Nipping and biting are a normal part of interaction among pack members in the world of the wild dog, coyote, or wolf. These are natural ways in which dominance is established and puppies are disciplined by their mothers. In the human world, however, these same behaviors are completely unacceptable.
Dogs who nip or bite can cause lawsuits, earn you legal fines, and even be taken from their homes and killed by Animal Control. Also of concern is the pain and suffering of the individual who is injured and possibly scarred for life . In the human world, the dog owner (a legal term) is responsible for the behavior of their dog. Therefore, it is to everyone’s benefit, including the dog’s, to make sure your dog knows what behaviors are acceptable and considered “good manners” by the human standard.
This is why taking your new dog, whether a puppy or an adopted adult, to basic obedience class can be an essential part of building a relationship between the two of you. Even if you think you know how to train a dog, training techniques continue to evolve. There are always new ways to handle situations, and some techniques that work well with one individual personality are a disaster with another. Even if you have taken your older dogs to school and now have a new puppy, there can be the added benefit of building a stronger bond between you and your puppy by going to class together. Each dog has a unique background and will interact with you as an individual.
Please understand that I am not a dog trainer and have nothing to personally gain by recommending dog school for you and your dog. I make this recommendation because undoing a problem is much harder than never allowing it to develop in the first place. That having been said, it is important to understand the many reasons why dogs bite. Aside from the fact that this is a natural way of communicating among dogs, there are other reasons why your dog might be exhibiting this behavior and why you may have a problem eliminating it.
– Your dog may be an “alpha” dog and is expressing its dominance over you.
– Your dog is aggressive because he is fearful.
– You have taught your dog that nipping is OK because you have allowing her to chew on or play with your hand as a puppy.
– Your dog wants to dominate you because you or a previous owner have allowed him/her to do so in the 狗移民 past by not setting clear boundaries.
– Your dog may be in physical pain and snapping or biting is a reflex reaction to pain.
There are specific tests that can be given to puppies to determine if they are “alpha” dogs, dogs who want to lead the pack. “Alpha” dogs are alpha because that’s their personality. They will not easily settle for being No. 2 and require owners capable of handling this personality type. Good dog breeders will give this test to their puppies and make sure that the puppies only go to homes where that personality type can be managed. However, professional breeders are a small percentage of the places where puppies are obtained. When you take a dog home from a pet store or rescue organization the dog probably has not been tested in this manner. Therefore, if you suspect your dog might be an alpha personality, it is wise to have a trainer evaluate him or her.
There are, of course, many reasons why a dog might bite. In the following case the issue was chronic pain and the solution was acupuncture and chiropractic.
A client called about her elderly Golden Retriever who had never bitten anyone in her life, but suddenly nipped at everyone who tried to pet her. The dog told me she was in pain in her hips and her back. A trip to the allopathic veterinarian quickly revealed arthritis in the spine and hips. That veterinarian prescribed a pain medication, but it didn’t seem to help. The situation was resolved when the dog received acupuncture and chiropractic treatments. Because she was more comfortable, the nipping/biting behavior disappeared.
If your dog nips or bites you or anyone else, it is imperative for both your sakes to take steps to identify and resolve the biting behavior. It is not the most loving thing to keep a dog whose behaviors are a problem to yourself and other people. Here are some approaches you can take to solving this problem.