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Some people will say mouthing is different than nipping and nipping is different than biting and while I understand and agree with most of what they are saying the problem is that puppy teeth are going on human skin or clothing! 95% of new puppy owners think this behavior is cute at first, and therefore they allow it to continue until it gets out of control to where the the puppy is biting hard or maybe even biting kids.
Figure out what type or reward or payoff your puppy is getting out of mouthing, nipping, or biting.
We have been videotaping dog-dog play for more than 10 years and, together with our colleagues, have analyzed hundreds of hours of data to test hypotheses about play.
In the field of animal behavior, researchers often refer to social play as “play fighting” because it includes many of the behaviors seen during real fights.
Even though play fighting is very different from real fighting, people often feel the need to intervene.
Our research shows that for many dogs, play fighting is the primary method used to negotiate new relationships and develop lasting friendships. First, when we talk about play fighting, we mean play between two dogs rather than play between many dogs (we will address multi-dog play in a future article).
Second, we are referring to play fighting that doesn’t involve toys, which can become the object of guarding and aggression. Barbara Smuts, PhD holds an undergraduate degree in anthropology and a doctorate in behavioral biology from Stanford Medical School. Aggressive: Your dog's ears and tail will be erect (while the tail might slowly wag from side to side).
Afraid: Your dog will cower with his ears back, his body tense, and his tail tucked between his legs. If there's no medical explanation for the biting, ask your veterinarian to determine if the dog may be acting out of fear or because he's defending his belongings. For example, if your dog is scared of men in hats, let him look through a window or a glass door at man with a hat in your yard (you may have to enlist the help of a friend). For example, if your dog is scared of men in hats, but hasn't run away when watching a man in a hat, have the man gently toss a few treats towards your dog. If you can't take your dog for walks during the day, consider hiring a dog walker or putting your dog into doggy daycare. If you can't tell if your dog is biting out of aggression or playfulness, consult a professional dog trainer or behavior expert.
You can reward your dog with small tasty treats like small pieces of cheese or cooked chicken. This version of How to Stop Your Dog from Biting Other People was reviewed by Pippa Elliott, MRCVS on October 2, 2015. For example, during play, one dog might chase and tackle another, or use a neck bite to force a partner to the ground. Anthropologist Gregory Bateson called play signals meta-communication, meaning communication about communication.


Meta-communication allows humans and dogs to pretend — that is, to perform actions that appear to be one thing but actually mean something completely different. Sometimes it is obvious at the beginning of a bout that two dogs are playing, but once the dogs start growling or their arousal intensifies, observers may no longer be sure that the dogs are still playing.
Although play is fun, it also offers serious opportunities to communicate with another dog. Although multi-dog play can be fine, sometimes it involves ganging up, and then it’s time to intervene. If traumatized by other dogs early on (for example, in a poorly run puppy class), a puppy may grow into a dog who is fearful, defensive or even aggressive with other dogs. Dogs who play together a lot often develop play rituals, such as S afi and O sa’s mutual snarling, that may not be appropriate between dogs who don’t know each other well. If you own a dog that bites, you can be held financially responsible for any injuries your dog may cause. Chances are, you'll already have a good idea as to whether your dog is unhappy and acting out, or if he's simply playing. You can figure out your dog's mood by paying attention to his body language.[4] Knowing how your dog is feeling will help you respond appropriately and prevent future biting. If your dog is aggressive or even if he bites for no apparent reason, you must get immediate control of him.
In fact, your dog shouldn't be around children outside the immediate household until his biting is stopped. Once you've gotten control of your dog, you need to take him to the vet for an exam and behavioral consultation. As much as you may want to help your dog work through his fear, you need to let him work through it on his own.
If your puppy or dog starts mouthing, nipping, or biting while you're playing, give a high pitched yelp.
If a puppy bites another puppy too hard, the bitten pup will yelp loudly startling the biting puppy. You can curb your dog's biting behavior by teaching basic commands like "sit", "down", "stay", and "come". Never punish or hit your dog, which will just reinforce negative behavior and make him fear you. To people unfamiliar with the notion that some nonhuman animals have this ability, play that includes archetypal aggressive behaviors, like snarling and growling, can be quite confusing.
After all, humans instinctively avoid a dog who is snarling or baring his teeth, and it is natural to think that our dogs should do the same. Finally, work with your dog until she reliably comes when you call her for a brief play pause. If this is the case, your playful dog will have a relaxed body that isn't tense or aggressive.


Use a harness, muzzle, or head halter to prevent him from further biting.[5] Don't let your dog go outside the house without being on a leash and unless he's accompanied by a responsible adult holding the handle. Your vet may find that the dog is suffering from a medical condition (like brain dysfunction from stroke or old age) or is in pain (from arthritis or an injury). Eventually, your dog should grow to accept the man and he may even enter the same room as your dog. When you notice your dog starting to mouth or bite, redirect his attention towards something more desirable like a toy, treat, or activity. She enjoys starting articles about real problems she has in life, as well as ones about quirky topics like How to Use Life Hacks. However, despite the overlap in behaviors, some clear differences exist between play fighting and real fighting. Close attention to the context, however, can help us differentiate between play aggression and real aggression. When people interrupt really rowdy play, they assume that they are “playing it safe,” that is, doing no harm.
More recently, she has been studying social relationships among domestic dogs and is working on a book on this subject. Fortunately, there are many things you can do to teach your dog to stop biting and become a good canine citizen. When he nips or bites, the puppy or dog won't show teeth or bite down hard.[2] However, if your dog is aggressively biting, his body will be stiff, he'll show his teeth, and he'll bite quickly and hard. Working with a professional trainer is especially important if there was a human injury involved, since you most likely will not be able to correct the biting behavior on your own.
Break up the sessions into two 10 minute training periods and only work with your dog when he's relaxed. When playing, dogs inhibit the force of their bites and sometimes voluntarily give their partner a competitive advantage (self-handicap) by, for example, rolling on their backs or letting themselves be caught during a chase — behaviors that would never happen during real fighting. Training will take patience and time, but your well trained dog will be a joy to be around and a great member of your family.
It's important to determine this since you'll need to deal with your dog differently depending on whether he's biting from playfulness or aggression. Your dog will spend time biting the toy to get to the treats which also helps release his energy. Marc Bekoff, while at the University of Colorado, did a study1 showing that dogs are most likely to play bow just before or immediately after performing an especially assertive behavior, such as a bite accompanied by a head shake.



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