With pet ownership comes responsibility. Unfortunately, many dog owners are still irresponsible with training their pets properly. In fact, an annual barrage of law suits, medical bills, and instances of dog euthanasia result from dog bites each year — almost 5 million according to the Center for Disease Control. This often avoidable behavior can be taught to dogs from a young age, which is a good thing for both dogs and their owners.
There are common techniques that have been proven to be effective in suppressing biting behavior of dogs. However, the degree of difficulty of dog training varies with the breed of dog, age and individual temperament.
Like with any other training you should start training dogs not to bite while they are young. Puppies naturally nip and bite but this behavior should be discouraged by you from day 1. Owners that let their puppies bite because they think it is cute often end up with grown dogs who don’t understand why this behavior is suddenly not allowed.
Once your dog is about four weeks old, you can start to teach him simple commands. If he tries to bite, tell him ‘No!’ in a calm but serious voice, and accompany it with a gentle squeeze of the muzzle.
It is important not to squeeze the muzzle too hard or too high up. Doing so can cause the puppy to bite its tongue or damage the delicate odor receptors that are high up in the snout. A dog’s ability to smell is one of its most important assets!
Squeezing your dog’s muzzle isn’t intended to punish him, but to let him know that the behavior isn’t acceptable. By squeezing, you associate the verbal command with something the dog can readily understand: discomfort. Regardless of their age, dogs find having their muzzle squeezed uncomfortable.
Another dog training technique that might help eliminate biting is to socialize your dog since dogs that are not used to people or other dogs do tend to bite. You want to socialize your dog eat an early age to develop his calmness and confidence. Your dog will be more friendly to your guests, other animals and even strangers if socialized properly.
It’s a good idea to let your dog get to know other dogs, as long as they’re not aggressive themselves. This allows your pet to become aware of a variety of smells and appearances that might otherwise arouse his suspicions, and tends to negate his normal territorial reactions.
Although dogs may take gentle nips at their litter mates, they rarely bite them seriously. This is an attribute you can develop, by encouraging your pet to consider welcome humans and animals as part of his “pack”.
When introducing your pet to an animal from outside the home, be sure to keep both animals at a distance from each other. Allow the animals to approach one other at a slow pace while they take in their smells and act out other normal behavior.
Put your dog at ease by having the dog sit and stroke its back. Check your dog for signs of aggression like body tension, snarling, and erect ears. After stroking your dog touch the other animal to convey the smell of your pet to that animal. After checking to make sure there are no signs of aggression and the other dog got a scent of your dog then allow them to interact.
At the age of four and a half months, dogs normally learn to inhibit biting. But for some dogs, the learning process may take longer time. Dogs behavior and their ability to learn varies with the breed, age, and other factors. Training of dogs will be more easy if they are started young.
Some dogs are not fully trained to not to bite other people and animals. In this case, the owners need to take special care to insure the dog is never put in a situation where it can harm another person or animal.
If you apply these dog training techniques with patience and persistence, your dog should gradually let go of his tendency to bite. While it may take some patience on your part, it’s well worth it in the long run.