4 Ways to Control Dog Biting

The best way to control dog biting is to take preventative measures from a young age. Biting problems begin in puppyhood when a dog mouths objects and people to explore the world around him. If the owner does not teach the young dog that biting is a negative behavior, it can carry on into adulthood. Some dogs bite out of aggression and can cause serious injury. The following tips can be used to help modify behaviors that lead to biting.

1. Yelp When Puppy Bites

When a young puppy bites his mother during nursing or bites another puppy with too much pressure during playtime the result is a high pitched yelp. If you are playing with your puppy, or he is exploring and bites, make a high pitched sound that sounds like you are in pain. The puppy should back off and seem concerned. If the puppy continues to bite after you have yelped, stop the playtime immediately and walk away. Your puppy will begin to associate biting with no attention from you and bite less. With proper training, puppies grow out of mouthing when they are done teething (usually between six months and one year of age).

2. Use a Bite Deterrent

Products such as Bitter Apple Spray can be applied to your hands during playtime. These sprays are harmless to your pet and taste terrible, deterring them from biting or mouthing. Bitter Apple and other pet safe bite and chew deterrents can be found at your local pet store.

3. Provide Proper Chew Toys

Teething puppies often mouth or bite because teething is causing them discomfort. Provide your dog with safe, durable toys to chew on. Find toys specifically made for puppies and, as always, only allow your puppy to play with toys under your supervision to prevent choking.

4. Establish Dominance with Older Dogs

In many cases, an older dog will have problems with biting. A dog who is older when purchased or adopted, or allowed to bite as a puppy, may have not have had the training as a puppy or may bite out of fear or aggression. It is vital that your dog understands that you are alpha and you are the one in charge. To do so requires changes in every day activities. Never allow your dog on your bed or couch. Doing so allows him to think of himself as your equal. Feed your dog only after you and your family have eaten. In a pack, the alpha dogs always eat first. When walking, your dog should always heal. Never allow your dog to pull or lead the way. If you have made it clear to your dog that you are in charge and you still have difficulties with biting and insubordination, contact a qualified dog trainer. If your dog is older, it will be more difficult to train this behavior out of him so patience is key. Work with him every day and seek professional guidance.