How to Stop a Dog from Biting

A large majority of pet owners deal with the issue of how to stop a dog from biting at some point in their lives. Canine biting may be a completely normal process or a serious problem, depending heavily upon your dog's age, prior training and the type of biting itself. Generally, expect that puppies will bite. It is a natural tendency and one of their primary ways of sensing and learning about the world around them. The older that your dog is, and the more training that he has had, the more serious the issue of his biting is. Each of these different cases requires a unique solution.

Stopping Puppy Bites

The most effective way to stop a puppy from biting is to imitate the technique of a mother dog. When a puppy begins to nip or bite during playtime, give a startling and loud yelp in order to indicate that his action is inappropriate. Leave the dog temporarily and do not return to him. He will begin to sense that his activity or playtime ceases as soon as he bites, and will gradually stop biting during these occasions. Do not encourage your puppy to bite at other times, as this will only reinforce a negative behavior.

Stopping Youth Bites

Although most dogs with proper training will have stopped biting by adolescence, some dogs may require more help. It is also possible that your dog has slipped up and that he accidentally bites once in a while. In these cases, additional training is often necessary in order to reinforce the proper behavior. Consider a unique approach to this training.

Additionally, young dogs that bite may be doing so for different reasons altogether. Stress, lack of socialization and aggression are all common contributors to these behaviors. Evaluate your dog's life for potential signs of these three elements. If possible, identify and reduce stressful situations in his life. Take him to a public location where he can meet and play with other dogs.

Stopping Adult Bites

If your adult dog has issues with biting, you may have a serious problem. Adult dogs that bite almost always have one or more underlying issues, such as stress, aggression, abuse or underlying health problems. Frequently, adult dogs that begin to bite do so because they are in pain from a medical condition that may not be otherwise recognizable. For this reason, as well as the fact that a biting dog poses a risk to the members of your family and the people around you, it is best to consult with a veterinarian or an animal behaviorist for further assistance.

The treatment for adult biting varies significantly. It may be as simple as a few minor changes to your pet's daily life. On the other hand, it is more common that you will have to completely reevaluate your pet's daily routine and environment. At the recommendation of a veterinarian, your pet may also benefit from medication or additional training.

If your dog bites, pay careful attention to which of these three categories is appropriate. Act quickly to stop his behavior before it becomes engrained and habitual.