How to train and teach your to dog stop biting?
Do you really want to know that how to get a puppy to stop biting? Stop worrying and start practicing.
This question is a genuine cause of concern for you if you own an adult dog that loves to mouth and bite, even in a friendly manner. Teaching an adult dog not to bite can only be stress-free, if he, in his puppyhood learnt to be gentle and behaviorally sound. Teaching your dog tricks always had a tough job but not anywhere especially after reading this.
A well-known animal behavior expert Dr. Ed Bailey writes in his article Producing Behaviorally Sound Dogs, “The surefire recipe for producing a behaviorally sound dog – in fact, the only way – is to start with behaviorally sound pup.”
Training a puppy to behave accordingly and out of instinct is a humongous task, a tough ask in the given scenario that she has never been trained before.
To get your pet inhibit mouthing and biting, you got to learn what makes her teeth and bite. Once you have diagnosed the causes of problem, curing and cutting it down will become a lot easier.
One might think that producing a well-behaving pup is rather a piece of cake, an easy task. If you too think so… then you are wrong!
But, that will require a lot of dollars, loads of time and mental wear and tear. Remember, no luck involved!
Puppies bite; this is normal behavior for young pups. We should not expect from a new pet that she will learn straight away acting according to owner’s will and not by instinct. Let the puppy do teething and mouthing so that she could learn how much is too much.
Remember, biting and teething is in dog’s nature. So, first teach him not to bite too hard and the gradually she will learn not to bite at all.
Famous Neuroscientist and Veterinary Medicine Specialist Dr. Kristy Conn writes in her blog
“Approximately four and a half million people are bitten by dogs in the United States every year and one fifth of them end up needing medical attention for their wounds. Children are the most common victims with half of bite wound victims being under the age of thirteen.
Children are much more likely to be severely injured by dog bites due to their small size and not being aware of how one should act around a dog. Most dog bites occur while interacting with familiar dogs thus the need to educate people and their children on how to avoid dog bites. It is important to understand that any dog has the capacity to bite and that by understanding the common reasons why dogs bite, it is possible to prevent them.”
Dr. Kristy defines five main reasons why dogs bite.
- Possessiveness- The first common reason of dog bite is the possessiveness. This can relate to anything including a toy, food, territory or even a human being. This behavior may take place in almost any dog, but Guard dogs and herding breeds tend to be the worst offenders in general case.
- To cope with this problem, the owners should start training their dogs early, (best if in the puppyhood) to minimize the possessive behavior.
- Teach your pooch “Leave it” command to prevent toy aggression. To get rid of food aggression, teach your dog to wait until you put the food down.
- Use food treats to remove food to let them learn that understand that someone approaching the bowl is not a bad thing.
- Be sure your children know that bothering dogs while they are eating or enjoying a treat such as a bone, may cause serious injuries.
- Dog Fear – Dr. Kristy defines Dog Fear as “usually directed towards strangers such as veterinarians and postal workers or in unfamiliar situations.”
- To avoid Dog Fear Bite, Never get too close to an unacquainted dog and warn your children to avoid the same.
- Fear Bites usually occur when a dog is astonished or frightened at home. Hence, direct your children not to creep up on a dog or bother a sleeping dog.
- Don’t let your dog to develop a phobia about people, things or places. Take him out and let him socialize with the surroundings.
- For example, ask your neighbors and postal workers to greet your dogs with the treat you have left in the mailbox.
- Dog Pain – Dog pain can be of the reasons of dog bites.Severe pain can turn even the friendliest dog into terrifying and biting one. If your dog has any chronic injury i.e. hip dysplasia, Torn nails or severe Pet abrasions, warn your children from touching or even coming closer sore areas and handle the dog gently.
- Maternal Instincts – Maternal instincts may turn gentlest of a dog into a biter. Even a well-trained and friendliest dog can begin to bite if she has puppies.
- So, respect the maternal instinct and stay away from the bitch that has whelped recently.
- Teach kids to keep a distance from young puppy around the mother and be cautious yourself when handling puppies.
- Also, make sure the mother and puppies have a safe place with minimal disturbance.
- Prey Drive– Prey drive may also urge a dog to bite. Good news is – mostly, this is the case with stray dogs.
- But, you need to be aware of this instinct. Jogging, running and cycling past the stray dog may trigger his instinct – resulting in a chase.
- If the dog begins chasing then stop at once, stand tall and face the dog. Be watchful, but do not make eye contact with the animal. He may take it as a challenge.
- Stopping will break the dog’s curiosity. He might come to sniff you- but will eventually find you unexciting and move on to find something more interesting.
After knowing the common triggers that may lead to dog bites, let’s now focus on the WARNING SIGNS that can alert a smart observer and lead to take steps to reduce the dog’s stress or fear.
- They get their ears pinned back.
- The fur along their back may go up (Piloerection).
- You may be able to see their sclera (the whites of their eyes).
- They show off their teeth.
If you observe any of the above signs from a street dog, you should keep your distance and leave the scene as soon as possible.
However, if your own dog begins to behave like this; you should follow given instructions to make him act gentle.
How to get a puppy to stop biting?
Prevention from dog bite starts at home. Be a responsible owner and start with training of your own dog.
- Strengthen human-animal bond. For this, play with your dog, take him to walk, let him socialize with his surroundings to develop a friendly approach.
- But try to avoid violent games i.e. wrestling, tug of war etc., as these games may create dominance issues. Your dog must learn basic commands such as SIT, STAY, COME and
- Don’t let your dog stray around free, as this might be dangerous for other people.
- Keep vaccinations up to date for any untoward situation.
- If the dog shows signs of aggression, take professional help from your veterinarian.
- Teach your kids (if any) how to act around dogs, what to watch for and what to do in case of a dog attack.
How to Teach Your Dog Not to Bite
To get the desired results of your teachings, start schooling of your dog in its puppyhood. However, the given instructions may also be applied on an adult pet.
- Social Isolation: Command “NO!” every time your pooch bites in a loud and firm voice. Then leave your dog alone and ignore him for some time. Social isolation can prove to be an effective form of punishment for a young pup.
- Prompt Reaction: Yelp loudly when the puppy bites hard. It might sound strange but litter puppies cry out if a sibling bites too hard during the play and the other leaves at once realizing the mistake.
This exercise will send clear message to your pup about what is acceptable playing and what isn’t.
REMEMBER: Tell your kids not scream or run from dog as this might puppy’s Prey Drive. Ask children to stay calm and keep their hands closed and close to their bodies.
- Taste Deterrent: Apply taste deterrent on those parts of your body the pup is likely to play aggressive with before you play with him. When you are about to be bitten by the pup, don’t move and let him bite and then react to the deterrent. When he has stopped biting appreciate him and resume playing. This deterrent can be anything from the Bitter Apple to Vick’s Vapor Rub.
Precaution: Make sure to rinse your hands thoroughly with water and soap after the endeavor in order to have your hands cleaned from the material.
- Teething Toys: Use teething toys to deviate your pup’s attention. When he has become peaceful give him a gentle talk and stroking. Make sure your hands are away from his mouth. Play with him again but don’t get him excited. Use some toys instead of hands to engage him. Channelize his drive towards fun by playing throw and fetch.
You can also play tug-of-war with your pup, as suggested by some trainers. According to them this game is fun as well as safe. You are controlling the game by being on the other side of it and can call it off if the rules are being breached.
- Safe Play: Don’t play rough with a puppy that bites already. It would only be the encouragement for his behavior. Avoid employing your hands as toys. You should also supervise the kids playing with him or in his surroundings.
REMEMBER: Never let the kids play tug-of-war with the pup without adult supervision, or when the pup has no understanding of the rules, and when the pup’s size can be a risk for the kid.
- Handy Spray Bottle: If the biting gets persistent or strong keep a spray bottle handy and use it with yelp. Spray the pup to startle him and stop the behavior.
Precaution: Don’t threaten your puppy and make sure the nozzle is not adjusted to jet. It can harm the puppy and get him scared.
- Reward: When your pup is behaving good reward him for that. Appreciate him with cuddles and strokes. Also reward him verbally by praising him.
REMEMBER: It is your responsibility to turn your pup into a healthy and happy member who has well-adjusted to the family. You are a parent to him now.
Learn about Pup-Biting
It is important to learn about the puppy biting as it will help preventing this habit of your cute little pup.
- Know how puppies learn to bite: Puppies gnaw when they grow but they are taught not to bite by other pack members some of whom are adult. They learn how to not inflict harm through biting while playing with other puppies and they also get punished by the pack members if they don’t abstain from biting. They will be more impressing and clear until the pup learns about the biting behavior.
- Establish the importance of your dog bite-trained: It should be you before your puppy to realize that the pup-not-biting is important. If you don’t take measuresin start his habit would grow out of control and would turn into behavioral issues in adulthood. Also try to reach the cause of your pup’s biting whether he is doing it out of habit or a feeling like anger or fear. In the second context consult an animal behavioral therapist.
- Safety Precautions: If you are about to kick start a training program with a qualified trainer muzzling your pup is the way to go. He will quickly learn with a muzzle to abstain from gnawing or biting. However, it would be a no-no if you have no idea about the training method and approach. A muzzle can be a danger if not properly introduced and used.
Also, never leave kids with dog without an adult supervision, even if you deem the dog as safe.
By following the given instructions, you will master the art of teaching your dog not to bite and act gently. Training your puppy or dog to bite become easy when you learn to teach poperly If you are still facing problems, we are open to help you round the clock, write us your problem.Share it if you find it helpful!