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How to train a dog not to bite

Updated on June 28, 2009

Biting is a natural canine behavior. Dogs bite to communicate and to gain dominance over other dogs. A puppy playfully nipping the hand of the master may be considered as a “cute” annoyance but not when the biting breaks the skin and the dog draws blood with its teeth, not when the dog becomes aggressive and bites other dogs and other people too. Training is certainly imperative as when you train your dog not to bite you are not only avoiding medical bills and law suits but most importantly you are saving your dog from being euthanized.

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Bite Inhibition

Basically, dogs learn bite inhibition when they are about 4 months of age. It is actually a learned response that allows the dog to restrict the force of its biting. Bite inhibition is evident when puppies play fight and bite each other without causing each other pain.

The mother dog’s lesson

A mother dog would immediately stand up and leave if a puppy bites while nursing. The mother dog would also yelp, ignore the pup for a while or shake the puppy by biting the scruff of the neck. The mother dog’s action teaches the puppies that biting is not an acceptable thing.


Through socialization the dog will be trained not to bite. Introducing the pet to other dogs and to other people will develop the self confidence of the dog. A well socialized dog will react in a friendly manner with the neighbors, with other people and with other pets. Shy and fearful dogs get intimidated easily. A dog unsure of the situation would be aggressive and would resort to biting. Puppy kindergarten would be a big help to stop a puppy’s instinctive chewing and the tendency to bite.

Training your dog

The rule of thumb when training a dog especially a puppy is to be firm but not to show anger. The aim is to stop the dog from biting and not to fear you. When the pup begins to bite your hand tell the dog “no bite” and then hold the muzzle shut. The feeling of discomfort will be associated by the dog to the verbal command. The dog will naturally struggle to be free. Let go and then offer the dog a toy to chew instead. If the dog was not distracted by the toy and persist in biting your hand, take the dog in a separate room where it will be alone for a while. Some dogs would take to the training at once, others would need several sessions but eventually the dog would understand that biting is not an acceptable behavior.

How to Train Dog Not to Bite

How to Train Puppies : Train Your Puppy Not to Bite

How to Train a Dog Not to Bite


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