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How to get a dog to stop biting

Updated on June 13, 2009

Dogs are wonderful companions. These loyal animals love their human family unconditionally. However, because of different personalities, some dogs have been the cause of consternation of their owners. Even well fed pets have the tendency to raid trash cans. A housebroken dog would still have an accident inside the house from time to time. Dog biting though is the most serious concern dog owners have to face. Injuries sustained by the family from dog bites are serious enough but a dog biting other people can have legal and financial implications.

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Why do dogs bite?

Biting is inherent in dogs. Dogs bite to communicate. In the wild, dogs bite as a self defense against other dogs and predators. Curious puppies will put anything in their mouth. When puppies bite they are investigating their new world. Biting is a manifestation of dominance. Puppies start biting each other while still in the company of the mother dog to resolve its rank in the pack. Play biting among dogs is not a concern. After all, dogs learn bite inhibition through play biting. However, dogs that have the propensity to nip and to bite humans must be stopped. Dogs must be made to understand that biting humans is an unacceptable behavior.

Stopping puppies from biting

A puppy nipping at the toes or at the hands of humans can be considered cute. However, the biting behavior must not be allowed to develop. Never let you puppy practice inhibition biting on any parts of your body. This can be quite a challenge given that puppies are naturally playful. Once the puppy starts biting, give a big yelp or a “No bite” command. It would take a while before the puppy can catch on that biting is not allowed.

Stopping young dogs from biting

The biting behavior in young dogs can be a dominance issue. Probably the owner has been too loving and lenient enough for the dog to think that the human is lower in rank and the he, the dog is the leader of the pack. Biting is done to make the human shape up. Obedience training will make the dog understand the correct pecking order.

Stopping mature dogs from biting

A biting mature dog is a more serious problem. Contrary to the belief that old dogs do not learn new tricks, mature dogs can still be trained to unlearn the biting behavior. Know what make the dog bite. Although some breeds are naturally aggressive, there are some cases where in the biting is a dog’s fear reaction. Consult an animal behaviorist. The unwanted behavior of the dog can be corrected simply by changing the way the human family interacts with the dog. A dog trainer may suggest effective methods to change the behavior of the pet.

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      Stop Dog Biting 8 years ago

      Good tips, another piece of advice would be to interrupt your pet when the aggression starts to escalate. You can do this verbally or by physically grabbing them. The whole idea is to stop them before their temper gets out of control.