Dog biting and nipping a serious concern when your dog is an adult dog.
Dog biting and nipping are also called mouthing, and it is a common problem around dog owners. It is even a bigger problem when your dog is already an adult dog.
What is it all about?
Why do dogs bite and nip you or other people in the butt? It can have different reasons, but for sure it is not pleasant and embarrassing for you the dog owner.
What is communication with your dog?
Nipping or biting is attention-seeking so what is your dog trying to tell you?
What is he saying? …Is your dog mean, aggressive or what else?
Did your Dog Bud nip your friend or friends? Most of the time it is a communication to say I want attention. With nipping your dog gets your undivided attention …
There are different ways to solve dog nipping and dog biting problems in your dog.
In this article, we will go through different approaches
- The difference between the dog world and the human world.
- High energy level dogs
- Low energy level dogs
- For simple butt nipping the solution is relatively easy
- Minimise the dog nipping and biting when your dog is more aggressive.
- What you should never do
The difference between the dog world and the human world
Dogs can not shake hands to greet you. When your dog wants something, your dog will grab your arm to pull you back, or your dog will use his mouth.
What is working very well in the Dog world but not in the human world?
To understand your dog, it is essential to know that your dog is very oral. With the mouth, a dog communicating, tasting and it experiences the world.
It can be sometimes vocalised barking or howling, and other times it is nipping and biting. Understand that your dog might be trying to tell you something.
Ok according to Dog training it gets down to a couple of messages.
You guessed it right, your dog can not speak your language, but they can understand your language.
What can a nip in the bud mean?
- It can be a friendly greeting
- Your dog is excited when you come home
- Your dog might want to play
- It also might be a way to get attention ( one of my mother dogs a lady dog was nipping her friend’s mainly females in the bud when they came to visit.)
- Your dog might want to voice his concern at that moment
- Maybe you are playing with the kids, and the kids scream, and your dog starts to nip people in the bud. It is just his way of saying your dog does not approve of the screaming.
Dog biting and nipping vary from a simple situation of playful interaction with your dog to a serious situation when your dog becomes overexcited and starts nipping more powerful, and it leaves you with bruises or scars on the skin.
Dogs have a lot of Energy, and somehow they need to get rid of this excess energy. (Depends on the dog breed. )
High energy level dogs are just to name a few
- Jack Russell terriers,
- Siberian Huskies
- Afghan Hounds
- American Bulldog
- Australian Cattle Dog
- Appenzeller Sennenhund
- Australian Kelpie
- Border Collie
- Bull Terrier
- German Sheperd
- German Shorthair Pointer
- Here is the full list on high energy level dogs
Dogs with low energy levels
- Basset Hound
- Chinese Shar-Pei
- Bull Mastiff
- Shih Tzu
- Sussex Spaniel
- Cheeky Terrier
- Caucasian Shepherd Dog
- Chinese Crested
- Chow Chow
It doesn’t matter what Breed you have, dogs should socialise with other dogs and with people from a young age on.
It depends on “how severe and nasty is your dog butt nipping. “
You have to figure out is it an attention behaviour or is it more aggressive behaviour.
For simple bud nipping the solution is relatively easy.
The simple answer is in your hands. Decide what you prefer that your dog should do and start training him accordingly. Of course on the leash, yes even if it is in the house or apartment. ( it gives you more control in case it gets out of control)
For example Nipping greetings:
Start teaching your dog to “touch your hand” when your dog comes to you. Every time you extend the palm of your hand and your dogs nose touches or butts your hand, praise and treat.
Remember when you anticipate the touch add a cue word like “ Say hi.”
If you have visitors coming to your home, they have to extend their hand with the words “Say hi” for a friendly hand touch greeting.
After that call your dog back to you. Best to practice is with family members or close friends so long until your dog understands it and is following your training.
It might take time depends again on how intelligent your dog is, remember to stay cool and calm when training a dog. If you lose the patience stop the training immediately.
It is not a good idea and will reverse your training if you lose patience. Dogs sense energy you give off, and that is then how they react.
The obedience training has another advantage for your dog’s behaviour, rather than jumping and getting excited when greeting the house guests you have a well-trained dog that welcomes your house guest differently.
Obedience Training is always a great solution to dog behaviour problems, especially for nipping and biting.
Make the obedience training for you and your dog a fun experience.
You will be happy you did it.
I’m really interested in your thoughts and opinion on this. Does your dog follow this and how long did it take you to go through the training? If you have a puppy and your puppy started nipping and biting read my blog
Minimise the dog nipping and biting when your dog is more aggressive.
As we all know our dogs love to play and they do spend a great deal on investigating and chewing other objects. ( yes including your shoes, bags, cloth, toothpaste and toilet paper I can go on ….)
Dogs also love interacting and playing with people.
For you, as a dog owner, it is essential to help your dog to get his nipping or biting problem under control. You have to find the best solution for your dog on how to stop it altogether.
There is no halfway it is a way you have to go.
If you feel you are not able to do that, and follow it all the way through please look for a Professional Dog Trainer. ( Please do not ignore that nipping or biting problem even it is not as bad in your opinion you need to get it under control to avoid that it goes one day out of control.)
Teach your dog to be gentle…
Your dog’s ability to control the force of biting or nipping is called Bite inhibition.
For the sensitivity of human skin any dog who has not learned bite inhibition will not recognize that human skin is more sensitive than a dog skin so the dog will bite harder during play.
Dog Trainers believe if a dog has learned bite inhibition from an early age on they will use their mouth more gently when interacting with people. Dogs who learned that will be less likely to bite hard and break your skin.
Unless the dog feels threatened, is in pain or it is afraid.
What are the next steps…
Rule No. 1 Dog Teeth do not belong on human skin.. teach your dog this number one rule
You have to train your dog to be gentle with his mouth when your dog has understood that rule you can move on to the next step.
Teaching him to stop nipping people in their butt or anywhere else. Try the following tips:
• Use a toy or chew bone when your dog tries to gnaw on fingers or other parts of your body.
• Most of the time dogs start nipping when they are stroked, patted and scratch from other people or yourself.
• The key is the distraction when your dog gets all riled up when you pet him you can distract him with feeding him small treats from your other hand. One by one, not a handful. Don’t overdo it. In this way, your dog will be getting used to being touched without nipping or mouthing you. ( homemade dog treats)
• A great way to start is also to encourage non-contact forms of play. It is better to play fetch and tug of war than wrestling and rough play with your hands. This game( fetch and tug of war) will help your dog dealing with arousal and frustrations. An important thing for you to do is follow strict rules do not bend the rules. Only then will it be fun for you and your dog. ( you are in training never bend rules not one time or just today never)
• When your dog understood to play tug safely, (without nipping and biting you ) play it often with your dog and if your dog gets overexcited keep some chewy toys in your pocket or bag so you can redirect him to the tug toy in case he slips. It will become after a while a habit, and your dog will look for a toy if he feels like biting or nipping. Please be consequent in training and follow the practice through.
• You can teach your dog with specific exercises impulse controls such as sit, wait, leave it, roll over, down, lay down …
• Your dog will need plenty of exciting and new toys to chew and play with them instead of gnawing on you or your clothing.
For example A chewy ball with treats where your dog needs to find a way to get out the treats.
• Socialise your dog whenever you can with other dogs. Your dog needs to play with other friendly dogs. Make sure that when you socialise with other dogs that the owners are responsible owners and know that dogs should have the necessary vaccination. With the other dogs, your dog can play and interact and get rid some of his energy. With them, your dog can play as rough as he wants. If the other dogs feel your dog is out of line your dog will learn a lesson. ( pack behaviour)
• Keep a leash attached to your dog when you are supervising him. The leash gives you more control, let the leash drag on the floor, and instead of leaving the room and give your dog a time out for nipping and biting you can immediately take the leash and calmly lead him to a quiet area. When your dog gets there confine him behind a baby gate or a big heavy piece of furniture.
• Turn around and give your dog a short timeout. Soon as the timeout is over untie your dog and resume what you were doing.
• I am not a friend of that but if a timeout is not sufficient with your dog then consider using a taste deterrent spray. Spray the deterrent onto your hands, and cloth where your dog likes to nip and bite you. ( you can also make your own homemade all-natural dog deterrent spray)
Homemade deterrent spray for dogs
2 Tablespoons of Distilled White Vinegar
1 1/2 Cups of Water
1 Clean spray bottle ( do not use a spray bottle what had cleaners inside before)
Fill in first the vinegar than the drops of orange oils mixes it than poor in the water.
Shake it, label it and use it.
Praise your dog often for good behaviour.
If your dog starts nipping than wait until the bad taste sets in. Praise your dog when he lets go of you or your cloth. It will at least take 2 weeks or more until your dog inhibits the bad taste with nipping or biting you. Your dog will stop biting and nipping you if you are consistent.
If nothing helps than seek professional help. Locate a qualified expert near you
• Nipping and Biting are challenging and depend on the size and breed of the dog you might need professional help. Don’t hesitate to engage a professional certified dog trainer. (CPDT)if you feel your training is not working.
• Most CPDT do offer group or private classes that can help your dog with the assistance you need. Nipping and biting also called mouthing are not take to be taken lightly.
Do not wave your fingers or toes in your dog’s face, slapping the side of your dogs face to entice him to play. This can encourage your dog to bite your hand and feet.
Never discourage your dog from playing with you in general. Playing builds a powerful bond between you and your dog as well. Do teach your dog to be gentle rather than avoiding to play with your dog.
General Precautions What you should not do?
• Avoid waving your fingers or toes in your dog’s face or slapping the sides of his face to entice him to play. Doing these things can actually encourage your dog to bite your hands and feet.
• Do not discourage your dog from playing with you in general. Playtime builds a strong bond between a dog and his human family. You want to teach your dog to play gently rather than not at all.
• Jerking your hands or feet away from your dog when your dog is nipping or biting is to avoid in all cases. You have to understand that jerky movement might seem like a game to your dog and will encourage your dog to jump forward and snap at you. Let your hand and feet get limp that is much more effective, why? when your hands and feet are limp they are not much fun to play for your dog.
• Never ever slap or hit your dog in a playful moment when your dog is nipping or biting it causes him to bite harder. The reaction is more aggressive playing.
• Understanding that physical punishment will make your dog afraid of you and will lead to aggression.
• Avoid scruff shaking, sticking your fingers down your dog’s throat, or whacking your dog’s nose ( a dog nose is the most sensitive part of a dog beside his ears), and all other nonsense punishment that hurts your dog or scares him.
I know a few dogs who became a problem after physical punishment. It is never good to physically punish your dog.
You want a trusting and harmonious relationship with your dog, remember your dog is the most loyal companion if treated well. A dog is never born to be killer, a dog is made bad by us humans when not handled correctly.
Dog nipping and dog biting can be corrected with obedience training. Yes, it takes time and patience, but the reward is so unbelievable that every hour you spent training your dog, is thousandfold rewarded by your loyal companion your dog.
What is your experience with the dog nipping and biting, how did you train your dog or did you seek professional help.
Let us know and share your experience. Thanks for commenting.
Please do seek professional help if your dog is more aggressive in nipping and biting.
All yours Melanie