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How to Stop a Dog from Biting? [Warning Signs and Tips]

Updated by Sheryl on Dec 16, 2021

excited dog want to bite

Dogs are carnivorous animals evolved from wild wolves so that nibbling and biting become a natural canine distinct. Their teeth are not so much for chewing, but rather a weapon to protect themselves. However, dogs did not realize that their fangs are a threat to the safety of humans and may put themselves up for euthanasia. Teaching your fido what is and isn't allowed to bite on is a matter of great urgency. Read to learn about how to stop a dog from biting.

  • How to Stop My Dog from Biting When Excited?
  • How to Prevent My Dog from Biting?
  • How to Train a Puppy not to Bite?
  • Why Do Dogs Bite?
  • How to Tell If Dog Will Bite—6 Warning Signs before Dog Biting
  • FAQs about Dog Bites

Dogs are very excited when they are biting, so don't try to irritate an excited dog even more. Follow these three tips at the first time.

Step 1: Stop Struggling

Don't struggle to get free or try to run, which may make situation worse. Running usually triggers the chasing instincts in canines, and they may think that it's part of the game.

Step 2: Stay Quiet

It's better to stay quiet and ignore your dog to discourage this behavior. At this time, you can throw something that the dog is interested in at a distance to divert his attention and make him let go first. If it doesn't work, you can make an angry sound, and pat him on the body to relax him (Do not be too heavy).

Step 3: Get out of Dog's Reach

Immediately after the dog relax his bite, make a defensive posture and try to make yourself look stronger. Dogs will unconsciously flinch and become timid in the face of creatures that look more powerful than themselves. Try to keep calm and quiet. You can use any tool at hand to disguise yourself as powerful, but don't try to provoke the dog. In the process, stay away from the dog slowly.

In general, dogs don't attack or bite people on their own initiative. Lack of understanding of dogs' behavior and psychology is the most common cause of dog bites. Dogs will bite you only if they feel offended unintentionally. To prevent dogs from biting, follow these methods from two aspects, one is to discipline the dogs, on the other side, it is necessary to pay attention not to do behaviors that will cause the dog to bite.

dog bite hands

Tip 1: Discourage the Dog Biting

Dogs are easily excited when playing. When they are excited, they may bite. Once they have this tendency, you should give verbal warnings at first, yell at them loudly. Then say no to them with an extremely serious expression, and then make a command gesture to tell him that you are the "leader" and they must listen to you, and finally, snub dogs. Let him know the consequences of doing so. Never use treats to distract them, so they will think it is an encouragement to their behavior. Only when dogs are really quiet can they be rewarded. This also works with puppies.

Tip 2: Use Chewer Alternative

Provide chewing toy to avoid dogs biting people or furniture. If they just bite you gently, prepare a bone or toys so that they have alternatives to grind their teeth. It must be noted that if dogs show their teeth, it means that they want to bite at the moment.

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Tip 3: Divert Dog's Energy

Kill the dog's extra energy is helpful to prevent dogs from biting so that the dog will no longer have extra strength to bite your hands and feet as well as the furniture. You can play tug-of-war, or take a long walk with your dog, which will also bring you closer to your dog.

Tip 4: Make Dog Feel Disgusting

Paint things that dog smells disgusting on items that you don't want to be bitten by the dog, so that the dog will lose interest in these objects or your fingers. In addition to spraying diluted vinegar water on items, targeted anti-bite agents are also available on the market.

Tip 5: Prepare Dog Muzzles

If the above tips do not work but the dog has exercise needs, please wear a muzzle for the dog to prevent it from biting.

  1. Don't pat dogs on the head: People who like a dog may pat it on the head at first sight to say "Hi" with him. But dogs don't like to be slapped by strangers, which will make them think that you want to dominate them so that they will attack you.
  2. Do not let a dog who is pregnant or in heat come into contact with strangers and strange dogs. Pregnant dogs will have a strong vigilance towards any strangers and things and may deliberately bite them.
  3. Never hit dogs even if he has done something that is not permitted.
puppy bite fingers

Tip 1: Start Training from an Early Age

Puppies will bite sooner or later, and they have no sense of how hard the bite was. If they are not stopped through training, puppies will bite more fiercely when they grow up. Don't spoil them! Owners should remember that when dogs are young, they must be trained with the idea that you will never tolerate their biting. In general, trainings are difficult for adult dogs. For example, the social training can be carried out three months after the dog is born.

Tip 2: Obedience Training: Build Up Owner Authority

Train a puppy not to bite through obedience training. Confirm your "leader" authority in training, tell the puppy that bite is not allowed, let it know that the you are stronger than him, so that puppies don't have the intention to overstep you. Teach puppies basic commands such as "NO!" "Stop!" and so on. Set rules that puppies must abide by at home, such as when to eat and when to play or go outside. Use above commands to restrain the puppy when it makes some impermissible behaviors. You can verbally criticize him and deprive his toys and snacks. Repeat this training for more times, and the dog will understand "bite = not allowed".

Tip 3: Help Pup Get in Touch with Strangers

The main reason why some puppies bite is that they have too little contact with people, so they will bite on strangers because of vigilance and fear. The key is to do social training to eliminate the dog's fear of outsiders. Therefore, owners should take the dog out for a walk, such as going to the pet park. On the one hand, puppy is accessible to exercise, on the other hand, puppy can get in touch with strangers and strange dogs. In this way, dogs will know how to get along with other dogs, and they will not be scared or threatened to bite.

Tip 4: Relieve Teething Pain

Puppies will go through the teething period. During this time, they experience soreness in their gums and may try to bite on everything, including your hand and feet. The remedy is to prepare some molar toys for the puppy. As puppy's teeth are relatively less powerful, so softer chewing toys are better, such as plush balls. Don't tease the dog to bite with your hands, it will only remind the puppy that he can bite on your hands! Some owners may put their hands into the puppy's mouth, or move their hands quickly in front of the puppy so that the dog will keep chasing and biting. Stop it in time, let your pup grab and bite the toy by itself, and don't use your hands as a toy.

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Tip 5: Use up Puppy's Energy

Energetic dogs, such as Teddy, formerly a hound, are in a daily state of excitement. Puppies are more likely to get excited than adult dogs. Dogs may also bite because they don't get enough exercise and go crazy at home. So, stop a puppy from biting when excited is essential. It's necessary to use other ways to consume puppy's energy. Pups will sleep quietly on the ground or play alone when they have enough exercise every day. Therefore, try to take it out for a walk every day, half an hour every day is enough in general. The specific time can be adjusted according to the dog's state after exercise.

Every canine is capable of biting. Pups usually bite people when they are threatened. And unless your fido is severely ill, all dog bites are provoked by some action or event. Therefore, it is important to understand what kind of interaction provokes the dog's aggression biting. Here are some reasons why a dog may bite:

puppy is going to bite hands

Cause 1: Feel Fearful or Threatened

Fear is a significant cause of most dog bites. It is usually directed towards strangers. For example, if someone suddenly approaches a dog from behind or pat him, the pup can get startled and bite. Waking a dog up with a loud noise may also arouse biting tendencies.

Cause 2: Be Territorial

Canines can be possessive about their property, and "property" can be anything from their favorite toy, territory, treat, puppies for a mother dog, or even humans. Your fuzzball may show defensive behavior by biting anyone or anything getting too close to their possession.

Cause 3: Feel Painful

Even the friendliest dogs can become snippy if they are suffering from pain and chronic injuries. Such fidos can react aggressively towards their trusted humans as well.

Cause 4: Predator's Instinct

Running, cycling, and even jogging can trigger the predator pursuit of some dog breeds. The dog may start chasing by considering you as a prey.

Cause 5: Lack of Training

Lack of socialization, lack of training, and ignorance of rules is also common cause for dog biting. Some owners do not stop puppy from biting in time when the dog is young, but let it do this "acceptable" behavior so that puppy will think biting is funny. Because no one taught them how to do it, they didn't know that biting was not allowed.

Canines often exhibit some warning signs before they bite. Knowing the symptoms will empower you to avoid similar situations in the future.

  1. Growling and display of sharp canine teeth are the tell-tale signs of trouble.
  2. Avoiding eye contact, a perfectly still body with a slowly wagging tail, and lip licking are the early signs that your dog is feeling uncomfortable.
  3. A rigid body and freezing in response to touch is another clear sign that the canine may bite.
  4. If a dog feels threatened, it may raise the fur on its back and arch its body. And you may hear a muffled roar coming from the throat.
  5. Dogs that make intense and direct eye contact while revealing the whites of their eyes are most likely to nip their target.
  6. The dog tucks its tail, which means the dog is in a state of fear. When the dog is afraid to a certain extent, it is also very likely to bite.
Should you punish your dog for biting?
Only give verbal punishment and reward deprivation to the dog when he bites, never hit the dog. When he is still disobedient, you can yell at him. But after he calms down, give him treats as a reward.
Can a dog be trusted after it bites?
Of course, everything happens for a reason, so do dog bites. As long as you find out the behavior behind biting and take corresponding measures to stop it and prevent it, dogs are still your most loyal friends.
When should you go to the doctor for a dog bite?
Healthy dogs do not transmit rabies virus. If you are bitten lightly by your own dog (you know it is healthy), you don't have to go to the doctor. However, the wound should be treated immediately. Wash the wound alternately with soapy water and flowing water for at least 15 minutes. If the wound is deep and bleeding, you need to seek medical treatment immediately. If you are bitten by a strange dog, please see a doctor within 24 hours.
Sheryl is an editor from iPetor, owns extensive pet care experience. As a professional writer, she can provide useful pet care tips for all "parents".
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