Can I Use Bitter Apple Spray to Stop My Puppy From Biting My Adult Dog?

by Melodie Anne Google
    Give him a toy to chew on instead.

    Give him a toy to chew on instead.

    Chris Amaral/Digital Vision/Getty Images

    Taste deterrents can be helpful tools for nixing that annoying puppy habit of mouthing. Typically, you can apply bitter products to your adult dog’s fur, but you have to get the right type of formula and clean it off after they play.

    Using Taste Deterrents

    Apply the bitter apple solution to a cotton swab or cloth so you can control exactly where it lands. Wipe it on at least one of your dog’s legs before your pup heads over for a play session. When your puppy starts getting mouthy, he’ll quickly realize that your older pooch suddenly tastes bad and won’t want to chew on him anymore. Thoroughly wash the bitter spray off your dog after the play session is over, though -- he’ll probably want to clean himself as he normally does.


    Read the label of your bitter spray or lotion carefully or check with your veterinarian for approval, as some products are designed to be applied to inanimate objects only. If you get a product that isn't made for skin, it can sting or irritate your adult dog.

    Other Tips

    When you catch your puppy nipping at one of your other pack members, distract him by making a loud sound, like a quick hand clap. Immediately put something in his mouth that is acceptable for him to chew on. This way, you’re replacing the behavior you don’t want with a new habit that pleases you. Otherwise, he’ll go right back to gnawing on your other dog as soon as you leave the room.

    Photo Credits

    • Chris Amaral/Digital Vision/Getty Images

    About the Author

    Melodie Anne Coffman specializes in overall wellness, with particular interests in women's health and personal defense. She holds a master's degree in food science and human nutrition and is a certified instructor through the NRA. Coffman is pursuing her personal trainer certification in 2015.

    Trending Dog Behavior Articles

    Have a question? Get an answer from a Vet now!