- Pets and Animals
Dog Bite - Stop Dog Biting, Stop Dog Aggression
All dogs will show some aggressive behaviors from time to time. Most dog biting behavior is attributed to dog dominance but that is rarely the case. Dogs bite or show other bad behaviors mainly because of mis-communication. Often, we give our dogs the most attention when they are behaving badly, and in this way we inadvertently reward those behaviors. Here, we provide some practical solutions to common dog aggression problems.
Dog Bite - Stop Dog Biting
Puppy biting is normal behavior. New puppies will put objects into their mouths to learn their taste and texture. Dogs also play with each other through play-biting. While there is nothing wrong with play-biting amongst dogs, it is crucial to teach a dog that biting humans is unacceptable conduct.
Stop Dog Biting Tip #1
When our dog has his mouth on us, it is important NOT to jerk away. Jerking away will cause us to get scratched. More importantly, sudden and quick movements may make the dog think it is a fun game and reinforce his biting behavior. This could ultimately result in dog aggression.
Stop Dog Biting Tip #2
Stay still and either give a No command or yelp as a puppy might do to his litter-mates when they are playing too rough. I use the yelp for puppies who are still learning and for accidental biting. Otherwise I use the No command for adult and adolescent dogs who should know better.
Dog Bite - Stop Food Aggression
Food aggression and resource guarding develop in dogs because they have been conditioned to think that humans or other dogs coming near their "stuff" is a bad thing. Certain dog breeds (guard dogs) may also have a higher tendency to guard.
Stop Food Aggression Tip #1
To reduce food aggression, I make sure my dog associates people coming near him with good things. For example, I may throw my dog some really good treats (cheese or bacon) while he is eating so that he learns to associate people with having more food and rewards.
Stop Food Aggression Tip #2
I also hand-feed my dogs frequently. Hand-feeding allows me to practice bite inhibition with my dog. Hand-feeding can also helps me establish leadership and strengthen the bond with my dog, because he sees that food and other valued resources comes directly from me.
Rather than giving food to my dogs for free, I get them to work for their daily food by following house rules, doing grooming, being calm, and doing simple commands for me.
Dog Bite - Stop Dog To Dog Aggression
Does your dog tense up, lunge, or bark madly when he sees another dog? Dog to dog aggression is a common problem that spoils outings and nice neighborhood walks with our dog.
There are many reasons why a dog may be reacting aggressively to another dog. It could be fear, stress, domination, protection, curiosity, or just over-excitement. When dealing with dog to dog aggression, I very carefully observe my dog, try to understand what he is trying to tell me, and what is the source of his behavior.
Stop Dog to Dog Aggression Tip #1
Dogs are very sensitive to what their human is feeling. A common mistake when meeting other dogs is to tense up and get fearful of what our dog may do. I always try to stay calm and I do not put continuous tension on the leash.
Stop Dog to Dog Aggression Tip #2
As soon as I see that my dog is starting to get stressed, I interrupt before the situation escalates. For example, I may give a verbal interrupt/command (e.g. Hey, Hey), move quickly away, and bring my dog with me. I treat and praise if he follows me on a loose leash.
Dog Bite - Stop Leash Biting
There are a variety of reasons why dogs leash bite. Sometimes they may just be bored; more often they are redirecting their excitement or frustration onto the leash. Ultimately, my dog was showing leash aggression because he was picking up on my weak, stressful, and fearful energy. This made him want to take over and dominate me. For shy dogs, unbalanced human energy may lead to fear aggression.
Which technique we use to stop leash aggression will depend on why our dog is doing it in the first place.
Stop Leash Aggression Tip #1
If my dog is leash biting out of boredom, I may try giving him a job to do during walks, e.g. let him carry a stick or toy. I also make our walks more interesting by playing games, changing speed, and changing direction.
Stop Leash Aggression Tip #2
If my dog is leash biting out of frustration, I get him to focus on an alternative physical activity (e.g. brisk walk home). This will help him drain some of his frustrated energy and not give him time to redirect his frustration onto the leash or onto me.
Which is the Most Difficult Aggressive Dog Behavior to Deal With?
Please share your dog bite and dog aggression stories with us. Tell us what techniques you have tried for stopping dog bites and dog aggression.