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Train a Dog Not to Bite


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Have you ever wanted to train a dog not to bite? Whether you have a puppy or adult dog it is important to teach your dog that biting is not allowed. Every year there are over 800,000 dog bites in the United States, alone, that require hospitalization.

It is estimated that the actual number of serious bites, though, is between four and five million. This is an epidemic that has a definite solution. Here are some tips for how to train a dog not to bite:

Make sure dogs are supervised around children. Dogs are animals and regardless of how well trained they are they can act inappropriately and bite. A responsible dog owner will not leave their dog alone with children regardless of how good the dog has been with kids in the past.

Make sure to obedience train your dog. Nearly 100% of biting dogs are dogs that don’t have respect for proper structure and obedience. An obedient dog is far less likely to bite because an obedient dog understands and respects dominance and hierarchy.

Do a lot of leash training. When you train a puppy or dog not to bite it is a good idea to use a leash so that you can give a quick correction if your dog tries to bite.

Be consistent in backing up any commands that you want to teach your dog. Too many dog owners quickly teach their dogs how optional their commands are by rarely backing up any commands. If you teach your dog that obedience training is optional then your dog will have less respect.

Above all it is important to use common sense when you train a dog not to bite. Don’t ever allow your dog to be in a position where it is impossible for him to have success.

We got a question from our free dog training formula. He’s a poodle shitzu mix, he’s adorable and friendly with everyone except my thirteen year old son.  At times Pugsly will be nice to him and let him pick him up and other times he will bite him or short teeth for just being.  We’re at the point of finding another family for him.  The family is really upset and not sure what to do.  He also will bite you at night if you try to move him in bed.  We need help.  From the family of a grumpy Pugsly.

And so what you’ve got here is a couple of issues.  First what you have is respect issue.  Respect and leadership.  Now, the first thing you need to examine is, is your son being appropriate with the dog.  Sometimes there are issues and I have no clues.  Sometimes they’re not terribly appropriate with the dog and can be antagonizing or mean or something like that.  So, make sure your son obviously is respectful of the dog.  But what you’ve got here is you’ve got, like I said, leadership issue.

And when you go out and achieve dominance with the dog, or be the alpha or some other stuff like that, the reality is most everything  you’re going to read are wrong.  You have to flip the dog on their back and hold them there and you have to growl at them and bite their ear and bite their neck.  I’ve heard all of these things and I’ve seen them all online.  The reality is they are all wrong.  None of that stuff really works because, guess what, your dog doesn’t think you’re a big threat.  And if you start growling at him, like a lot of dog trainers are going to tell you to do, your dog is going to be like, “What’s that?  Why are you growling at me?”  That doesn’t mean anything to him.  Or if you bite, they’re going to be like, “Dude, stop biting me like that.”

And so, I say this just to kind of juxtapose it with the real solution.  Because like I said, you may have already been out there online looking for different solutions to this problem.  And the reality is it all comes back to obedience.  And so that’s what I need to ask you.  Does your dog come when called every time?  Does he stay when told when he’s asked to stay for however long he’s supposed to stay with whatever distractions are around?  Does he walk perfectly on leash?

Because if your dog comes when called no matter what, if he stays when he’s told no matter what, if he walks perfectly on leash, he’s putting your will.  First of all, he’s looking to his leader, it just makes sense.  And so, the more he looks to his leader the less it makes sense to be concerned.  But I will be 99% certain even without talking with you that he’s also not respectful to you.  It may seem like he might be respectful because he’s not doing a lot of things wrong, to you.  That’s a question you want to ask yourself.

And so, your 13 year old most likely is not capable of achieving that really great level of obedience.  I’m guessing, and I was super motivated and it still took me a while to learn how to do it.  And so, I am guessing a 13 year old is not going to get it done.  So, what’s going to need to happen is it’s going to have to come from you.  Communicate to the dog what’s okay and what’s not and to do that training and then your 13 year old can probably piggy back up off that effort.  But it’s going to be your job to get this dog completely trained so that your son can start calling him and have him come.  So your son can start doing a little bit of leash walking and have him walk properly.  So, you son can get him to stay when told, because when he start to see your son in that light, now that’s going to make a big difference and your son is going to have a lot more success in being an authority figure to that dog.  So, time for you to get to work.

Want to learn how to transform your dog’s behavior? Click here to find out how.


  • March 2, 2015

    I liked your article, the example you gave with the poodle and the 13 year old and the respect issue is so true. That respect does come from him learning to be a pack leader that the ault does have . Without establishing that the respect never really comes and as in the case it’s hard for the dog to listen to anything.

  • Nichole
    March 24, 2015

    I have an issue with my 4 year old Yorkie/Pomeranian mix. He is great with little kids and toddlers when they are lying down BUT he absolutely hates when you hold kids. He jumps up and starts pulling on your clothing and will pull down on the kids’ socks or pants, leaving teeth marks. As soon as you sit down with the kid he is completely fine, kisses them and acts totally normal. His behavior seems protective and not aggressive, but no parent or pet owner wants to see teeth marks (no matter how small) on their children. It’s not just when I hold the kids either, even if their parents hold them he has this reaction…. Help!!

    • admin
      March 25, 2015

      You need some obedience and structure for sure. I’d work on a down-stay or a place (go to a bed) command. Have him do that while you hold kids and teach him he’s not in control of you holding kids.

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