It’s possible for any breed of dog to bite a human. Think about it. How else do you think a dog that is afraid, cornered, and/or aggravated enough going to respond? The number of dog bites that occur each year can be a bit frightening, and you may want to assure yourself that your dog isn’t going to join that number. It’s important to socialize your dog and train them early to prevent unnecessary biting and build up his confidence. Bite inhibition or the use of mouth gently is one of the most important things to teach your dog.
Why does a dog bite?
Whether it’s aggressive behavior or playful mouthing, a dog bite can be surprising. If your dog is engaging in playful mouthing, he isn’t going to pierce your skin. A playful dog bite  will come from a dog that is wagging his tail and has a relaxed disposition during playtime. This isn’t an aggressive or powerful bite, but only a mild latch onto your skin to get you to play with him.
Even though he is just playing, it’s important that you don’t encourage a playful bite since it will become painful and more aggressive as he gets older. In comparison, an aggressive biter is faster and not very playful. The aggressive bite includes blood, a stiff body, a wrinkled muzzle, bared teeth, and snarling. This type of behavior needs to be addressed immediately to prevent him from biting another dog or person on the street.
Here are a few common reasons why a dog may bite you:
- Play Biting – This behavior is often seen in puppies as well as adult dogs where they will bite you during rough play. It’s not aggressive, but it still needs to be stopped.
- Feeling Ill – If your dog is ill or in pain, he can feel on edge and get irritated quickly. This type of bite is to stop whatever it is that is annoying them at that moment.
- Territorial – Dogs that are defending their space may bite another dog that is trespassing on his territory. He may also redirect his aggression by biting the human near that dog instead.
- Lack of Socialization – If a dog is bred for guarding or hunting, he may not be properly socialized and be more likely to bite. This is an innate characteristic in dogs that needs to squash as soon as possible.
- Stress– A dog will also bite when he is stressed out or is triggered by an outside factor. It can be something as simple as another dog, a loud sound, or a rambunctious child.
When does a puppy stop play biting?
A puppy is well-known to chew and nip at you as they play— it’s their way to explore their world. But this typically ends after their teething phase where they explore things while using their mouth. This is a nippy type of behavior that slows down as the puppy gets his adult teeth around seven months old.
It’s important though that you train a puppy not to bite to make sure that he definitely grows out of the behavior. A puppy biting typically means he wants attention, and if the puppy keeps getting attention, then he will continue to bite as an adult dog. A positive correction when a dog is young is necessary. You can also give a teething puppy an alternative to bite on like a soft chew toy or a frozen treat that will soothe his gums.
Socialize Your Dog
When you bring home your new puppy, it’s best to introduce your puppy to as many new people, situations, and places as possible. Always keep up a positive vibe as you introduce your dog to new scenarios since your puppy may be fearful in a new situation. Socialization is as important as other things like crate training and leash training. Remember that early exposure will help decrease his fear and the possibility of aggression. If your dog is older, it’s still possible to work on socializing with an adult dog.
Neuter or Spay Your Dog
Although having your dog neutered or spayed won’t guarantee that he will never bite, some evidence has been found that suggested that these altered dogs are often less aggressive. Of all the reasons you should neuter or spay your dog, preventing dog bites is one of the largest benefits.
With the right type of circumstances, any breed of dog will have the potential to bite. In many cases, people are bitten by a dog based on their assumption that the dog will not bite them. Never assume that he won’t bite just because a dog is a specific size or breed, or that he has never been aggressive in the past.
A dog that has had obedience training is easier to control. Through obedience training, you use a few basic commands in order to keep a dog focused on an uncomfortable situation. When you can control a dog’s behavior, the possibility of the dog biting is less likely, plus, obedience training can provide structure for a dog as well as boost his confidence. Other obedience trainings include stopping a dog from whining in his crate as well as teaching dogs not to pee or poop in crates, and similarly, these aim to control negative behaviors so that dogs grow into well-mannered adults.
Rewarding good behavior, positive reinforcement training doesn’t punish inappropriate behavior. This type of dog training includes verbal encouragement, treats, petting, extra playtime, or something that your specific dog will enjoy doing.
In comparison, punishment can be something that your dog doesn’t find pleasant. A common punishment can include leash corrections, hitting, or physically rolling a dog over, which is called alpha rolling. Studies have found that dogs that are trained to utilize punishment are more likely to be aggressive than dogs that were trained with positive reinforcement. Using positive reinforcement is proven to reduce the possibility of a dog biting.
A dog can use his body language to communicate with you. It’s important to pay attention to a dog’s body language and what he is trying to tell you. An unhappy or afraid dog will be concerned about having his territory invaded providing him the potential to bite. When you see behaviors like your dog’s ears lying flat, a lowered head, raised hackles, or bared teeth, you are seeing signs of an uncomfortable dog that has the potential to bite. Give a dog displaying body language like this a lot of space.
A dog will growl to let you know that he is uncomfortable with a situation or a person. This is a warning signal that he may bite. We often teach a dog that it’s inappropriate to growl, so he may learn that he shouldn’t growl in any type of situation, which is why you hear stories of a dog biting without any warning. When you prevent a dog from growling, you don’t allow him to communicate his discomfort.
Instead, you should pay attention to what is causing a dog to growl. Is he growling at someone that is approaching his food bowl, or a child that is running around, or even someone that is cornering him? After you know why a dog is growling, then you can start to train your dog to be more comfortable in that type of situation. Then, you can correct the issue that is causing potential aggression instead of taking away the dog’s ability to warn you he may bite. After your dog is more comfortable in certain situations, he will not feel it’s necessary to growl.
Problems and Proofing Behavior
When you’re proofing a dog’s new and more appropriate behavior, then you will need to introduce your dog to new animals and people as well as take him into new environments. In this way, he will be able to internalize the training, and, if he doesn’t, it may be necessary to take added steps.
If you know a dog is more likely to bite or growl, you will want to ensure that he can handle a situation without becoming aggressive. You don’t want to frighten or startle your dog but help to introduce challenges slowly to ensure that he is able to handle them. So, if you have a dog that is aggressive at feeding time but has been taught not to bite or growl at mealtime, you should have someone else bring his food to ensure that his new behavior will be followed by the new person. Such technique is also used when teaching a dog not to beg for food.
If you have taught your dog commands using positive reinforcement, and you have also worked to earn your pup’s trust, it’s possible that your dog can continue to have a difficult time learning to not bite or growl. In this case, you will need to take some additional steps.
A difficult behavior issue to overcome, aggressive behavior may require a professional animal behaviorist or professional dog trainer, especially if he has already bitten someone. These professionals are able to develop a plan that will manage a dog’s aggression to make sure that both you and your dog remain safe.
When you are training your dog, the most important thing you can do is establish yourself as the alpha or pack leader , even if your pack is only your dog and you. In order to establish yourself as the leader, you should practice by walking your pup around by his leash and also teach him to follow you or “heel,” and to defer to all of your commands. Remember that it’s important to give your dog positive reinforcement when your dog follows your rules.
Prevent Biting During Play
When you have a puppy, you know they are going to chew everything that they can, including your toes and fingers. Biting is a natural behavior for a dog that isn’t necessarily a part of aggression, so you may see it during playtime as well.
It’s important that you teach your dog early on that the biting behavior does not extend to people or other dogs. This is important to set an early behavioral limit during your pup’s playtime. If you have a puppy that is nipping at your hand or trying to bite you during his playtime, then you should immediately stop playing and give him a minute to calm down.
If you need to, tuck your hands under your arms to signal that you are withdrawing from playing. After you have done this, you should only approach your pup again when his biting has stopped and remember to reward his positive behavior. Do not use aggression or punish your pup when you are training him, and you should also avoid playing roughly with him, so you don’t encourage his biting behavior.
How do you train a dog not to bite?
In order to teach a dog not to bite, you need to react to a dog with consistency and redirect his attention to toys. Also, remember to reward your dog for his good behavior and not use punishment that can make him more aggressive. Lots of playtimes are also a great way to prevent your dog from biting.
Can a dog that bites be trained not to bite?
According to studies, it is possible to train a dog that has bitten someone not to bite. There are some instances when the dog is a habitual biter that Most scientific studies indicate that it is very possible to rehabilitate a dog after they bite another dog or person. If the dog has been deemed to be vicious by a court due to the bite’s severity or has attacked others, he may be ordered to be euthanized.
When a dog does inflict a serious bite, then the dog will need to be evaluated by an animal behaviorist. The behaviorist will train the dog to react differently to changing stimuli. When the behaviorist has deemed that the dog is safe to go home, he should be safe to have around other dogs and people. But if he does bite again, the dog may be seized.
How long does it take to train a dog not to bite?
You should always have a dog to never bit anyone. This process can take several weeks or an event month to achieve. If you don’t have the results you are looking for, you should seek the help of a dog trainer that can give you the professional results that you may not be able to get on your own. Dog trainers are able to clearly identify what is causing a dog to bite, and what you can do to prevent future bites.
Should you punish your dog for biting?
If you punish him, it can make him afraid of you, especially if you yell at or hit him. If your dog is afraid of you, it can make him more aggressive. It’s important to remember that there are better ways to stop a dog from biting. And it’s better to prevent your dog from ever biting again instead of punishing him for a previous bite.