Training Your Puppy Not to Bite When You're Giving a Treat

With practice, your dog will learn to take treats gently.
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Receiving a treat is very exciting for most puppies, and many display their exuberance by snapping the treat out of your hand. This can lead to painful scratches or bites, giving the puppy a reputation as aggressive. With patience and repetition, you can teach your pup to take his treat politely.

Step 1

Hold a small training treat in your closed hand, and offer it to your dog.

Step 2

Keep your hand closed around the treat if the puppy nips or jumps at your hand. Do not jerk your hand away from the dog, which encourages lunging.

Step 3

Open your hand flat while saying, "Gentle," and allow the puppy to take the treat as soon as he stops biting or chewing on your hand.

Step 4

Repeat the process until your puppy waits for you to open your hand without biting at your fingers.

Step 5

Hold the treat between your fingers and offer it to your puppy while telling him "Gentle." If he lunges at your hand or nips your finger, immediately close your hand around the treat.

Step 6

Repeat until your puppy understands that he must take the treat gently, or it will be withheld.

Step 7

Work with your puppy for five-minute sessions each day until he consistently takes treats without nipping your fingers.


  • Wear gloves during training sessions if you are concerned about nips.

  • Don't toss treats into the air, which encourages lunging.

  • Don't jerk your hand away while holding a treat. This excites the puppy and often leads to nipping.

An Item You Will Need

  • Small training treats