Dogs are beautiful animals, but they still have sharp teeth! There’s still no reason to worry that your dog will bite someone though. Try this handy guide to make sure your dog doesn’t become a biter.
1. Start Your Dog’s Training Immediately
As soon as you bring a new dog home, set the rules as you mean to go on. Don’t allow them to bite or mouth anyone’s body parts or clothes. If you make it very clear from the start that they are not to use their mouth on human beings, they will be much less likely to bite later on. A rescue puppy nibbling your finger is one thing, but when that puppy is a large dog with weight and teeth behind it, they’re going to do some severe damage. If you’re adopting an adult dog, train them as you would a puppy — everything is new to them, especially you, so it’s an excellent opportunity to teach them what you expect from them.
2. Chew Train Them
It can help if your dog is appropriately chew trained, then they will have less inclination to bite. You could begin this process with bitter apple spray. Dogs hate the taste, and it teaches them to avoid licking or biting areas they consistently find it on. Make sure your dog has adequate chew toys or treats, and praise him when he chews them. If he chews something he shouldn’t, give him a firm, “No,” and swap the item for a chew or toy.
3. Keep Their Teeth Clean
This may sound odd, but a dog who has pain in his mouth is likely to bite something in an attempt to stop it hurting. Train your rescue dog to tolerate regular teeth-cleaning. When you go to the vet for annual health checks, always get your dog’s mouth checked out. Your vet will be able to advise on any further dental work needed, such as a professional clean under anesthetic.
4. Maintain Their Health and Happiness
Obvious to some, but unknown to others, your dog’s physical and mental health can be contributors to unwanted behaviors like inappropriate toileting, scratching furniture, or even biting. Get your dog checked out annually, or more often, is advised to by a vet. If your canine friend is acting out, always consider whether a medical issue is the real culprit. When your dog still passes a medical with flying colors, re-examine their lifestyle and their home. Has anything changed recently? Is something making them stressed, unhappy, or anxious? When you find out what it is, it should be easy to combat, but there are excellent dog behaviorists out there who can help you. At the bottom of many dog bite attack claims is an unhappy dog.
Neutering your dog is one of the best ways to prevent aggression and over-excitement, in both males and females. Unneutered dogs are much more likely to bite.
If your dog is well-trained and kept happy and healthy, he should never bite anyone. Follow these five tips to ensure it stays that way.