Control Dog Biting and Nipping
Biting is most common in puppies and younger dogs, especially while they are teething. You are responsible for teaching your dog what is and is not allowed. Puppies would normally learn to not bite from the other pups in their litter or from their mother. We as owners usually take them from their litter much before this stage. We must now teach them not to bite ourselves. Puppies need to learn not to bite before they are 4 months old. Puppies that do not learn that they can’t bite before they are 4 months old have a much harder time with teething and mouthing as a bigger dog. Larger breeds need to be taught before this time or it may be too late to easily stop this dog biting behavior.
By socializing your puppy with other dogs and puppies they can start learning from the other dogs where they hopefully left off from their own litter. When puppies play with other puppies, they bite each other all over without regard to pain. Once they have been exposed to this type of behavior they learn not to bite. The puppy can learn to control themselves a little better at this point. If your puppy bites another dog too hard the other dog will bite back just as hard or harder. Your puppy will learn from the other dog’s natural reaction. We as humans can’t teach this to our puppy. Your puppy has to learn this by playing with other dogs only.
If you do not socialize your puppy or dog they may think that you are one of their pack and treat you as one by biting and roughhousing. It is up to you to make sure this does not happen. Your dog can also show aggression, destruction and hyperactivity toward you and your family. It is especially important to socialize your dog for these reasons if there are children in the home. Children are more likely to be hurt by “play biting” than adults. Children also have a harder time understanding that the puppy was just playing.
Dogs have usually only two or three different reactions to something that alarms or scares them. Acting aggressive, avoiding or ignoring it. With children around they tend not to ignore things because children will follow and aggravate the dog.
There are many different reasons that your puppy or dog may be biting or nipping. One main reason may be that your dog does not respect you enough to obey. You must gain respect and trust in order to accomplish any training whatsoever. If the respect is not present then your dog may feel equal to you. If your dog feels equal to you there is no reason that they should take orders from you at all. Dog nipping can be a habit that is hard to break, and you need to have the respect of your dog.
Never strike or hit your dog for biting. This will only make the dog more fearful of you or the situation and possibly more aggressive. Your dog has an unconditional love for you and does not behave badly to “get you back” for anything. They simply do not know that what they are doing is wrong. It is our job as the owner to correct these problems and misunderstandings. We must help the dog to understand that this behavior is completely unacceptable. We must make it perfectly clear to our puppy that it is the biting that we do not like, not the puppy himself. This is hard for dogs that have been removed from their litter early or an older rescued dog to learn but it can be done with patience.
It can be frustrating at times if your dog takes longer to learn to not bite and nip. For an obedient, well trained dog, we highly recommend you check out Secrets to Dog Training by Daniel Stevens. This is simply the best guide to training a dog we have found, and give it our highest praise. If you are looking for the best dog training resource, do yourself a favor and check this guide out. It will help you get dog biting under control in no time.
Tips to Stop Dog Biting:
- Never hit or kick your pet for biting.
- Yelling at the dog will not stop any behavior.
- Biting and nipping will get worse if the dog doesn’t respect and obey you.
- Always be prepared to address a bad behavior the right way.
- Socialize your dog!
Walt Disney's family dog was named Lady. She was a poodle.