Stop a Dog from Biting - Stop Dog Aggression

Stop a Dog From Biting - Stop Dog Aggression

Dog biting, puppy biting, and dog aggression are serious! The good news is that there are behavioral methods you can use to stop your dog's aggression and stop your dog from biting!

By the way, obedience training will never solve behavior problems like dog biting and aggression and fighting in dogs. Obedience training is great for you and your dog, but if you obedience-train a dog that bites, you then have a dog that Sits, Stays, Heels--and bites...

Effective training methods to stop dog biting, stop puppy biting, and stop dog aggression do not have to involve harsh methods like jerking or gimmicks like squirting or clicking. In fact, one thing I'm known for saying is, "In dog training, 'jerk' is a noun and not a verb".

What Type of Aggression Does Your Dog Have?

Inherited Aggression -- Real aggression can be influenced by heredity as well as by environmental factors. A standard tip when buying a new pupyp is to always see the sire and dam before choosing one of their offspring. The reason is their strong influence on the pup's eventual behavior.

If the parents are aggressive, the chances are greater that the puppy will have aggressive tendencies when he grows up. Notice that I said "tendencies". Behaviors like biting aren't inherited, but tendencies or predispositions toward these behaviors are. A dog won't inherit aggression and biting from a parent, but he can inherit the tendency to react to a situation with aggression. Couple that with the parents' influence on early learning and we have a real potential for aggression and biting being passed on.

Defensive Aggression -- We all know that dogs are territorial by nature. For thousands of years their survival depended upon defending their territory.

They will also fight to defend themselves or their pack if they perceive a threat. Being predators, they have a long history of hunting and killing prey. And many of these predatory reflexes are in our domestic breeds today. Unless handled properly, many dogs will develop a protective attitude toward their food or food aggression, threatening anyone who approaches it or them while they're eating with growling or biting.

Again, such behaviors are natural to the species. No one should have a dog without knowing that. They can also be effectively handled with proper training and guidance from the family to stop the dog's aggression and biting. These reasons are seldom behind an aggression problem and should be familiar to and properly handled by anyone choosing to have a dog.

Other Types of Aggression and Biting in Dogs and Puppies include:

Aggression caused by pain,

Aggression caused by fear or self-defense,

Aggression resulting from tethering your dog,

Reactive aggression,

Dominance aggression,

Conditioned aggression,

Associative aggression,

Displacement aggression,

Trained aggression,

Physical problems like epilepsy can cause aggression

To stop your dog from biting and stop dog aggression, first of all, determine what type of aggression is causing your dog to bite. Does he have fear aggression/submissive aggression, dominance aggression, territorial aggression/food aggression, etc.?

How Do We Cause Fear Aggression?

There are actually things WE do to cause some types of aggression like fear aggression or submissive aggression. For example, do you greet your dog by looking him in the eye with your shoulders squared to him, leaning down from above, reaching down to pet him on the back of his neck? Wow! That poor critter has now been threatened to within an inch of his life. Top it off by rubbing his belly when he rolls over on his back submissively and you have just rewarded his submission. A submissive dog is a fearful dog--not a confident dog.

I have clients who have been able to stop their dogs from biting and stop fear/submissive aggression simply by changing the way they greet their dog. Squat on the floor instead of leaning over your dog and reach up from the floor to pet him on his neck and chest.

Here's a tip about petting a dog: dogs in the wild kill at the back of the neck, so it's much less threatening to a dog to pet him on his chest or neck instead of petting him on the back of his neck.

Can You Stop a Dog from Biting?

Many dogs are destroyed because of the belief that once a dog has bitten someone, he can never be trusted again. Not true!

Like any other behavior, aggression generally runs in patterns. Nothing exists in a vacuum and dog biting just doesn't pop up out of nowhere. A dog's bite is usually a culmination of a series of behaviors including barking, growling, challenge, contention, a lunge, and perhaps a warning snap.

A therapeutic goal in stopping a dog from biting is to treat the entire pattern. If you stop only the barking, you may simply teach the dog to go from the growl right to the bite, leaving out the bark that got him punished.

To stop dog biting, first remove the causes of the aggression. For example, if you leave your dog tethered outside when you are gone, consider alternatives to this. You could leave him inside in a room that he's comfortable in or in a crate that you have socialized him to. You could exchange pet sitting with a friend who has a dog. Or you could build a fenced area for him outside instead of tethering him outside...

These subjects of stopping dogs from biting and stopping dog aggression and dog fighting are so important that I have several comprehensive Chapters on them in my ebook on eliminating dog behavior problems.

I wish you and your dog the best and hope that this information benefits you and your dog!

Dr. Dennis Fetko, "Dr. Dog"

Stop Your Dog from Biting: Don't Wake a Sleeping Dog

Many dogs have been destroyed because they bit someone after they were awakened abruptly. But there's actually a lot of truth to the saying, "Let sleeping dogs lie".

Even though dogs are domesticated, they retain instincts that kept them alive in the wild. One of these is a very active defense reflex. And since dogs are very helpless when they are asleep, if they are awakened abruptly they may attack and bite the person who woke them up before they are actually awake--through their defense reflex.

So be sure to let your children know they should not disturb your dog if he is sleeping or the dog may bite them. And it's futile to punish a dog that bites when he is awakened because he may not have any memory of the attack since he reacted reflexively before he was actually awake.

From Now You're Talkin' Dog by Dr. Dennis Fetko, "Dr. Dog" and from Stop Dog Behavior Problems by "Talkin' Dog"!

Yes, Rover, Chewers Anonymous Can Help You Stop Chewing! (Yes, that's me, Dr. Dog, at the end of the video...)

Viewer Comments for: How to Stop a Dog From Biting 110 comments

SunSeven profile image

SunSeven 9 years ago from Singapore / India

Great info DrDog. But doesn't various breeds have different aggression levels? I feel that its more breed specific.


DrDog profile image

DrDog 9 years ago from San Diego Author

Hi SunSeven, Yes there are some breed tendencies in aggression.  Also, male dogs are 6 times more likely to bite than females. And neutered dogs are less likely to bite.  Glad you liked my info!  Dr. Dog


Angela Harris profile image

Angela Harris 9 years ago from Around the USA

This is a very interesting hub. I adore dogs. I wasn't aware of the negative aspects of rubbing a submissive dog's belly.


Russ Klettke profile image

Russ Klettke 9 years ago from Chicago

Dennis, thanks for your comments on my Hub regarding exercising with one's dog. Hurry up and finish your piece on dog digging -- I just spent big buck$ on my garden and gotta figure out how to limit that little problem.


DogWhisperWoman profile image

DogWhisperWoman 9 years ago from Crystal River

Outstanding job, Dr. Dog! Very thorough, accurate, and helpful for a variety of dog aggression issues. You and I see eye-to-eye on these dog biting, dog aggression, and other dog behavior problems. Hopefully many dog owners will find you here... and also your impressive website and ebooks. Many thanks for the links.


Guinness 9 years ago

Many thanks for a very informative and helpful Hub! Most people don't realize how many types and causes of dog aggression there are, nor how people unwittingly contribute to their dog's aggression and other dog behavior problems. I look forward to your ebooks, and want to read all you are sharing from your extensive experience. My primary focus is Dog Health Care - and these dog behavior matters affect dog health far more than just with trauma care! Best wishes for great success, Guinness


SunSeven profile image

SunSeven 9 years ago from Singapore / India

Hello DrDog,

Re: "Hi SunSeven, Yes there are some breed tendencies in aggression. Also, male dogs are 6 times more likely to bite than females. And neutered dogs are less likely to bite. Glad you liked my info! Dr. Dog", I have observed that female dogs tend to be more ferocious soon after they give birth and the chances of getting bitten is more at that time. I would like to hear from you on this. Thanks

PS. (Are you a practicing vet?)

Regards


DrDog profile image

DrDog 9 years ago from San Diego Author

Hi SunSeven, Yes, it's an instinct in mother dogs to become very protective of their puppies and very alert to any potential threat.

PS: I'm a practicing Animal Behaviorist in San Diego (a "phud doctor" -- Ph.D.). 'Just getting used to this internet thing since I published a training ebook a few months ago. Six months ago I hadn't even heard the term, "ebook" :)

Best to you! Dr. Dennis Fetko, "Dr. Dog"


SunSeven profile image

SunSeven 9 years ago from Singapore / India

Welcome to HubPages Dr. Dennis. I hope to see more articles from you. I am a great fan of James Harriot. I just love his books. I am sorry if I offended you with the (vet) question. All the Best


DrDog profile image

DrDog 9 years ago from San Diego Author

Dear SunSeven, I wasn't offended at all -- I was pleased you asked about me! Thank you for your interest. Dennis (aka Dr. Dog) P.S. Check out the video I just added -- I hope it pleases you!


SunSeven profile image

SunSeven 9 years ago from Singapore / India

That video is real good. Is that you interviewing the dog? LOL!! I did one Hub on Chow Chow long back. You will have to search in Hubpages for that. If I give the link here, it might get flagged as spam. Thats the way it works to stop people from spamming the Hubs with their promo links.


linmac profile image

linmac 9 years ago from NE Scotland

Excellent and comprehensive Hub :-)


Andy Shaw profile image

Andy Shaw 9 years ago from UK

Wow Its great about to see your hub.

You did a great job....

Thank you!


Tracy 9 years ago

I'm about to adopt another Great Pry. I fell in love w/her the day I started at the rescue kennel. She loves me to death and I can do anything and she doesn't care. My kids walk up and she holds her head and tail down and if I walk away she'll growl and has already bitten my son. I want to take her home how do I stop her aggression towards my kids? I can't adopt if she's going to bite my young kids. Please HELP


Pat 8 years ago

Hi. i have a 6 month old bordercollie/ german sheperd mix, and he never seems to stop biting. I have tried everything from yelping to giving him an acceptable toy that he can bite, but nothing has worked so far. Usually he likes to nip at my sweater or on my legs. Do you have any suggestions on what to do?


Stephanie 8 years ago

Hi I have a new puppy and an 2 yr old dog. The pppy wants to bite the other dog constantly, how can I stop her from doing that. We were hoping that because they were both females that the older one would show here dominance but that is not getting through to the younger dog. What can we do?


Nadine 8 years ago

I have a 5 year old llapso apso, shitzu mix. He is tricolor and adorably cute. He is my 16 year old daughter's dog and she sleeps with him. The issue is that he has recently bitten a few people due to his protective tendencies.

Last night he bit when my fiancé yelled at his son and reached for the television clicker in an aggressive way (teen won't give up remote control, dad asks nice, then goes to grab it) and Cocoa bit him in the forearm. This is the first time the dog has broken the skin.

In the past he has bitten at people who he percieves threaten my daughter. If I go to tickle her, he gets aggressive toward me. If a friend "play fights" with her (she is athletic) then he has bitten them in the leg.

He is an adorable dog and we all love him soooo much. But I am afraid he is going to really bite someone who approaches her or one of us, in a manner he sees as aggressive.

Please help!

Email: nm911s@aol.com

Nadine -


Oscar Jones 8 years ago

Hi, I have spent my life around dogs and understand just how important it is to know what you are doing with regards to behavior, especially aggression. Only too often do I see a dog, through no fault of its own, branded as a danger to society. If only people took the time to try and understand how dogs worked society would greatly benefit. Afterall, its the owners that need the training not the dogs.

Keep up the much needed work.

Oscar


Chris Miller 8 years ago

Awesome article Dr.Dog. This is a really nice body of work coming together.Good work!


Mark 8 years ago

Hi Dr, I like to tackle problems from a pack leader perspective. As long as you can inject calm and assertive behavior towards your dog you can go along way towards eliminating unwanted and potentially dangerous behaviors such as biting. I agree that you can teach a dog to sit, stay etc but if you do not assume the position of being the pack leader then getting a dog to stop biting is going to be tough. Great Hub.


tophoto11 7 years ago

I have a 3 year old Shih Tzu that has become very aggressive, and will bite when approached by children, and some adults. She is great with people she knows, but recently has started snapping at them as well. We love her so much, but this behavior is just terrible for us, because she is so cute that people just naturally want to pet her. Please help??


Diana 7 years ago

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Diana 7 years ago

Tophoto11: I don't think anyone comes on here anymore so I will try to help you.. I am a certified dog trainer in Jersey and Im doing research for one of my clients.. but dogs have a tendency to "test" you when they are 2-3ish. They want to know what they can get away with and what they can't. I have to agree with Mark that she needs to know who is the "packleader". A dog can smell fear in a sence and if they sence that feeling they will test that person. You can't be scared of your dog and being that she is a small breed dog it shouldn't be to hard for you; Don't get me wrong small breeds can do damage also. but I use the "yelp" technique that Dr. Dog talks about and the can with quarters. those 2 techniques usually work the best. make sure she doesn't get away with her behaivior and there is no such thing as a free meal so when you are doing training time with her make sure when she doesn't bite you or someone is when she gets praised and rewarded. I would just warn anyone that might be interested in playing or petting your dog that they shouldn't until she stops biting. It is very rare to come across a TRULY aggressive dog. Most of the time it can be corrected and if its not behaivorable then it is neureologicly. . alot of the time its fear, something happened to the dog recently that she feels the need to protect herself whether she fell down the stairs orr a little kid steped on her foot. anything big or little can change a dogs behaivor... hope the best.


Debbie 7 years ago

I have a pembroke welsh corgi, Hannah. she is 9 months old. anyway, she is taking a beginner obedience class right now, and one of the instructors told us to grab her by the scruff of her neck and hold her off the ground and scold her when she bites us. She will bite us randomly sometimes, and we don't know why. We have tried the scruff thing, but it just seems to make it a lot worse, bc i don't think it seems to be showing her that we are the packleader--it just seems to be making her more aggressive, and when we release her,instead of her becoming submissive, she jumps back at us and bites more! it just seems like hopeless sometimes! i cant figure out how to stop her from biting! please help me!!!


steve carter 7 years ago

have 2 dogs blk f lab 1 1\2 yrs ;male viszla 1 1\2 yrs best buds playing fetch lab won't other dogs get near her ball, will growl and attack other dogs not her bud though. it now has progressed to her to growl and attack other dogs who come up to her on dog walks she was leashed protecting ball? protecting us? how do we control this behavior?


emily 7 years ago

i have a jack russle who is 2 years and he bites at my shoes and pants when you are walking what should i do can any one help us


emily 7 years ago

i have a jack russle who is 2 years and he bites at my shoes and pants when you are walking what should i do can any one help us


Krissy 7 years ago

My dog is a beagle mix. He will bite anyone who comes on the property. What do I do?


alinahayes 7 years ago

Dr Dog, I have an 8 year old weimeraner, and he recently bit me. I've had him since he was a pup and he started to show this aggressive behaviour when he steals something from the counter, and you try to take it away, when we try to place him into his bed at night, when we try to place him in the room where he usually spends the day while we're at work. This behavior starts with aggressive barking, snarling, his fur stands on his back, and if i continue, he will either give be a warning snap, or actually attemp to bite me. He usually aims for my hands. I've never been afraid of my dog, but at this point I am seriously concerned. I wonder if you can help me, or direct me somewhere for useful information. Thank you :) It doesn't help that he weighs over a 100lbs.


Connie 7 years ago

Dr Dog, We have a blk female lab 7 months old. We got her while driving down the street and observing a car in front of us tossing her out. She was maybe 2-3 months then, but for the past 2 months hse's been biting everyone just for no reason. She will just jump on you and start biting, she even swings her paws at you. I am really considering taking her to the humane society, but I'm trying not to because we have really gotten attached to her. Can you please help us, maybe you have some good ideas for us.


pet gate 7 years ago

Very good info. I would love to forward this article to some dog owners I know ;-)


jamie 7 years ago

I just adopted a rescue dog from kentucky a few weeks back. He seemed really smart and sweet and I was told that he was very calm and even tempered but had never met him. Maybe that was my first mistake. Anyways since I have had him he bitten me a few times. And usually for no apparent reason. I would be walking by and he would just bite. my 2 and 3 year old walk by and he bites them. He has left a few mark. But now i'm terrified that he will bite someone and it will be serious. Did i make a mistake by trying to rescue this dog i never met? His name is moonlight. He is siberian husky. he is 4 years old. I have no idea how to control him and make him be a good dog. he has learned tricks easy... but how do you teach a four year old dog not to bite.... and will it get better with time?


JUDY MOORE 6 years ago

I DIDN'T FIND ANYTHING THAT I THINK WILL HELP ME WITH MY DOG. HE ONLY BITES AND GROWLS WHEN I TRY TO PUT HIM IN HIS ROOM WHILE I AM AT WORK.


Jessica crowe 6 years ago

Yes, I have a saintbernard and He hate all men and or people in uniform.he snaps at the kids and my parents and friends and i try to stop him but he just wont stop bitten and if i can make him stop i have to put him to sleep but i love that dog more than enything in the world i just don't know what to do if he was gone.


Jessica crowe 6 years ago

Yes, I have a saintbernard and He hate all men and or people in uniform.he snaps at the kids and my parents and friends and i try to stop him but he just wont stop bitten and if i can make him stop i have to put him to sleep but i love that dog more than enything in the world i just don't know what to do if he was gone.


Daniel Stokely 6 years ago

I have a 4 year old Beagle and he started biting about 2 years ago after we left him with a friend of ours and went on vacation. When we came back he had changed, he will mostly bite kids and if you get down to his level or even pet him sometimes he just starts licking and shows his teeth and before you know it you are bitten. How can I stop this. I am so close to having him euthanized because he has tore open my step-daughters ear and lip and even bitten my wife and me on the leg, because I got away from him quickly, he headed for my face. That is where he goes for in everyone is the face. I love my dog and always have loved dogs but he has become too unpredictable. I keep him in his crate whenever kids are here, but we are in the process of having a 5 year old and 13 year old come live with us and need to get him under control. The funny thing to me is he knows where to go as soon as he does bite, he heads straight to his crate.


Stop Dog Biting 6 years ago

Good tips Dr. Dog. I especially like your advice of finding out what is causing the biting first , then find a way to remove it. Logical and sound advice.


Open minded 6 years ago

Dr. Dog.....So here's the thing, Earlier a previous poster wrote aren't more breeds more likely to have aggressive behaviors, and you said yes. How can you say that? Lets look at it this way. Every breed is different, just like every race is different. Dogs in the same breed will look like each other to some degree, just like people will look like other people of the same race to some degree. But there is no evidence that dogs of the same breeds, just like people of the same race will act like each other. By people saying things along the lines of "This breed is more likely to have this trait" its almost the same as saying things like "All people of this race have this trait". When that infact is not true. I strongly believe that we as dog owners cause most of the behaviors our dogs will have, the only exception to this rule is inbred dogs can be a hit or miss basis. Think about it.


WolfGoddess 6 years ago

Dear Dr.Dog,

Finally, after years of waiting, my husband got me a siberian husky. My dogs name is koda, and he was seven wks old when we brought him home,right away I was very concerned because I have two young girl's, and he was growling and biting at them the second day we brought him home. I have noticed it happens when he is eating and they pet him,or if he is sleeping and they go up to pet him he nips at them. I've tried working with him but It's not getting any better and he is 3 months now. I've called vet's and trainers, I can't really afford the trainers I've called.I'm so worried and don't know what to do! I love my dog and have waited so long to get him please help so I don't have to find him another home.


Natalie 6 years ago

My roommates dog, garp, will bite people(me included) if you crush a can on the floor. Garp pulled food off the table and when someone caught him he bit that person and drew blood. Anytime you reprimand him it is likely that he will try to bit you. If he is outside and doesn't want to come in when you ask he will bite you. I would just leave him outside but he barks alot and I don't want to disturb the neighbors. How should I react to him biting me that will help the situation. My roommate has been talking about taking him to an obedience trainer for months but isn't following through. What should I do?


nancy 6 years ago

I have a male 7 year old Llasa apso who we love so much, but i can't trust him around adults or children due to his biting. We can't make loud noises (like cheer at a football game, etc.) he bites i think because he is scared. He is very overprotective of me, no one can hug me hello. Also if he is in the car, no one can come near the car at all. Even when my husband gets out of bed in the a.m. and I am still in bed (of course dog sleeps with us), if my husband then comes back around the bed, dog barks and tries to protect me. I want desperately to get him groomed, but he was sent home when he was 2 yrs old because of biting groomer. been cutting his hair myself since then (though he threatens me also and I can never get a good cut in) I will keep him away from loud parties and children and cut his hair because i love him and don't want to euthanize him. is there any hope for him???


Jennifer 6 years ago

I have a 9 month old 60 pound Victorian Bulldog/Boxer puppy named Bruce Willis. I have a two part problem with Bruce that I am not sure on how to break him of. My first issue is his aggression. He only shows this behaviour when we are at our local leash free park and only when there are balls or squeeky toys involved. Bruce acts normal around the other dogs and feels free to jump and play with them since he's usually the youngest one there. Once a ball or squeeky toy comes out and Bruce has bullied another dog into giving it up to him, he becomes vocal and aggressive when other dogs get close to the ball. He pulls up his jowels to show teeth and his growel goes from mono tone to a deep chesty growl and his positions himself to pounce mode. I don't want to stop taking him to the park because he needs the excersize and he thoroughly enjoys the park. My second issue with Bruce is that he likes to nip when he is not getting his way. He hasn't broken the skin on anyone yet but he has left bruises. I have tried to pinch his jowels and tell him "no, that hurts" but he just thinks its a game and tries it again. I have been putting him on his side on the ground and firmly holding him there like his mom would have done but that just seems to be temporary. Any advice would be great.

Thank you

Jen and Bruce Willis


stanley 6 years ago

you should train your dog etiquette.


Tickle 6 years ago

People, these dogs are out of control at an early age. Please do more research on the internet. If the has gone to biting, it is obviouse he has be pressing the line from dominance and control over your house for a long time. They don't just go straight to the bite. Has your dogs be purposely bumping your, coming to you and bullying you for attention...meaning, does he come up to your and push your hand or knudge you if you are not paying attention. These are all Dominance Aggression issues and need to be check before someone really gets hurt. Please do more research if you are not getting a response on this page.


Anonymous 6 years ago

What is being talked about in this article is only aggressive biting, it is not too helpful because it doesn't explain what to do when dogs bite for playing.


Candice 6 years ago

I have a Pekingese named Happy. He has severe dominance issues. He will not let our 6 month old lab, Jack, eat or enter rooms. He bites at and nips visitors. He has food aggression. I should tell you that he came to me as a stray over a year and a half ago. He was dirty and matted and aggressive. Where he shares an amazing bond with me and my husband, he is very aggressive to everyone else. I am running out of ideas.


raylene 6 years ago

I have a carr english bulldog and she is 2 years old. Recently she has started chewing things up ,i have noticed she does it when i don't give her way for example(she love to go on car rides or out, just out in the front yard with me ) (when she sees me or knows i have left she finds wheat ever she can to tear up. When i scoled her her snaps and tries to bite .....we love her like she is one of our kids but cant take it anymore and don't know how to stop it.


midnight 6 years ago

i have a chihuahua and he put everything in his mouth that he sees(grass,bugs,and etc)how can i stop that.i need help


cheri 6 years ago

we have a dachschund-approx. 7-8 yrs old-if she is just touched accidentally,say while watching tv, she will bite,runs to her crate then shows her teeth.She shows aggression with the other 2 dogs-would eat their food as well as her own if allowed,she has to be the first to go outside, still urinates on the floor, even though special pads for that on the floor while we are at work.We can't just pet her normally-PLEASE HELP


iceE 6 years ago

where did doctor dog go? he gave some vague information here, then answered a couple non-specific questions.. I didn't find this helpful, I've seen this information many times. I see many questions I relate to though: what to do when standard/popular methods don't work- yelping, scruff holding, dominating all just seem to cause further aggression in my case. the dog I am having issues with is only 6 months, but it seems with my efforts, he only gets more, and more pushy.


Seashel 5 years ago

Has anyone gotten any tips on how to stop the biting??? I have a 7 month old puppy who loves to bite if she doesn't get her own way. Help!!!


Clauh 5 years ago

I have a Yorktese and he is being acting really weird lately, he is actually trained with the simplest tricks but this is not enough.

Sometimes he thinks he owns everything like for example our bed, if I don't let him come up he will cry all night long, and because we have to work the next day and we want him to shut up, we let him sleep with us(I know is wrong).

My dog use to let me take his cookie from his mouth but now he just growls at me or try to bite me or if we move his crate he will be really pissed off. He is very territorial, if he pees somewhere else but where he should and we correct him he will growl and go under the bed. Few hours later he will cry because we do not pet him at all and if we ask him to sleep in his crate for the night he will get angry and growl.

It looks like he is spoiled because when he was a 4 months my husband use to spend all the time with him play and correct all his bad behavior but now that we do not have time he is being acting bad, and my husband wants to put him down because he tried to bite me.

He listens to most of the commands I give him but he does not listen my husband is there any reason he does not attend his commands????

:( Please help!!!


MMan 5 years ago

Hi, I have 2 years old German Shepard, over the years his aggression has incrased and he has bitten almost every one in the house. It seems when he bites that is wthout any reason, he kind of forgets whom he is biting and after few seconds or minutes he get fine as normal. Most of the times it seems he has bitten because he could not recogainze . For example once he was going to bite and instead of shouting starting calling his name politely again and again for him to realize its me and then luckly he got ok and didn't bite. No he has becaome a big problem, we do not have the heart to give him to some one or let him go.

Is there a solution to this or some medicine to calm him, or is it a mental defect that he forgets us and bites without any threat as each time nor some one has tried to hit him, scare him or even disturbed him. Its like from no where he comes and attacts and bites . very very strange as we had many dogs in past but never seen such issue .


Courtney 5 years ago

Hi Dr Dog..

I have a 4yr old male English Staffordshire Terrior with a 'warning nip' problem when we have a friend over to visit.

He waits until the visitor is in the house, then he runs past and has a big nip on the back of their leg on his way through... only ever a pinch of the skin - but enough to leave a massive bruise. - and he only ever nips at males.. not ever females. And once he has had a nip, he is fine for the whole time that visitor is at our house.

We also have his sister, and she shows no agression. She jumps up to lick visitors, but that's all.

I think our male's biting problem started about 2 years ago - a friend who used to live with us would stir him up each time someone would knock on our door. He was trying to teach him to be more aggressive - i never approved of that, but it happened when i wasn't home regardless.

I really hope you can help me!

Thank you


KK 5 years ago

I have a question :

My puppy boxer won't stop biting and my friends say i should take him to the pound but i cant do it. He's almost at the stage where its almost impossible to train him. Can you help me?

Please email me at kzdalton10@yahoo.com


Stephanie 5 years ago

We have a 7month old yokeepoo who has started biting and growling when you reach for him while he is in his crate or in the bed with the kids. he has recently been neutered and just started to act this way. i am afraid he is going to bite the kids what can i do???????? sweet.hart213@yahoo.com is my email please respond!!!!!


mamaholstein 5 years ago

I need help. My dog sometimes nips at the back of stranger's legs when they come on my property. It doesn't happen all the time. He doesn't show any aggression. Not that I can see anyway. Why does he do this and how can I fix it?


mpvaughan333@aol.com 5 years ago

I have a 3 year old Yorky=Bijon who Just recently started nipping at anyone who comes to the door. Needless to say, I now pick her up so that we won't get sued....she is a sweetheart most of the time. It seems a lot of people have this problem but I don't see any snswers...Do you answer each note? Thanks


Christina  5 years ago

I am In need of some serious HELP! I have a Cackapoo mix who becomes defensive and territorial with humans especially males. She will growl when anyone is walking past, particularly when their Is food around.My dog will go into a submissive position and continue to growl when in the submissive position.I stop petting her and tell her NO !!! and she then becomes more aggressive. My dog also becomes aggressive when their is a person a two feet away from her .The person is just sitting there and she will act aggressively . She also will nip at the back of peoples legs as they leave my house includes family and visitors .Molly bites extremely hard, grabbing onto someones hands or legs and will try to take a bit out of someones skin. I have not found a way to stop her aggressive and growling behavior .Do you have any suggestions that I can try yo help prevent her from this behavior? _Thank You


daddydog 5 years ago

Yikes. I need help too!! My welsh corgi puppy is now 14-weeks old and he is biting HARD. He is so aggressive he's actually nasty! I don't understand. One minute he is cuddly and lovable, the next he turns and bites. It seems he wants to be the boss. If you correct him for biting your feet, etc, which seems to be part of just being a puppy, he sometimes (not always) will turn on you and just go into attack mode for absolutely no reason. We train with praise and try to ignore bad behavior, or if we must we correct it with a calm but firm 'no'. He in turns growls, hisses, snaps and lunges! It's quite horrifying to see such a cute little bugger turn like that! ANY HELP IS APPRECIATED!! Nothing seems to be working and he's breaking skin now!!! We have tried time-outs, redirection, ignoring the behavior, and nothing, nothing has worked yet. HELPPPPPP!!


jaz 5 years ago

i have a dog he is 2 yrs old and every time he poops on the bed and my parents or I say no MICKEY don't do that he wants to bite us aggressively. HE'S also aggressive with food, we had him ever since he been 2 months old.....I really don't know what to do my parents wants to give him away but he's my life......


Anonymous 5 years ago

My dog had puppies last night and ever since she has been very over protective. She has never really gotten along with my little brother (he's so jumpy and loud and get very angry with her) but she has gone overboard especially with my brother. When ever he enters the room she growls and a few minutes ago she jumped out of her bed and ran towards him but didn't bite him but snarled as if to give a warning. She has let me and my sisters touch her and my parents. But she seems so tense when we go near. This morning she was nearly squashing a pup so I moved her leg and she snapped. She has never snapped at me before! She is a good dog and has never really bitten anybody except for 2 times but both times the person hurt her and she only broke the skin on 1 and he really really hurt her and she kinda acted like she was saying sorry later because she was lickig his feet and nuzzling up to him. She is a very well behaved dog and she is partially bling and all but so you think she is taking puppy protection thing OTT and do you think she should be bred again?


Sumit Pandey 5 years ago

Hello Mr Dog, its my friends dog named Goldy, my friend has a younger brother her parents living together. Dogs name is Goldy (labrador). Goldy has being treated like a son and has never being left alone. Hes two year old, they had to move to a better location but in an apartment which is new for Goldy. Past last couple of months Goldy has bitten(brutaly) everyone in family.Now her family has decided to keep goldy away alone in the older villa where he was brought from. He would be looked after but no one would be staying with him as usual. Should we give him another chance, or what should be done. we are clueless and i am pretty confused what needs to be done.


mini 5 years ago

great!! thanks!!


Tiib 5 years ago

Dear Dr. Dog ! I have 4 dogs at home . They are all male dogs and 3 of them are big. One has mixed blood from mixed-German Shepherd and Doberman mother; the second is Germean Shepherd; the third is domestic; the last one is mixed with pug. The 2nd and the 3rd like to fight each other. The story is when the 2nd came to us, the 3rd did not like puppy, and when the 2nd came close to the 3rd, he did not like. When the 2nd growth, the 3rd became old. Since last year, when the 3rd go out when we opend the door and when he come back with people (family members) the 4th and the 2nd show aggressive and bite the 3rd. We treated them fair, however, the 2nd and the 4th just jelous other. No one can come close to the owner. However, the 2nd and the 4th they love echother though size and type are different. We just don't know how to solve. We just feel tired to separate two of them when they bitting each other. We have the same case with 2 female dogs which one is mother of the 1st and domestic dog which older.

Please suggest us how to preven and solve when they bitting especially about jelous. Thank you from Laos.


dr dogbite 5 years ago

When the dog bites, its time for you to keep him outta the house.


Germanshepardownr 5 years ago

Hey, I have a eight month old German shepherd and he is still biting aggressively and leaves scratch marks and bite marks on my family's arms and I have a neice and I am scared to have her come over because he's aggressive how do I stop him from biting ?


weezyaana 5 years ago

Dr went to lunch n never came back.

Bogus


carol Poe 5 years ago

I have a 8 month old female German Shepherd. She loves her family but hates anyone else getting in the yard or her house. She bit three times over the weekend because people were in her house and yard. She goes to dogie day care 2 days a week to socialize and has had a dog trainer come over to help me get her to sit stay and lay down. I take her for walks around other people and even take her to my fiends and families houses to socialize her. I am afraid she will really hurt someone. I love her but I am afraid of living with the fact she could take a big chunk out of someones backside. HELP any idea's?


rick/cooper 5 years ago

my dog cooper has bit me and my wife after he steals food or chews a shoe and we try to grab his collar to put him outside. im sure its a defensive thing but i need to have control of this problem... we adopted him at 6 mo. old now he is 9 mo. we think shepherd/great dane mix. what to do?


Kujo 5 years ago

"How Do We Cause Fear Aggression?

There are actually things WE do to cause some types of aggression like fear aggression or submissive aggression. For example, do you greet your dog by looking him in the eye with your shoulders squared to him, leaning down from above, reaching down to pet him on the back of his neck? Wow! That poor critter has now been threatened to within an inch of his life. Top it off by rubbing his belly when he rolls over on his back submissively and you have just rewarded his submission. A submissive dog is a fearful dog--not a confident dog.

I have clients who have been able to stop their dogs from biting and stop fear/submissive aggression simply by changing the way they greet their dog. Squat on the floor instead of leaning over your dog and reach up from the floor to pet him on his neck and chest."

I've gotten this far to realize that you my friend are a crack pot. First of all, a dog is supposed to be submissive. If the dog is not submissive, then said dog believes that he is alpha, and then you have an even bigger problem. There is no in between; either he's alpha, or he's submissive. And if he's only submissive to some members on the family and not others, then you've still got a problem, because he believes he's higher in the family pack than he should be. The dog should always be at the bottom of the pack. Otherwise, he's not going to respect everyone, and he's going to misbehave when who he believes is higher than him is not around.

Secondly, approaching your dog from the ground and petting his neck and chest is a definite no-no. When wolves in the wild approach the alpha, they do so in this position. When you do this, you are basically telling your dog that he is the alpha.

From what I can tell, a lot of the problems people are commenting about are related to this. Their dog thinks they are on top, and this can be causing stress issues. No dog wants to be the alpha; there's too much pressure to put on them in a human world. You need to take back command, give them an obvious leader to look to.

I hope this helps some of you, and never give up on your dog! It's never too late to teach them; some are just more stubborn than others.


melindaregner 5 years ago

"Stop a Dog From Biting - Stop Dog Aggression"

Sticky!!

One of my fave for today.


Liz 5 years ago

I have a border collie/shephard/? mix

He is three years old. He has bitten me 4 times now.

3x in the last 2 weeks. He bites when we are walking if I try to restrain him from lunging at other dogs. This morning he bit me again. He stopped in front of a house where a dog lives that he gets aggressive with. The dog was not out, but my dog stood there and barked so I pulled on the leash and said lets go and started walking. My dog then proceeded to come at me and bite me on the leg. Any suggestions?


anonymous 4 years ago

I leave with my sister and she ownes a 7 month bulldog puppy. He has bouts of energy and aggressions, he will jump up and bite, territorial, he is just really aggressive. But we don't know the best way to discipline him? If we try anything he gets more upset.


Katy 4 years ago

I have a Pit whom I rescued about a year ago,(she was found running down a busy highway) there is nothing known about her past. She is the sweetest thing, but recently she has started bitting my friends two year old daughter. How do I stop the behavior?


Sarah 4 years ago

My 17 week old pit puppy when playin with my daughter bites and growls at her and nows its becoming a problem. Can you please tell some ways to help them play together without having the pup bite her. Thanks


onyx 4 years ago

my dog becomes snarley and snippy when shes tired and lying down. normaly we just let her be but now we have a new born were scared he might crawl over to her and she'll bite. any suggestions..


Also open minded 4 years ago

To open minded: exactly what I was thinking! I cant fathom that such a false misconception of breed racism would be promoted and misconstrued as fact by him or anyone else who is a dog lover for that matter. Makes me wonder what research or knowledge his other facts are based upon...

Doesn't look like the doc has been in for quite awhile any who...

Oh well. Good luck to everyone who sought advice and didn't receive a response, I wish you all the best with your fur babies :)


summer 4 years ago

I have a five year old toy poodle. I have had him since he is a pup and he was the second dog in the house. As a puppy he was playful and tried to play with my older dog who at that time was a nine year old mutt. As he got older though he has become more aggressive toward him and other dogs as well. But not all dogs. He decides he likes some of them, but there is not a pattern as to which ones. He has also become increasingly aggressive towards my boyfriend who has lived with us for two years. He does not want to be moved away from me he growls and has bit him several times. He has started these same behaviors with me and bit me today and broke the skin. What to I do to fix this. My boyfriend says its too late to change his behavior but I can't have a dog that can harm my nieces and nephews. ANy suggestions?


Doglover99 4 years ago

Hi. About a year ago we adopted a dog from the SPCA. He has always been extremely afraid of men and is very protective of my family. He snaps at adults, mostly men, when the come to the door. He recently bit my neighbor. How do I get him to not bite, growl, or bark??


Okguy 4 years ago

I just got a chihuahua that was badly beaten before by her previous owner, it seems no matter what I try she becomes fearful and goes on the attack, please give me some advise on how to fix this


Dozer 4 years ago

My dog is a 1year old English Bulldog. He has been acting out in aggression lately and he bit me and my son last night. He bit me when I was cleaning his slobber off his face like I always do and my son when my son pointed at him telling him NO for getting into his food. I think it is an Dominance or jealous .. we just recently got a puppy but he is great with her. What do I do? I was thinking about putting him down but do I really need to do that?


Rose 4 years ago

HOW DO I STOP MY 9 WEEK OLD PUPPY FROM GETTING REAL MEAN AND STOP BITING? SOMETIMES HE'S REAL SWEET AND OTHER TIMES HE GETS VERY MEAN AND BITES VERY HARD WITH A VICIOUS SOUNDING GROWL.


Geoff 4 years ago

I have an odd one.. 1+ year old snoodle (we think.. he is a rescue). He is extremely loving to me, my wife, son, and most of our friends. But twice now he bit 2 men. One was my brother in law, the other, the electrician. He is fine (so far) with every other person we know. Is he being protective of his "turf"? or what is going on? Its NEVER women/girls.. and only 2 of the men that have come over.


Sam 4 years ago

I adopted a Shit Tzu, Maltese mix approximately 3 years old, neutered male. Have invested in postive training sessions at pet store and an individual behavorist. He barks and lunges at other dogs and people when we are walking on a leash or if someone enters our home he will nip at their clothes. We are concerned he will bite someone such as our grandchildren or friends.


Jd 4 years ago

I have an old English bulldog who got hit by a car And now he snaps when someone he doesn't know comes in and go to pat his head is this because they r terrortorial.


Rob 4 years ago

I have an 11 month old Great pyr male that has bitten when he was caught in the trash, and when I tried to take fallen food from him. He shows no other signs of aggression but with taking food or trash from him. He is being Neutered today, and I am looking for help to curb his aggression. My wife and I realize that we have created this problem and are looking for a solution.


Another Rob 4 years ago

I have a female Great Pyr. She also has food aggression. She gets in kind of a trance. The only thing that has worked is kind distraction. Authoratative behavior towards her intensifys aggression.

Once the trance is broken and food removed, she is fine.


Ashley 4 years ago

I have a 14mth GSP who seems to only have aggression towards men she doesn't know. She barks at them & now bit a man today- thankfully not hard. She will chase men who are running, or circle men who are walking. Is there a way to stop her from acting like this?


clarence 4 years ago

great stuff didn't realize so many people had same problemi would give up my friends before i give up my dog


Dancer32 4 years ago

Wow, thanks


Michelle 4 years ago

Hi my puppy husky is 3 months old and she keeps trying to bite people and growls at them it is scary what can I do


Darius 4 years ago

I have a two year old German Shepherd, who we rescued a couple days ago. He is sweet to everyone and everyone that comes in is his "buddy". However, yesterday we walked over to the neighbors house and were in the driveway letting our boy meet kids when a man came up the driveway. My german Shepherd started barking and growling at the guy, so we took him backto our house, the same guy came to our house and our boy was very sweet to him. Why would he do this? I would understand if it was our property but it wasn't.


nunya 4 years ago

I think that Dr. Dog has run out of advise or can't remember how to get to this page or something, none the less, it doesn't pay to ask any more questions when they aren't getting answered, I am going to look elsewhere for answers, and hopefully I get them there. I wish you all luck in your search for answers as well, perhaps, if any of us find a different web site that gives good info or actually answers questions, we could post a link here.

Thanks and best wishes to you all.


mandy 4 years ago

I have a short haired male daschund and he is not fixed yet and is about 7 mths old my daughter took a piece of paper from him so that he did not swallow it and he bit her in the face what can i do to stop this i don't want to get rid of him what can i do...e-mail me at rightie75@yahoo.com


Lee Rosina 4 years ago

Hi there

I have an eleven year old male neutered Shih-tzu which I obtained from the pound when he was three months old and abandoned.

He's a lovely dog and joined at the hip pretty much 24/7.

Having said this he sometimes can get very nasty and bite me/others when we try to clean him up after a walk, provide medical aid --- he prepares himself to attack if he sees an ear dropper.

Oddly he never seems to be a problem for the vet or groomers --- What do you make of this.

Is it too late to rid Buster of his attacks when those of us at home are only trying to help him.


Gina McClelland 4 years ago

I am looking for advise we have a Min. Austrialian shephard dog that we have had since a puppy he is now 4 years old. He had to have surgery when he was a puppy for swallowing a bouncy ball. He had never biten anyone before this. We have had on several occasions dog bites to people. I think it is out of fear. We cannot have anyone come to our home as he will not let them in or our fear he will bite them. We cannot make our children not have friends at the house as that is not fair to them. I am not sure if someone would take him or if it is time to put him down. He is young and loving to our family but we are always in fear that someone is going to really get hurt. please email me and help with this process. supergigi98@yahoo.com


kgreen3500@yahoo.com 4 years ago

we have a 3 year old rodegian ridge back that has a problem with people coming to our house with out our dog going crazy &also over the last 3 years my dog has bitten my girl friend not bad but thats not the point dogs should not be aggressive to there owner can you give my some suggestions on how to fix yhis issue we love our dog to death please help us with some good advice thank you kevin and cat


KG 3 years ago

Hello I have two 19 month old nuetered male Pomeraninas, both of which are great dogs except:

They will nip at the back of peoples legs as they get up from a chair to go to the bathroom or to leave my house including family and visitors . I have not found a way to stop her aggressive and growling behavior .Do you have any suggestions that I can try yo help prevent her from this behavior? _Thank You


Nelida Cruz profile image

Nelida Cruz 3 years ago from Plainfield, Illinois

I have a 3 year old dachshund/chihuahua mix. he has usually been really sweet with the family. We got him when he was only 4 months old. about a year ago he started to get aggressive with people he didn't know. It got to the point htat whenever someone "new" would come over, we would lock him up in a room. Recently, he has gotten aggressive with even the people he is closest to which are my parents. He has bitten each of them and drawn blood. Its gotten to the point where my mother has asked me to pick him up and see if I can "correct" his behavior or she will have to get rid of him. I need help with him ASAP because we all love him and don't want to see him go


bamadogluv 3 years ago

I have a 2 yr old Shih-tzu that I got at the Humane Shelter. She loves to nip bite, basically playing, but she also bites when someone comes to close like gets in her face. I was holding her and my wife wanted to hold her, so she reached out to get her and the dog bit her good on the hand as if to say I'm protecting daddy. How can we stop this. She seems to be more attached to me and follows me everywhere and I use a cane and have come close to falling because she is always underfoot. She loves to be held. I believe her previous owners did not give her love and probably bit them also and more. Why is it that she stays attached to me. Are there any books, cd's on the subject of biting, attachment etc.


wiji 3 years ago

our lab just bit my husband while he was trying to leash and was preventing him to go to our female lab which is on heat and she is just 6 months old and is already bleeding. why did he behave this way? we have had him as a pup since last year feb and we got her this year in March. please advice and explain.


cynthia bryant 2 years ago

we have a 6 month old great dane. just recently she start becoming aggressive. He bite me but always love my husband. recently he attack him when tried to take his collar off after walking him. I notice something wrong from the beggining. We tried to call the owner of the puppy who sold him. Contract states that if not happy with the dog she will exchange him. She doesn't answer her phone. She could help us with tips to conquer his aggression. I t seem to get worse.


donna 2 years ago

we have a 1 yr old german shephard/lab mix...he just starting trying to bite us..really bite us...i cant find a trigger for it though. ..we sit on the couch and ill rub him. lately hes getting this "blank" stare look and will curl up his lips..we don't know when to rub him and when not to...hes not playing with a toy, or having a treat..nothing to "make" him snap.


Gina Smith 2 years ago

My dog only seems to be aggressive towards small dogs. Aside from that, she's only ever bitten my mom, and we think it's because my mom is not consistent with disciplining her. Both of my roommates have decided to get dogs now. BOTH of the dogs are smaller than mine. My dog has lived in the house for a few months already, so I would've said it's territorial, but she has tried to attack other small dogs outside of my house. We introduced my dog to my first roommates dog at a neutral location, but that didn't seem to help at all. She has already gotten the other dog by the neck once and I don't want that to happen again. I'm considering a muzzle, but I absolutely hate the idea of putting my dog through that. I would appreciate any advice you could give!


donna 2 years ago

Add a friend of mine rescued a two year old female boxer we have had her fixed and got her shots so we can try to find her a permanent good home. The problem is she has gotten very aggressive towards us to including my husband as far as people or other animals coming up to us what should I try to do it's like she's gotten too protective of all three of us another dog or even another human cannot come out to us. This is course causes a lot of problems as far as trying to place her in a good home any ideas?

Animal lover boxer lover too


popper 2 years ago

I have a mixed breed dog who is about 3 years old. She is the kindest dog I have owned and is constantly licking our family "giving kisses". Unfortunately, she will bite any one who comes into our home who is not family. My 9 year old son was coming in the house yesterday and she escaped but not before the dog bit his companion on the leg. This is the second time she has injured a friend of his. And it isn't just kids. She tried to bite one parent who came by our house to drop off a cake a month ago. She tries to bite my daughter's friends as well when they come by. It is becoming a very huge problem and I fear that she will seriously injure someone soon. What can i do?


Angie Soderlund 2 years ago

Hi I have a 11 month pit/boxer mix and he very aggressive toward my daughter I need help she doesn't jump or pull his tail or etc , she can just walk bye or come up to hug me or pet him and he nips in the air what do I need to do my daughter is 2 years old


Cristina 7 months ago

I took my puppy from a dog foster home about a year ago. I love him to bits; he has a great personality, and I feel that he loves our family so much. BUT, he bites a lot. How to stop it?

My husband and I were thinking about taking him to 'doggy school', but then again, it’s extremely expensive, and the nearest 'doggy school' is far away from us. Maybe you have some advice? THANK YOU!!!!


Johnny 3 weeks ago

My GP has started snapping at people. Even people she is bonded with. We live out in the middle of nowhere and Prim, my GP, has the run of the 600 acre farm. I had a lot of free range chickens and for her first year she guarded them well. Also she would snap at strangers (at our home) that tried to pet her but never at me or my wife and kids. We have lost all of our chickens to a fox. She was seen laying on the front porch watching the fox chasing them? Now she goes down to my in-laws house every day when I leave for work. They are building a new house and has snapped at the workers. My wife went to chain her up this morning and she growled and snapped at her. I don’t know what to do. I was thinking about an Ecollar but have seen mixed reviews.

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