When you’re playing with your puppy and she starts chewing on your hand, chances are she is teething. Puppies that are teething have a developmental issue, not a behavioral issue. It’s the same as when human babies teethe.
Tiny needlelike teeth begin to appear when puppies are 2 to 4 weeks old. Then, when they’re about 3 months old, puppies start getting their permanent teeth. This process continues until the puppy is about 8 months old.
The American Kennel Club offers the following tips on getting your puppy through this stage.
Control the environment
Make sure that you aren’t the only readily available chewable object, and puppy-proof your home.
Provide an assortment of acceptable toys for your puppy to chew on.
Have an acceptable alternative close by
Keep the toys in places where you can easily reach them so you can quickly offer a proper alternative when the puppy feels a need to chew. If your puppy chews you or an inappropriate object (your shoes), give him one of the acceptable toys to chew on.
Teach your puppy that nipping is not OK
If your puppy nips and bites too hard, teach the puppy that this is not OK by ending the interaction. You can pull your hand away, say, “OW!” and leave the puppy for a few minutes. Then try again so your puppy has a chance to act appropriately.
Take care of your dog’s teeth at all ages
Brush your dog’s teeth
Using flavored enzymatic toothpaste specially formulated for dogs and a doggie or child’s toothbrush, brush your dog’s teeth on a daily basis. Brush her teeth like you would your own and focus extra attention on the gum line.
Familiarize your dog
Start with short brushing sessions, even letting your dog just lick the brush or just touch the brush to one tooth, so she gets used to it and begins to accept the process. Work up to more thorough brushing sessions. Give different flavors of toothpaste a try and see which one she likes best.