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

by Melodie Anne Coffman 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.

Warnings

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 has been writing for various online and print publications since 1996, specializing in human and animal nutrition. After receiving her master's degree in food science and human nutrition, she opened up her own nutrition consulting business in the New England area.

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