Does Your Dog have the Habit of Nipping
Biting and chewing is common in puppies
up to one year of age. Much biting and chewing is related
to teething in puppies. However, you need to start establishing
boundaries on what is acceptable and what is not from
the first day you bring your dog home.
It is important for you to understand
how much and what type of biting are acceptable and
expected for your dog.
While you may think your little puppy
is adorable when it growls and bites, you and your friends
will no longer think it is cute when it is grown up
and biting. And you don’t want your dog’s
biting and nipping to send someone to the hospital for
You will not be able to take your dog
in public if it snaps and bites. And you will be afraid
to let it outside for fear it will bite someone who
is just walking around the neighborhood.
While everyone would agree that no
aggressive behavior should be encouraged from a dog,
very few people know how to train a dog to quit biting
or be less aggressive once he has started. The first
step is to understand why he is biting.
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Why Does Your Dog Bite?
Understanding why your dog started
biting and why he is biting now may be a two-step process
or it might be the same reason. Answering a few questions
As a follow-up, you need to evaluate
your reaction to his biting. How did you react the first
time? How do you react now? And how does he act after
biting someone? If you scold him, what is his reaction?
Learn the correct response to his biting
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When Biting is out of FUN
Biting out of fun is not unusual for
puppies. They may start out jumping around and grabbing
at your hand or a toy and then accidently bite your
hand. Or, they may be chewing on something and accidently
bite you when you try to take it away.
The dog may see this as part of a
game or as a way to get attention, especially if it
happens a couple of times within a week. He then may
try biting to see if he gets attention or gets you to
play. If you pay him attention or play with him, he
will be training you instead of you training him!
It is important that you deal with
the biting immediately each time it happens –
even when it is an accident. Learn the correct method
of training your dog not to bite at membership site.
When Biting is out of FEAR
If your dog bites in new situations
or around new people, he may feel fearful and anxious.
He may appear nervous in a variety of situations. This
may be related to his breeding, his personality, or
his need for more socialization.
A dog who bites in these situations
will not get better by isolating him or ignoring him.
You need to learn to fully socialize him using the methods
and tips at the membership site. Socialization starts
when a puppy is still with his mother and continues
throughout his life.
Take your dog to a park that does
not have a lot of people or dogs and let him walk around
on a leash and smell and look without being approached
or trapped. Once he gets used to that, take him to a
park with more people and dogs and keep him on a leash.
Talk to him and praise him when he acts appropriately.
Take lots of walks.
If you do not feel like your dog can
be trusted around other people or dogs, you will need
to muzzle him when he is in public. There are many different
types of muzzles available. If he is wearing a muzzle,
it will also help other people know not to approach
him or let their dogs approach him which will help him
feel less threatened.
Taking your dog to obedience training
classes will give him confidence and help him learn
to obey you. Dogs enjoy the structure of knowing what
to do on command. They also enjoy knowing that when
they are on a leash, they are “safe.”
If your dog's tail is low or tucked
between his hind legs, if he is panting excessively,
pacing or even whining, take these signs to be an indication
that he is nervous and move him out of the situation
immediately. Do not ignore such symptoms. If you do,
you or any other person around him may end up being
step-by-step instructions from our Dog Mini Course
to control your dog's or puppy's biting habits.
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Immediate Help for Controlling Your Dog’s
If your dog bites – even once – you
need to know some methods of helping him know that
biting will not be tolerated:
When you feel your dog’s teeth on your
skin, gently move his mouth off your skin and
firmly say ‘no bite.’
If he actually bites you, make a sharp, high-pitched
sound like ‘Ow’ or ‘Ouch’
and then firmly, in a low voice say ‘no
Just after the incident, leave your dog alone
for a few minutes (3-5 minutes) and refuse to
look at him, touch him, or speak to him.
If your dog bites while playing, respond with
‘no bite’, stop playing immediately
and do something calmer with him.
If you have to tell him ‘no bite’
several times, try using something to startle
him like a shaker can of pennies when you give
him the ‘no bite’ command.
Remember: Do not yell, punish or hit your
dog; instead use positive reinforcement like praise
or a treat when you have had an extended play time without biting
or he is in a new situation and acts appropriately.
Once he realizes he gets more attention when he does
not bite, he will forget about biting.
For more help on stopping your dog’s biting,
Get access to our FREE Online Seminar and Dog Training Mini Course.