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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,
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"!