The kindest way to deal with this behaviour is to first recognise and acknowledge that this is very normal puppy behaviour and it is also how they learn what is allowed and what is not.
With this in mind, it’s helpful to remember that our puppies are relaxed and therefore responsive by nature. They will stay that way until we innocently take them away from that lovely place. Recognise there is a good chance that it is we, the human, that have taken our dogs away from that lovely relaxed place to play/engage and have fun with them and it is this increase in their excitement levels that has caused them to start to nip and bite. Obviously we want to be able to play and have fun with them so the first thing to do is get to know your puppy.
At what point does the play become too much for them and they get overexcited and nip and bite? This is the point to stop engaging with them and give them some time to go back to that lovely relaxed place. Remember it was we, the human, who caused them to get into the nipping bite state in the first place, so it’s not appropriate to shout no/stop or in any way punish your puppy. It’s much kinder to just stop what you are doing disengage from your puppy for a moment and let them calm down. If you have not noticed just how excited they have got (different puppies will have different tolerance levels) and they are really quite excited then sometimes distracting them with a chew/toy will settle them down again. If they are really excited/but still responding you could ask them to go to their safe place. Ie bed/crate/favourite spot under the table, wherever your puppy is most relaxed. If you have totally missed the signs and they are no longer responsive you may have to completely leave the room and leave them alone to have the time and space to fall back into that lovely, calm space of relaxed and responsive.
The key is getting to know your own puppy and how they respond to play, fun and cuddles with both you and other members of the family.
If you are interested in finding out more about how to build a beautiful relationship with your puppy and help them to live their best life. My new Puppy Love programme will be available to buy from the 20th July here
Peaceful paws always.