Have you ever wondered why dogs always bite and chew on things they shouldn't?
Almost every dog owner goes through this so to those wondering why they do, fear not! Puppies will bite as normal behavior through their own experimentation; they learn to develop bite inhibition (or soft bites) and jaw control from their litter mates and mother.
This will help them prevent from biting when they are stressed or in an unfamiliar situation.
As we can see, the pups were merely play biting each other, there is a moment where a pup got bit a little too hard and squealed, the rest of the pups also stopped playing.
So, when buying (or better yet, ADOPTING ONE!) a puppy, it is important to have a pup that has at least 10 weeks with its mother. This would allow sufficient time for the puppy to have learnt not to bite too hard.
So, how do you stop a dog from biting or nipping?
First and foremost,we must understand WHY dogs bite in the first place. For puppies, majority of the time, is to relieve their gums from the pain of teeth growing out.
This, honestly is one of the reasons why many young puppy owners often experience puppy bites, especially the more active of the dog breeds (like German Shepherds).
Sometimes, this also results in dog chewing random stuff in the house.
This can also happen with your furniture; which is why a chew toy is pretty important if you want to save your beloved table legs! However, if you're in need of a simple way to train your dog NOT do chew furniture, here's a free video technique for you to help with your dog's chewing.
What I do when I want to discourage my dog from biting random things in the house is to spray the area with a 1:1 vinegar-water mix and he'll avoid the area. That includes your body if he wants to nip you.
However, for older dogs (especially with adopted ones), the bites can be dangerous; they often will bite hard enough to draw blood, or worse. In this case, there are several reasons for them biting:
-Maternal instincts (if she has recently given birth especially)
- High prey drive
So of course, one of the ways to reduce dog bites is to neuter or spay your dog (if you're not intending for your dog to breed). This generally reduces the aggressiveness of dogs.
Next up, exercise your dog! Take your dogs out for walks or jogs to help expend their energy that might otherwise have been redirected at other dogs (or your chair).
More importantly, know your dog's body language! Often there are warning signs when dogs will bite : ears pinned back, teeth showing, and their fur stands.
Lastly, there are dogs that would bite their owners. This usually falls under the category of the dog being either possessive, or thinking that its the pack leader, and you're the follower.
This is the first step on how to stop puppy biting.
So if you want to take away their food, they will bite you.They are DISCIPLINING YOU. THEY ARE SAYING THEY CONTROL YOU. So the most important thing here is quite simple: you MUST BE THE PACK LEADER.
Here's an audio track on reasons dogs bite their owners if you're interested to hear more comprehensive reasons why dogs bite their owners. Its downloadable, so you can listen to it on the go!
So in short, these are the steps to prevent your dog from biting:-
- So how do you get a puppy to stop biting?
First, you can mimic the way puppies learn: when they bite you, you can mimic a 'yelp', which will cause him to realise that he bit too hard (as in the video) and make your arm go limp.
This should stop your dog from mouthing you, at least temporarily.
Once he stops and starts licking your 'wound', you can reward him! Repeat the steps until the bite is as gentle as you want it to be.
- For older dogs (i.e. adolescent or adult dogs), you can usually use a method called the 'time-out' procedure.
Basically its the same as above: when your dog bites you a little too hard, yelp out loud, and remove your hand. This will startle the dog. At the same time, this will stop the dog from biting.
Then, ignore him for 10-20 seconds (you can choose to leave the room as well). Rinse and repeat this step until your dog doesn't nip you hard anymore.
- If you want his bites to be even gentler, you can tighten the rules above: you can yelp at a bite pressure that you don't want him to use.
As above, you can repeat this until you get the gentle bite pressure you want. Steps 2 and 3 are more useful for training a dog not to bite.
These 3 steps allow you to be his leader and impose YOUR RULES on your dog bites. This is also how to stop your dog not to bit.
Next up, you can also choose to redirect his bites.
1. First, you can use a chew toy to redirect his biting on your toes or fingers.
2. You can also use treats as a distraction! Some dogs tend to nip when you attempt to touch them. What you can do is to feed him treats with 1 hand, and touch him with another.
In this way, you can help your dog get used to the idea that touch is 1) affection and 2) reduce chances of him biting you.
3. You can also use tug-of-war toys with your dog! You can use such toys to redirect your dog's tendency to bite you.
This is a great non-contact way to translate a dog's excitement and nipping tendencies into anticipation of fun directed to the toy.
4. You should also bring your dog out to dog parks to socialize!
This is one of the better ways to help with your dog's biting problem because these other dogs can provide the same 'yelp' training that you want to instill in him!
In my opinion, this method trumps all the other methods I've mentioned earlier.
This also will help in stopping your dog from chewing up the furniture.
So if you can, try to socialize your dog at least once a week. Your dog will love you for this!
5. Sometimes, stopping a dog biting may be a little difficult to work with, especially with older dogs.
In that case, I would recommend you enlist the help of a professional to help you out. I recommend The Online Dog Trainer.
I've personally enlisted his service before and his help is immensely useful for situations that I'm unfamiliar with. Do check him out! You can also see a review of his course here.
I hope this post has helped enrich your knowledge of the reasons for dog bites as well as how to stop your dog biting (or things) Thanks for stopping by!