Skip to Content

How To Stop A Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Puppy Biting

How To Stop A Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Puppy Biting

Do you have a new Cavalier King Charles Spaniel puppy? Do they bite or nip all the time and hurt you when they catch your skin? Here’s everything you need to know about how to stop a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel puppy biting.

How Do I Stop My Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Puppy Biting?

  1. Make a sharp and loud ‘Ouch!’ noise
  2. Redirect your Cavalier’s attention to a dog toy
  3. Praise your Cavalier when they play nicely
  4. Ignore your Cavalier if they continue to bite
  5. Leave the room for a few minutes
  6. Don’t run away and turn biting into a game
  7. Establish a set routine of play and rest
  8. Be consistent with training
  9. Stop playing if biting continues!

Read on to find out why Cavalier King Charles Spaniel puppies bite so much, how long the biting stage lasts for, and for a step-by-step on how to redirect their attention elsewhere!

Never use the advice in this article as a substitute for professional veterinary advice or treatment. I am NOT a Vet, qualified dog trainer or dog behaviourist. This article is based on research, personal opinion and experience of owning dogs over the last 12+ years. 

Why Is My Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Puppy Biting So Much?

It’s entirely natural for your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel puppy to chew, bite and mouth things. It’s how they explore and interact with the world around them.

It’s also how they learn too. They figure out how hard to bite certain things, what they taste like, and what happens when they bite or chew them (think of a squeaky dog toy for example!).

And, if they find it fun to bite or chew on something, they’ll keep doing it more and more!  

They also bite and chew a lot more when they’re teething to help soothe the pain of their sore gums, when they’re bored, frustrated, over-tired, over-excited, or simply feeling playful! 

This is a stage all puppies go through, so you need to get a handle on their biting and chewing from day one. 

That’s because puppy teeth are sharp! It can really hurt if they bite or catch you, or any members of your family, even though it’s just by accident.

So you need to learn how to redirect this behavior towards the right activity – like toys and treats – and away from your hands, clothing and personal belongings! 

How To Stop Your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Puppy Biting

All puppies will bite and chew, but there are ways redirect and manage it more effectively.

This is how to stop your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel puppy biting:

Say ‘Ouch!’ When Your Cavalier Puppy Bites You  

Say a firm, loud and sharp ‘Ouch!’ when your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel bites you, to let your puppy know they’re hurting you.

To start with, they have no idea it hurts you so aren’t doing it to be mean, they just don’t understand bite inhibition yet (that basically means not to bite too hard!).

Making a sharp and loud noise will make them think twice about doing it again, and they’ll soon start to realize they’re doing something wrong and back off a bit.

Cavalier puppies usually start to learn bite inhibition from their mother and littermates. If they bite their siblings too hard, they’ll cause them to yelp or squeal.

This lets your Cavalier know they shouldn’t bite that hard in future, and this is what you’re trying to replicate. 

However, using this technique can sometimes excite your Cavalier puppy even more, making them more likely to bite you!

This isn’t what you want, so be aware of how they respond to your ‘Ouch!’ sound.

If it seems to be hyping them up more, you’re best to quietly walk away or stop playing and ignore them instead. 

Give Your Cavalier Puppy Something Else To Bite 

One you’ve said ‘Ouch!’ and got your Cavalier’s attention, you need to quickly encourage them to chew on or bite their own toys.

Do this by putting their toy near their mouth so they grab that instead. 

It’s good to have one of their toys at the ready to redirect their attention onto. This gives them an outlet for their biting and keeps you safe from their needle teeth!

Ideally, get some rubber toys as they’ll be hardier for sharp teeth and safer for you to hold.

Doing this will teach your Cavalier that you’ll only carry on playing with them IF they bite their own toys, and not you or your clothing.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel puppy laying on a white background with a speech bubble that says 'Sorry! I didn't mean to hurt you!'
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Puppy Being Taught Not To Bite

Praise Your Cavalier For Not Biting

If your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel does stop biting you and redirects their attention towards their own toy, you must reward and praise them. That could be with a tasty treat or lots of verbal praise and fuss.

This lets them know you’d like to see more of this behavior and makes them more likely to behave this way again in future.

Use praise consistently whenever your Cavalier is being gentle and playing nicely without biting you. 

Stop Playing With Your Cavalier If They Continue To Bite 

If your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel puppy doesn’t stop biting you and is still trying to nip when you’re playing with them, calmly stop the game.

Let your arm hang down to your side and simply ignore them (as much as you can!). Slowly move your hand out of reach but don’t yank your arm too fast or you may get accidentally nipped!

Playtime can be super exciting for your Cavalier puppy, making them try and bite more.

Stopping the game will help them realize that biting you means the fun and interaction stops.

Initially, they may try to bite even more to get your attention, but do your very best to ignore it. 

Try to teach them that biting hard equals the end of playtime. If they calm down and play nicely, the game can continue.

Leave The Room When Your Cavalier’s Biting You

If your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel puppy continues to bite you even when you’re ignoring them, calmly get up and leave the room for a minute. That way, they’ll soon realize it’s not worth doing!

Because they’re such a loving breed that crave attention and hate being left alone, ignoring them will make them realize they did something wrong.

So they’ll soon figure out that nipping or biting your hands or clothing means they don’t get any attention from you.

Return to them calmly and praise them if they stop nipping. 

Don’t Squeal Or Run Away From Your Cavalier Puppy 

If you can help it, never squeal or try to run away when your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel puppy is biting you.

This can quickly turn it into a game, with your Cavalier chasing you and trying to bite you even more in the excitement.

Instead, calmly and quietly walk away and remove yourself from the situation.

This is often a particular issue with children, who find it harder to stay calm when being nipped by a puppy with sharp teeth! 

That’s why they must be supervised when they’re around each other to stop any accidental injuries caused by nipping. 

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel puppy laying on a blue dog bed with a speech bubble that says 'Sorry! I didn't mean to hurt you!'
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Puppy Learning Not To Bite

Make Sure Your Cavalier Gets Plenty Of Rest

Schedule lots of nap and relaxation times for your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel puppy throughout the day.

They need up to 20 hours of sleep per day during their puppy days, but they don’t always know when to stop!

If they’re over-tired, their biting can worsen. And, if they’re not getting enough rest, they can be less likely to listen to commands too. 

If they seem more bitey than usual, calmly give them some time out in a quiet place, and you’ll probably find they quickly fall asleep.  

Encourage Your Cavalier To Play With Toys

Make sure your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel puppy has lots of toys to play with during the day.

Encourage them to bite their toys when they’re playing. Biting is a natural part of your puppy’s development, so it’s essential that they’ve got a chance to chew on suitable things.

They’re a notoriously playful breed who especially love to play with toys with their owners – so use that to your advantage! 

Train Your Cavalier Consistently

You need to be consistent and patient with your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel puppy’s training.

Cavaliers are pretty intelligent dogs who should quickly pick up new things if you train them consistently and positively.

Make sure everyone in your family is training them the same way too. This stops your Cavalier from getting confused and helps you get better results from your training. 

Stick To A Routine With Your Cavalier

Scheduling regular times for exercise, playtime, feeding, and sleeping can all help control how much your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel puppy is biting.

Too much built-up energy and feeling hungry, bored, or tired can contribute to your Cavalier biting and mouthing more.

Sticking to a set routine to ensure all their needs are being met can help reduce this. 

What Age Does A Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Puppy Stop Biting?

In general, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel puppy will bite much less when their adult teeth come through, at around 8 months old.

They’ll still chew their own dog toys, but shouldn’t still be biting you or your hands so much.

If they’re still biting into your skin, you need to go back to basics with the dog training. 

Should I Punish My Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Puppy For Biting?

No, you should never punish your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel puppy for biting.

It’s a completely natural part of their development, so they should never be shouted at or physically disciplined because of it. This will damage the bond you share with your Cavalier.

Because they’re a sensitive breed, it can cause them to shut down and become depressed and scared of you. And, even though they’re not an aggressive breed, they could show aggressive behaviors if trying to defend themselves. 

Remember, puppy biting isn’t your Cavalier trying to be naughty, purposely damaging your things, or intentionally trying to hurt you. So don’t get mad at them and never hit or smack them! 

It’s also a bad idea to use aversive training methods like spraying your Cavalier with water or shaking a bottle with stones in to stop them from biting.

All these kinds of punishments do is scare your Cavalier, not actually train them not to bite.

This suppresses their natural biting and mouthing behaviors, instead of giving them a more acceptable alternative. 

More than anything, work on redirection and move their attention onto a dog toy every time!

So, there you have it. Cavalier King Charles Spaniels go through a biting stage when they’re puppies. It’s a normal part of their development, but can be painful if their sharp needle teeth catch your skin! So make a loud noise like ‘Ouch!’ and redirect your Cavalier’s attention on to one of their dog toys, and away from your hands! Always praise them for playing nicely but try to remember that biting must always stop play!

What do I do next?

Thank you for reading all the way to the end of this article, your support for my blog means everything to me! If you found this article helpful, please kindly share below. Thank you!

We use cookies to improve your experience on our website. By browsing this website, you agree to our use of cookies.