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Dog Training - How to Control Biting

Aug 9, 2008
One thing you can count on when bringing home a new dog is the fact that he will nip and bite at your fingertips during the first few days or weeks. This is totally normal and there is no reason to get frantic that you may have purchased an aggressive dog. However, like any hostile behavior you wish to change about your dog, you need to take a few steps so that your dog understands that biting is not something you as the "pack leader" want him to continue doing. In other words he has to understand that biting is a huge no-no.

So how do you change biting behavior which is quite natural for dogs? Well, the first and foremost, you have to determine his age. This is very important because dogs under the age of about 15 weeks have to be handled slightly different when it comes to mouthing and biting than dogs over the age of 15 weeks.

If your dog is new and younger than 15 weeks, the following tips can help you control his annoying biting behavior:

1. First, you should begin to show your dog that you prefer his licking instead of biting. When he changes his behavior and licks at your fingertips or hands, make sure to praise him very gently. You can also encourage your dog to lick more often by rubbing a little butter or coconut oil on your fingertips. Let him know by soothing caresses that what he is doing is a good thing with each lick.

2. If your dog is continues with his biting habit at your fingertips and he is just been fed and really doesn't need anything in his mouth, just set him aside with a nice bone for a little while. This is where a crate would come in very handy. Simply place your dog in the crate for a short period of time so that he can re-channel his mouthing attention to his favorite bone. And it is very important not to scream at or punish your dog along the way. You must create a positive learning environment for your dog. A hostile environment for a dog creates a hostile dog. A biting dog can become an even more serious issue when he starts biting members of your family and worse yet, strangers.

3. Whenever the dog bites down hard on your fingertips or hand, use a disciplinary tone of voice and give a command such as "No-No" while looking firmly into his eyes. Then simply hold this firm demeanor for a few moments and then immediately change your body language and go back to whatever it is you're doing before, and with a calm approach. You have to remain calm. Many dog owners feel that being violent is the best approach but its not. Doing this step a few times is sufficient for your dog to learn the command and to stop biting down hard when he is commanded not to.
About the Author
Authored by Kelly Marshall from Oh My Dog Supplies - the place to go for dog steps in all shapes and sizes
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