How to get a dog to stop biting?

April 13, 2012

Puppies really do have the inclination to be mouthy. This attitude is attributed to the puppy’s way of resolving its position or rank in the pack. The biting behavior, if done by an affectionate and cuddly fur ball is kind of cute. However, it would be a different matter if the dog that has the inclination to bite is a 150 pound mastiff. The biting behavior must be discouraged. It is a concern that must be addressed at once given that dog biting is one of the foremost reasons why dogs are euthanized. How would you get your pet to stop the biting behavior?

As mentioned, puppies would assert its dominance over the littermates by being mouthy. When the puppy is taken to a new home, the dominance issue will continue. The new dog owners may think that the puppy is play biting when in fact the puppy is already telling the humans that it is in charge. Shape up or else…

If the biting behavior is not corrected, it will become a serious concern when the puppy matures. In the dog’s mind it is well established that it is the leader of the pack. Most dogs are left alone at home all day and as soon as the master arrives, the doggie bowl will be filled with food. This further strengthens the dog’s notion of being the Alpha dog and the human is lower in rank. The dog manifesting a dominant behavior will have the propensity to bite. The best time to stop the biting habit is when the dog is still a puppy. But all is not lost in this situation. As the biting stems from dominant aggression, the owner only needs to modify the pecking order. The owner has to be the Alpha dog. Obedience training is imperative in this case to make the dog understand that it is lower in rank and that it has to follow the leader of the pack which is the master.

Dog Owners have different ways of training the dog. To some, physical punishment is necessary to curb the dog’s tendency to bite. Others would use positive reinforcement to make the dog unlearn the biting behavior. However, as biting often stems from an aggressive behavior it is but necessary to learn what causes the dog to be aggressive. Is the aggression inherent? Is the aggression borne out of fear and biting is done as a self defense? Is biting related to territorial aggression? Removing the cause of aggression is one way of curbing the dog’s tendency to bite. A fearful dog is not only a submissive dog. It is also a biting dog. Socialization is an effective way of building the confidence of the dog.

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