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 many common techniques that can be used to assist a dog to decrease, and eventually eliminate, biting behavior. The effectiveness of these techniques will vary from breed to breed, but with patience and repetition, puppies and adult dogs can learn to not bite.
Puppies have the tendency to always mouth and nip and it’s best to nip this behavior in the bud when they are still young. Even though you might think it is cute when your little pup plays by nibbling at you, if you encourage this behavior, you will end up with a big problem when your pet is grown.
Puppies as young as five weeks old can begin to respond to simple commands. For biting behavior, a gentle, firm “No!” and a slight squeeze of the muzzle can be a good place to start.
Be careful not to squeeze the muzzle too hard or high enough to hurt his nose. Dogs have very sensitive and delicate odor receptors and you wouldn’t want to damage this in any way.
Squeezine your dogs muzzle will help him associate the verbal command with the discomfort of the squeeze. Since most dogs are uncomfortable with having their muzzles squeezed, this will help him think twice about biting.
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.
While still young, socialize your dog with other dogs preferably those that are non-aggressive. Being exposed to other dog breeds will help him cope up with territorial behavior.
While it is natural for a dog to nip and bite, the know enough not to do this too hard to their littermates. They will nip each other while playing, but they learn early on not to press too hard. This natural instinct can be used in training dogs not to bite by teaching them to extend the scope of the pack to include family members, frequent visitors and other pets.
When your pet first meets an animal from another household, begin by restraining them both. Slowly, allow them to meet each other and sniff, or do whatever seems natural for them to get tot know each other.
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.
While most dogs can be trained not to bite, there are some that still bite despite being trained. Pet owners should also be trained how to handle their dogs properly. If your dog still bites, make sure it cannot interact with other people or be expose to other animals.
Persistent long term use of these dog training techniques will likely result in a more stable and fun pet, not to mention that it could prevent an unwanted situation where your dog could get hurt or hurt someone else.
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