5 Ways to Stop a Dog Biting

Author: Michael Marsden

If your dog won’t stop biting, it can be much more than a frustrating habit. A biting dog can become a huge problem and a liability. If your dog is still a puppy, you know that part of a puppy’s nature is to nip during play. Although puppies may nip and bite gently during play, you must train him not to do so, to avoid potentially larger issues when the dog is full grown. A grown dog that has not been trained to stop biting will likely use its mouth during rough play and end up hurting someone.

So, how to you stop your dog from biting? There are different techniques that you can use to train your puppy to stop biting. You can also use these techniques on your adult dog. Here are five effective ways to stop a dog from biting.

1 – Communication

Communication is a key element in learning for dogs just as it is with humans. When it comes time to train your dog to stop biting, communicate to your dog in its own language. Dogs understand more tone of voice rather than the meaning of the words you say. When the dog bites during play, instead of using a shout or angry voice, try yelping. The yelping is understood as a painful response and will encourage your dog to refrain from biting.

When you communicate to your dog using the yelp, a high-pitched “ouch” will do the trick. When you use this technique, be sure to stop all play immediately and turn your back on the dog. Tone and body language are important to a dog. The dog will eventually come around to you and when he does, reprimand him in a firm tone with a command such as “bad dog” or “no bite” and he will quickly get the idea.

2 – Divert Attention

Another way to stop your dog from biting is to divert his attention from biting you to something that he can chew on, like a toy. By replacing your flesh with a chew toy each time the dog turns to inappropriate biting, he will get the idea that your limbs are not meant for biting. Remember to quickly provide the chew toy if your dog resorts to biting during play again to reinforce the habit.

3 – Positive Reinforcement

A sneaky yet effective way of training your dog to stop biting is positive reinforcement. Positive reinforcement is a training technique that rewards good behavior with something positive. An example of positive reinforcement with a biting dog is to give him wonderful praise during play when he does not bite. The praise could be a pat on the head, a belly rub, a treat, or extra attention. Positive reinforcement is a great way to show your dog the type of behavior that you prefer.

4 – Tap the Nose

If your dog begins to bite or nip, quickly tell him to sit. Once he is seated, take your index finger, hold it in front of his nose, and then tap him on the nose as you say “bad dog” in a stern voice. Just remember, the tap itself is not the punishment, so it should not be particularly strong. It is just meant as a startling element to encourage him to stop the bad behavior. Don’t scream; just use a stern tone, which he will understand. Eventually, your dog will come to understand the raising of an index finger as an indication to stop a behavior.

5 – Avoid Biting and Nipping Games

A good way to stop a dog from biting is to avoid biting and nipping games in the first place. If you don’t encourage these types of games from the get-go, the dog will not be prone to biting and nipping at inopportune times. For example, a chasing game, while it may be exciting and provide plenty of exercise, will likely encourage your dog that you are prey. This is where his nipping and biting instincts will kick in.

Tug-of-War is a game that should also be avoided when playing with your dog. It will encourage him to think that humans are his equal and may promote biting as well. He won’t mean any harm with the biting, but he will want to win, so he will likely nip at your hands to make you lose grip on the toy. Replace Tug-of-War with fetch and retrieval games, and teach him the “drop and release” commands so that your authority is never questioned.

In Conclusion

Biting during play can quickly evolve into a serious problem, which is why consistency is a key way to stop this from happening. It is important that you stop the biting behavior as soon as it starts, and discipline for the bad behavior while reinforcing the good. Remember, dogs do not understand the meaning of “sometimes” so be sure to consistently train the dog until he knows that biting is never allowed.

About the Author:
If you want to learn more about Dog Obedience Training then visit: DogObedienceShortcuts.com – where you will learn about training specific dog breeds and curing common dog problems like getting your dog to stop biting.

Article Source: ArticlesBase.com5 Ways to Stop a Dog Biting

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8 Responses to “5 Ways to Stop a Dog Biting”

  1. Debie says:

    Actually using a high pitched response of any kind can encourage a dog with strong prey drive to bite more. Dogs ‘love bite’ (not to be confused with defensive or aggressive biting) to establish their place in the family pack, a hig pitched response gives the dog a message that they are in control.

  2. Alberto Nokken says:

    Hello, I found your blog in a new directory of blogs. I dont know how your blog came up. Your blog looks good. Have a nice day.

  3. tommy says:

    Just wanted to say I appricate the site. You have really put a lot of energy into your article and it is just wonderfull!

  4. Amy says:

    Actually some of your ideas of timing are not good communication at all. If you tell your dog to sit and he does, he will not get the connection if you then tap his nose and say “Bad Dog”. He will not think he is bad for biting you, he will think he is somehow bad for sitting when you asked. It is really important to watch your timing and there are some examples in this post that one might want to reconsider. In this example – skip the sit. Tap the nose and say “Bad Dog” when he begins to nip you — not after he has successfully obeyed your command / cue. Any time the dog does what you ask he should be rewarded with reinforcement communication – “Good dog”. In the case of play biting it should be given in a very calm voice. You don’t want a high pitch, exciting voice which would cause the dog to get wound up again. You want to reinforce calmer behavior, so make your voice soothing and calm. But please, do not tell the dog he is bad after he does what you ask. As stated in this post, effective communication is very important!

  5. Kay says:

    Thumbs down on #4. There is no reason to go that route when trying to stop or redirect a dog from biting. Amy hit the nail on the head. Tapping the nose and saying Bad dog AFTER the dog has performed a sit for you is sending the message that he is bad for following your cue to sit. I see it so often – a dog runs away from its owner, the owner calls it back and tells it to sit, then punishes the dog for running away…although the dog understands the punishment for the sit part of his actions.

    There is also no reason to avoid tug of war games. If you teach a dog to play tug by YOUR rules and not his, he will be able to play without making contact with skin. I for one won’t be checking your training site based on the info in this article.

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  7. Terra says:

    Thank you for these great tips! I always try to tire my dog out when I notice that he is getting restless but sadly I don’t always have the time or energy to do it every day. In my search for advice I also found an article about a mom that is having a similar problem to mine where if I don’t exercise them enough my dog starts to jump and nip at people. http://www.ilovedogs.com/2011/08/please-help-my-dog-gizmo-is-malfunctioning/

    I think I will try both of your techniques. Thank you again!

  8. Vicki says:

    I found the articial somewhat helpful. And use the reinforcements mentioned. My problem is my Boston Terrier is a sweetheart out in public. He gets along with other dogs at the Dog Parks, and I’ve taken him into department stores, where he’ll let people, some Children approuch and pet him. However, whenever someone he does not know enters my home, he gets very agressive and deffensive. He has bit Maintainance people, not hard but usually goes for the leg or feet. My neighbor came over today, a female which I never thought he’d go for, and he bite her toe, brew blood. I was so embarrassed and sure she has a different negative oppinion of him today. I feel his bitting is associated with protection, and some fear. I am single and it is just he and I in the home.
    Any suggestions?

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