Do Poodles Bite? – Reasons For Biting And How To Control It

Poodles are a cute dog breed that is very popular among dog owners. People usually groom their beautiful curly coats in all forms, making them look cute. But do Poodles bite?

Poodles have a terrible habit of biting from their young puppy age. They use this behavior to socialize and play with other dogs. To prevent this behavior to continue in their adult life, you should start training from the puppy phase.

The Poodle Temperament

Poodles are playful, active, and loving dogs that are great for being a family dog. They were bred for hunting so they have an instinctual nature to retrieve and hunt. This makes them high-energy dogs that can easily get bored if not trained properly.

The aggressive Poodle is a rare sight because they are very friendly with other people and animals around the home. Poodles are also intelligent, but they are very stubborn, and this stubbornness sometimes brings them trouble.

Poodles do have a habit of biting and nibbling from a young age, but this behavior is not aggressive in its nature. If you mess up with their training or influence other negative factors, you might end up with a Poodle that bites.

Why Do Poodles Bite?

There are a few reasons why a Standard Poodle may bite. Most of these reasons aren’t associated with aggressive behavior.


Around the 4 – 8 week period, the Poodle puppy will start teething. “The incisors (the little teeth in the front of the mouth) and canines (the bigger “fang” teeth) erupt first. The premolars—the teeth used for chewing—follow.”, says Dr. Mallory Kanwal.

Just like any dog, the teething period follows a lot of biting and nipping. If it doesn’t have a puppy chew toy to nibble on, it might bite whatever is closest.

Protective Instinct

If your Standard Poodle feels that it is in danger, it will start biting. This is a protective behavior and usually means that your pup is in danger. It can also happen when someone goes near its food or territory.

Attention Seeking

Everyone wants a little attention throughout the day. Your dog will jump on you or bark to get some attention. It will start biting if it notices that that grabs your attention. Even if a little cute, this Poodle biting behavior should be stopped with training.


Opposite to lack of attention is too much attention. If you play with your Poodle too much and get it overexcited it may start biting. This is why games like tug-of-war are not recommended for puppy aggression.

Lack Of Exercise

Poodles are high-energy dogs and they need their exercise and mental stimulation. If you are a busy person that doesn’t have time to exercise your dog, you will have to deal with the consequences. Energy build-up can cause anxiety and aggression in a dog.

Expressing Emotion

If your pup feels threatened or afraid it may react with aggression and biting. Things like thunderstorms, or unknown people entering the house may trigger your dog. You will notice it showing its teeth and excessively barking before going for the bite.

Medical Problems

Poodles bite when they are faced with health issues. Local or generalized pain will cause aggression and biting in your Poodle. There was a study done to show how pain is a big factor in aggression. In fact, the study said that:

The results of the study showed that dogs that had not been aggressive before the onset of pain were more impulsive to attack, displayed aggression more frequently when handled and assumed a defensive body posture more frequently than dogs that had showed previous aggressive tendencies. 

It is important to notice the signs of disease along with the excessive biting and contact the vet as soon as possible.


The Poodles will bite each other while growing up as part of their socialization. Play fighting is a big factor in learning how to control their bite force and not hurt anyone incidentally. Just make sure to properly train your puppy during this play biting phase.

How To Stop Your Poodle From Biting

There are a few things you can do to prevent biting from your Poodle.

Early Training And Socialization

Poodles are intelligent dogs and this makes them easy to train and teach. You should use this trait to train your dog from an early age. But Poodles are known to be stubborn so you need to be patient and persistent.

It is also important to let your Poodle be around its mother for the first 8 weeks. She will help remove the bad habits from your pup and discipline it when needed.

You can start socializing around the age of 3 – 12 weeks. Slowly introduce it to new people and animals in your home. Then take it to the dog park when it will meet more of them.

Teach Bite Inhibition

Poodles have a bite force of around 200 – 400 PSI. This is even higher than the bite force of a Belgian Malinois. Knowing that, you should teach them to inhibit their bite from an early age so you won’t get hurt when playing. 

Poodle puppies learn bite inhibitions from their mom and siblings from the early days of their life. They bite each other when they are playing and don’t want to hurt each other. In time your dog will know how hard to clench its jaw to not hurt them.

You can also train your puppy yourself. Whenever you play, if it bites you too hard, yell out a high-pitched “ouch”, and it will know not to bite that hard again. 

Buy Some Chew Toys

You can also get a toy to control the Poodle bite force. If you want to keep yourself or your furniture free of dog bite marks, a nice chewy toy will do the job for your pup.

The best time to get a chew toy is during the teething period of your Poodle. This is around the age of 4-8 weeks. The pup’s gums will ache during this period so it’s a perfect pain-reliever.

Chew toys are great for older dogs as well. They are there when the dog wants to play but they also help with cleaning their teeth. Your furniture will also be very thankful.

Reinforce Positive Behavior

Training is a great way to stop Poodle biting. It needs discipline and work. But dogs also need love and affection.

This is why you should use positive reinforcement when training your dog. Whenever your Poodle does good in the training you need to encourage that positive behavior. You can give it its favorite treat, or give positive praise, like calling it “good dog” whenever it does good.

In time, your Poodle will associate the right behaviors with the treats and praise and will try to do better every time. With enough training, you won’t even need the treats as the dog will know exactly what it needs to do.

poodle in the garden - why poodles smell

Calm Your Poodle

If you want to know how to train a Poodle not to bite, you first need to know how to spot the warning signs. Whenever dogs are getting ready to attack, there are a few signs they make. You will notice your Poodle getting stiff with its ears pinned back and hackle raised. It will also be showing its teeth, and start growling and barking.

Once you notice these symptoms, you should start diffusing the situation. Be calm and see if you can remove the reason that is making it upset. You may also exit the room slowly and let it cool off by itself. For a dog that is chronically aggressive, consider using calming medication like valerian root.

Establish Dominance

Poodles, just like all dogs, have the inherited instinct of “following the pack”. If you want to avoid having an aggressive Poodle at home, you need to make sure that you are the leader of that pack. You do this by establishing your dominance. You need to establish this during the young puppy days when the pup is still learning.

Make your Poodle understand that you will let it for a walk or feed it at a set time that you decide, rather than whenever it wants. This way your male Poodle will be obedient and know when it can eat or exercise so it won’t bother you throughout the day. 

Ask For Help

If you can’t deal with your Poodle being an aggressive dog and biting, don’t be afraid to ask for help. There are people who can help you with the biting Poodle.

You should first visit your vet to see if anything is wrong with your pup healthwise. You should also look for any symptoms and signs of illness in your dog before taking it to the vet.

If you think the problem is more behavioral, you can hire a professional dog trainer. They will help with training the dog from an early age, or with an older dog that was not trained properly.

How To Deal With An Older Poodle Biting

Older dogs are harder to train as they already have established personalities. But with a bit more work and time, you can train your older Poodle not to bite.

If you are dealing with older mean Poodles, the first thing you need to do is to assert dominance. Set specific times for feeding and taking a walk and don’t let the Poodle dictate whenever it likes to. This will make it respect you and follow your lead.

If your Poodle has problems with anxiety, you can enroll it in an obedience class. That way the Poodle breed can socialize and learn from other dogs and people. You can also talk to your vet or hire a professional dog trainer. In time you will teach your new Poodle that biting is not acceptable.

What Are Some Notable Dog Bite Statistics?

An important thing to note is that the Poodle is not even on the list of dogs responsible for most dog bite injuries.

The dog breed that often is associated with aggressive behavior and has statistically the most dog bite attacks is the Pit Bull. Besides Pit Bulls, the German Shepherd is actually the second breed known for its bite injuries.

Other breeds with aggressive behavior and bite attacks are the Cane Corso and American Bulldog. Some mixed breed may also be responsible for a dog attack. Breeds that seem scary but don’t have a biting behavior are the Chow Chow and English Mastiff.

Dogs that are prone to affectionate biting are the Shih Tzu, Golden Retriever, and Labrador Retriever. There are rare cases where a breed like this is responsible for a fatal dog attack.

Conclusion – Do Poodles Bite?

Poodles are a great dog breed to have as a family pet. They are loving, playful, and very intelligent. But they can be a problem because of their biting nature.

A Poodle will start biting from an early age as a way of socializing with its siblings and with you. The biting will increase during the teething period and in some specific cases. These include attention seeking, protectiveness, lack of exercise, anxiety, stress, or illness.

Your job as a dog owner is to stop this bad behavior. You should start with early training and socialization. Establish dominance and be strict, but also reward good behavior and calm your dog. You can also get a chew toy or talk to a vet or a professional dog trainer for help.

Remember that even if Poodles are known to bite more, with a caring pet owner they can be the perfect pet.


Are Toy Poodles more aggressive than Standard Poodles?

It is more common to see a Toy Poodle growling and biting, rather than a standard one. This is because Toy Poodles are small and they are more likely to be mistreated by bigger animals or people.

Are Poodles stubborn?

Poodles are known for two things: their intelligence, and their stubbornness. The intelligence makes them easy to train as they pick up on things easier. But their stubbornness can make training a pain sometimes. Consistency and persistence are key.

Should you punish your Poodle for biting?

Don’t punish your Poodle for biting. Instead, you should know what do Poodles bite for and try to solve that problem together. Train and socialize together and the biting will stop in time.

More information on the Poodle

Here are a few more related posts that offer more information about the popular Poodle.

You can find a lot more information on Poodles on our site Dogisa!

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