One of the most difficult behavioral problems to correct is a dog that bites. Retraining a dog to stop biting takes time, patience and consistency. However, it can be done with the right tools and the proper training techniques.
If you have a dog, chances are they’ve bitten you or someone close to you. If your dog bites, it’s not your fault. Puppy biting is part of growing up for many dogs, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t protect yourself and others from potential harm. I’ll cover why puppies bite and what to do about it in this blog post.
Training A Dog That Bites
Dogs that bite are not usually born with the habit. It is something they learn, often from their owners.
The first step you can take to prevent your dog from biting is to make sure that he does not have access to any people or other animals. This includes children and other pets in his home. If your dog has access to these people and animals, it will be important for you to supervise them at all times so that no one gets hurt by his bite.
The next step is to train your dog how to act around people and other animals by using positive reinforcement techniques such as treats, praise and affection when he behaves properly around them. You should also use negative reinforcement techniques such as time outs or scolding when he misbehaves around others so that he learns what behaviors are acceptable and what are not acceptable when interacting with other humans or animals outside of your home environment where he lives with you everyday (such as during walks).
Finally, it’s important for owners who own dogs who have bitten someone before so that they do not repeat this behavior again by punishing them severely after an incident occurs (such as putting them down) which only makes things worse between owners and dogs because now both parties have negative feelings towards each
Training a dog that bites can be a challenge. It is important to start training at an early age, as it will be easier to teach your dog not to bite when he is young.
The first thing you should do is make sure your dog knows how to sit, stay and come when called. This will help you control your dog in stressful situations. If your dog has already bitten someone, it is important that you stop the behavior immediately by putting him in his crate or behind a baby gate until he calms down. You should also make sure that when your dog does bite someone, they are not hurt or injured because this will make it more likely for your dog to bite again in the future.
Training A Dog That Bites
5 main reasons dogs bite
- Dog possessiveness can cause dog bites : Protection of property is a common issue and “property” in this case can be anything from toy, food, territory or even a human being. Guard dogs and herding breeds tend to be the worst offenders but this behavior can arise in any dog. Start training early to minimize this kind of possessive behavior. Teaching the “Leave it” command works well in preventing toy aggression. Food aggression can be avoided by teaching your dog to wait while you put their food down. Teach them to sit or lie down and then remove their food and then put it back. Approach the food bowl and occasionally add treats to the food so they understand that someone approaching the bowl is not a bad thing. Teach children not to bother dogs that are eating or enjoying a treat such as a bone.
- Dog fear can cause dog bites : Fear is usually directed towards strangers such as veterinarians and postal workers or in unfamiliar situations. Never approach an unfamiliar dog and teach your children to do the same. Fear bites can occur when a dog is startled at home therefore teach children never to sneak up on a dog or bother a sleeping dog. Early socialization is important so that the young dog is exposed to many different people, animals and situations minimizing the risk of a phobia developing. For example, make your first visit to the vet a simple social visit to get a feel for the clinic and meet the veterinary staff. Leave some treats and a note in the mailbox asking your postal worker to give a treat to your puppy.
- Dog pain can cause dog bites : Pain can cause the friendliest dog to bite. If your dog has hip dysplasia, severe otitis or any chronic injury, instruct your children to stay away from the sore areas and be gentle handling the dog. If your dog becomes snippy for no reason consider pain as a possible cause and schedule an appointment with your regular veterinarian for a physical.
- Maternal instincts can cause dog bites : The most well trained dog can become a biter when she has puppies. Be aware of and respect the maternal instinct around a bitch that has whelped recently. Teach children not to approach a young puppy around the mother and use caution yourself when handling puppies. Make sure the mother and puppies have a place where they can feel safe with minimal distraction.
- Prey drive can cause dog bites : Another instinct to be aware of and is sometimes triggered by running or cycling past a dog resulting in a chase. Be aware of your environment if you are jogging or cycling and if you see a roaming dog try to avoid crossing paths. If a dog does give chase then the best things to do is stop moving and stand tall facing the dog. Be aware of the dog but do not make eye contact which can be seen as a challenge by the dog. They may come up and sniff you but will eventually find you uninteresting and move on to find something else. If a dog knocks you over then curl up in a ball protecting your face hands and neck and be still. Teach children to do the same and set up a mock “stray dog” drill.
Dog Bite Warning Signs
Knowing the common triggers that cause dog bites will empower you to avoid these situations. Dog bites are always preceded by behavior that an astute observer can use as a warning and then take steps to reduce the dog’s stress or fear. Ears are typically pinned back, the fur along their back may stand up and you may be able to see the whites of their eyes. Yawning is not an attempt by the dog to appear casual but to show off their teeth and should be considered a warning sign as well. Non-social “stand-offish” behavior such as freezing in response to a touch or look followed by direct intense eye contact back from the dog is another clear sign that he may bite.
How to Stop Dog Biting from Happening
Dog bite prevention begins at home with your own dog by being a responsible dog owner. If you do not intend to breed your dog then having them spayed or neutered will help decrease the risk of bite related behaviors. Exercise and play with your dog on a regular basis to reinforce the human-animal bond and to expend excess energy that might otherwise be directed towards nervous energy. However, avoid aggressive games such as wrestling and tug of war which can lead to dominance issues. Train your dog well, they should know the basic commands such as sit, stay, come and leave it. Don’t allow your dog to roam free where they can be a danger to other people. Do try to socialize your dog and expose him to many different people and situations but take care not to overwhelm him. Keep your vaccinations up to date for a worst case scenario. In most states a dog can be destroyed if they bite someone and they are not up to date on vaccines. Seek professional help from your veterinarian if your dog shows any signs of aggression. If you have children take the time to educate them on how to act around dogs, what to watch for and what to do if a dog attacks.