldendoodles are not naturally aggressive dogs as they tend to be very sociable, friendly, and lovable even to children in the household and other animals.
For this reason, they often are not likely to bite unless teething issues from puppyhood and the biting and nipping that came with it were not properly handled at the time.
When a puppy goes through the teething phase, the teeth pushing through their gums are likely to cause discomfort and pain.
This discomfort and pain will have them reaching for something that they can chew on or bite to bring them some relief.
This can include shoes or other household items and even fingers and hands.
How this growth phase and behavior is handled can make all the difference affecting whether or not the Goldendoodle grows into an adult dog that is still biting and nipping.
How does one handle the biting and teething of the puppy stage?
There are numerous ways for a pet parent to control the biting and teething of the puppy stage.
First and foremost, you want to give your puppy some relief from their pain and discomfort.
This issue can be done in a few ways by providing a teething toy or another acceptable item for them to chew on and bite.
Since puppies are young, it is unlikely that they will understand in the beginning what this toy is for.
They will simply be looking for relief, and if the toy is not directly in their reach, they may still reach for something else like a finger or a household item.
Therefore, pet parents must understand this phase, and be diligent in redirecting them to the correct things that they can chew and bite.
This can be done in a straightforward manner.
For instance, suppose you find your puppy chewing your slipper.
You know that they’re teething, their toy is nowhere in sight, so you go in search of the toy or another acceptable item like a frozen washcloth.
At this point, you gently offer the alternative by making it appear interesting and fun.
You get their interest in the new item, at which point they let go of the old item.
Then you offer the new alternative item and offer some words of praise and perhaps a reward.
But let’s suppose this doesn’t work, and you find that your Goldendoodle puppy doesn’t want to part with their treasured item.
In that case, you can gently pick them up and pet them, while talking about the new item and showing how fun it is. At which point, eventually, they will let go of the other item.
This method can take time as they may not be willing to part with their prize, but you can happily replace it with the new toy once they do.
Then they can be given a treat and praise for good behavior.
If a pet parent finds that their Goldendoodle puppy insists that their fingers or hand are fun to bite on when they’re teething or even playing, it is essential to instruct them NO BITE in a loving but firm manner.
Once they have released your hand or your finger, you can leave the room after offering them an alternative to chew on and bite.
This will teach them that this behavior is unacceptable.
Puppies have a short attention span; therefore, this action needs to happen quickly, so they know what they have done and the consequence.
Whether or not the pet parent decides to say OUCH is entirely up to them.
Some Goldendoodle pet parents feel that saying OUCH in this manner can confuse the puppy or scare them depending upon how loud it is.
Ultimately you want them to learn biting is acceptable but only on certain things, like their toys.
Often the most effective method is the redirecting or distraction method, where a new toy or chewing item is brought into the play zone and is used to replace the fingers, hands, or household items that are being bitten or chewed.
This is a positive way to redirect and change negative behavior.
What if my Goldendoodle is still biting in adulthood?
If your Goldendoodle is still biting in adulthood, the same methods can be tried. It is also possible that formal obedience training would be a good idea; this dog breed is not considered aggressive.
This behavior might have been erroneously allowed as the pet parents thought it was just cute puppy behavior. It may be difficult to remedy at this point, with just the standard methods listed above.
Goldendoodles, like one of their parents, the Poodle are very smart, and with this high level of intelligence, some dogs may decide that you need to prove to them that they should listen to your rules.
This usually isn’t the case for the Goldendoodle dog breed, but it is possible to run into a stubborn nature on a few rare occasions.
Obedience training is a good idea if you find that your adult Goldendoodle is biting during other times that don’t include playtime, such as when you were petting them.
Every moment can be a training moment, where you gently remind them NO BITING and leaving the room.
Doing so can send a clear message to your Goldendoodle that biting will not be tolerated.
It can take a Goldendoodle up to eighteen months of age to reach its full physical, emotional, and mental growth potential.
This can mean that such behaviors like biting may continue long after the teething phase itself.
Ensuring that they have a healthy diet, enough food to eat and that their lifestyle is as stress free as possible, including getting adequate exercise and sleep can even make a difference in whether or not they bite.
If your adult Goldendoodle continues to bite and nip after formal training and assessing their lifestyle, like eating, sleeping, and playtime, it is possible other issues are causing the biting.
At this point, it is a good idea to take them to their veterinarian to ensure that their health is in good standing.
Their veterinarian can offer information on how to handle biting in an adult Goldendoodle.
This behavior is often easily remedied with good solid training started as early as possible.
A healthy lifestyle and addressing health issues will also make all the difference.
Biting can be a regular part of a puppy’s growth as they develop their teeth and go through this uncomfortable and sometimes painful time.
Curiosity about the world around them and how they fit into it can also cause biting issues.
Despite this, they may unintentionally harm others and destroy things.
Having a plan for handling this issue during as well as training can ensure that this behavior doesn’t continue into adulthood.
While this may be normal behavior for a growing and developing puppy, it is not something a pet parent wants to find themselves dealing with in their adult Goldendoodle.