Training a Dog Not to Bite

Teaching your dog that biting is not allowed is an important part of her training. This is a page about training a dog not to bite.


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December 9, 2011

I have a Yorkie who is prone to biting and my trainer says to try vinegar in a spritz bottle. He says it will not hurt their vision, but I am sure it will sting when squirted. I cannot say personally if it will work as I have not had to use it yet.

He does use it on the dogs that he has in doggie day care. Once all he had to do was just point the bottle and they all backed up. Just a suggestion. My dog is 2 years old.

By glo from Rockford, IL

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November 5, 2013

When we got this dog he was sweet. He used to bite our socks off our feet and chew them, but he got older and now he is an abusive dog who likes to chew anything and anyone!


He is 5 and I hope it's not too late because he is a sweet dog. You can't play with him, can't let any guests in the house stroke him or even go near him, and he eats people's shoes. I need some tips on how to make him stop so I can be rough and play fully with him. However, can I do that to a Yorkshire terrier?

By Megan.J


November 7, 20131 found this helpful

Try rubber bands. I had a dog who thought I was his chew toy so one day I got the idea to put a rubber band on his snout to get the message across. It was a thin band and not too tight but it worked. It took several applications but eventually he got the message-end of problem.

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May 5, 2009

I got an American Staffordshire Terrier before he was even a month old. Some woman left him in a parking lot at the vet that i go to so i found him and brought him home. I had to bottle feed him and everything. He is like my baby. Now he's 5 years old. I raised him with nothing but love and affection and I have a big family so he was brought up around a lot of people.


He is the best dog I've ever had. He has so much personality and is very friendly. He sleeps in bed with me every night underneath the covers, lays on the couch and watches TV with me. He has never shown any signs of aggression. But when he was around 2 or 3 he bit someone for the first time. Up until now he's bitten probably around 8-9 people. Not big bites, no one was hurt or anything but it still concerns me.

When he bites he doesn't attack. He does not growl or show teeth. You wouldn't even know he was about to bite you. And then he'll just bite, hold on for a couple seconds and let go and walk away like nothing happened. It's very weird. I'm not sure what to do and the thought of him mutilating somebody one day just haunts me. Please help!

By Allison from New York, NY


May 5, 20090 found this helpful
This is a WONDERFUL training method. 1st off take him to the vet and have him checked out real well (you probably already did this).


Sounds like you have a wonderful dog there but with all the propaganda about them you have to be soooo careful.
Good Luck!

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May 5, 20090 found this helpful

I would go to and look through the free streaming video and the many articles and the website has a search site that you can put in dog that bites or some such term. I have found this site very useful. Blessings, Robyn

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May 5, 20090 found this helpful

It could be that he is just being protective of you, as he sleeps and stays with you all day. Try to record all the past incidents, what happened around the dog at the time of the bite. I am hoping that you can find a solution.

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May 12, 20090 found this helpful

My Cattle dog is the same way, nips heels instead of the lock-on, growling hackles-up neck-swinging bite or the fifty bites per second bite. I keep her away from people. I have a crate made of wire and I stuff her in it, after giving the people waiting at the door the 'just a second' (index finger up) sign. I also have a card in the front window that says 'Dog in Training'.


If she barks I squirt, so she's quiet. Very vigilant also while we walk that she's on leash forever, never a single second off-leash, and pulled up short if someone comes near (some come near in a heartbeat like running children or a bicycle from behind or an off-leash dog). Good luck, just be military about controlling your dog and you'll prevent that fat lawsuit.

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May 13, 20090 found this helpful

I train my dogs from the start when they are puppies by telling them "no bite" every time they bite. Puppies tend to bite each other which is fine, but I have found they need to be trained to stop biting people. I have German Shepherds, and it works with them. You have to be consistent. If the dog regresses, and attempts to bite again, I tell her "no bite" and then give her a tiny treat for obeying. It's always worked for me, and I can feel secure that my GSD is not going to bite anyone. Of course, she plays with other big dogs, and they play bite each other, but they seem to know how to do that without hurting each other or drawing blood.


Try this with your dog and keep at it until he stop biting. Don't forget to reward with tiny treats. I go to a dog park every day, and I can tell you from personal experience that pit bulls get in more trouble than any other dogs there. I believe it has a lot to do with lack of proper training. They seem to do better when they are on their own. It's when there are 2 together that they get into the most trouble (pack mentality takes over). Owning a dangerous dog is a serious responsibility, and it can cause the owner untold grief as well as the dog if one isn't prepared to be a responsible owner/trainer. German Shepherds can be dangerous dogs, which is why training is priority one for me. Goog luck with your little pal!

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May 13, 20090 found this helpful

My opinion is to treat dogs as pets. Dogs need a leader, they are pack animals. Don't allow dogs on the same level as you. For instance, don't allow them to sleep with you or have them on the furniture. The floor or a dog bed if just fine for dogs. And they can be trained at any age.

We used to allow our dogs to sleep on the floor next to our bed for many years. Eventually due to my health issues this became a problem. We taught them that they were not allowed in our bedroom. It didn't take that long for them to learn. The only time they were allowed in was when they were invited.

We were always told that our dogs were well behaved and obedient. We could take them anywhere without any problems. They were trained using a lot of praise and love but they must know their place around people.

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July 23, 2006

I have a 8 week old mastiff Rottweiler mix. He attacks when I pick him up but only when he doesn't want to be. I took him to the vet and when she was examining him he growled and tried to bite her. She said this is not normal and said you better get training or he will have to be put down. Any training tips for Jack?

Brandy from Colorado Springs, CO


By (Guest Post)
July 24, 20060 found this helpful

The best advice is to let Jack know immediately that biting is not allowed. We have invested in some behavior training for our dog, and read Ceasar Milano's book, the "Dog Whisperer". I highly recommend the book, and some training if you can afford it. There are many things you can do, but most importantly.. you're dog needs to know that you're the pack leader and biting will not be tolerated! Be patient and consistent, and most importantly, don't hit your new puppy. Positive reinforcement works best. Trust me! I now have a dog that I can take anywhere, and he's very happy that he knows his limits. Dogs are usually very eager to please their owners. Best of luck to you.

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July 26, 20060 found this helpful

hi you have a very stubborn breed to train and you need to go to a dog trainer. this is to be done with the breeds that you have a mix of, at a very early age .but if you can't afford it, you need for it to know you are the head dog! do NOT hit it in any way! You need to be more stubborn than it is. and stay on it never let it think it runs the show. there are many of things you need to do and there is not enough space here to tell you it all but you needed to start from day one.

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By carla bledsoe (Guest Post)
July 28, 20060 found this helpful

do you really want to keep a dog that bites? even with training he will always be inclined to "forget" if a child bothers him or someone accidently steps on his toe or tail.
does your insurance company know you have a dog on the watch list (i am an insurance agent and there really is a list of dogs we will not give liability coverage for) if not, and you have a claim for a dog bite, they may not cover it. can your conscience and your pocket book take that kind of risk?
i'm really not a dog hater or mean to animals. but i am a mother and grandma. i wouldn't want my grandkids around a rott even if it had blue ribbons for training.

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July 28, 20060 found this helpful

Hi I have a much smaller dog but this may help. Mine is always so glad to see me when I return from anywhere that she would nip as she is a puppy. However it hurts! I started keeping a jar of peanut butter in the car and before going in I would smear a place on my arm with that. Instead of nipping she would lick it off. She got used to doing that and stopped the nipping. Just something to try, good luck.

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July 28, 20060 found this helpful

Please listen to your vet...and start training (professionally) NOW! I had to put Hailey (doberman/lab, or rott/lab...our best guesses) down after almost one year of training and nightmare wrestling matches. Finally she bit the trainer's 5 year old (who knows how to act around dogs) and kept jumping up on my stomach (at 6 months pregnant.) We loved the dog, but it was out of our hands. She did not like to be pet, or held, and shredded the fur off the back of our cat's neck. The day before we put her down, our trainer "friend" found us a dog to adopt (Charlie) and our cat fell in love with him within the first 15 minutes! It was a hard thing to go through (especially with the pregnancy.) but it was easier than having to shoot the dog for attacking the baby or having someone adopt her and use her as an attack dog.

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By Rottweiler (Guest Post)
August 11, 20060 found this helpful

There is no way he is going to be put down. My, now 3year old Rottweiler, did the same. I call it "Puppy bravery". As with all puppies, biting will stop when his permanent teeth has developed, and with lots of love and patience he will grow up to be an angel. Don't hit your puppy, a loud "No!" will get the message to him that it is wrong. Give him lots of attention and enjoy your puppy without worrying about him being aggressive when he grows up. Well treated dogs are never aggressive towards their owners.

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August 13, 20060 found this helpful

You have a dog of a strong breed, a large breed. At no time is biting acceptable, not even as a pup. This dog was more than likely born dominant and you had better get professional training or find this dog a new home. Your dog is telling you that he doesn't respect you as the pack leader and when humans don't take on the leadership role, the dog has to and dogs really don't want to be leaders. Most dogs are happy being followers. I have a 140 lb. male German Shepherd who is of dominant nature but he learned quickly that he isn't the Alpha in our house. On occasion, he will try to dominate my other two dogs when they play outside but I am always there watching carefully and I put a quick stop to it.
Don't think for one moment your dog will stop biting. It will only get worse unless like I said, get professional training and start being the Alpha.
Good luck.

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January 27, 20080 found this helpful

Good luck trying to control have to show him that u are the boss at aall times.There is tv show called the end of my leach tha is very informative.
good luck,bigtone

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August 17, 2009

I have a 3 month old puppy who tries to bite me whenever I take her food bowl or any object she may have in her mouth or near her. Can anyone please give me some advise on how I may be able to stop this? I have children and I don't want them to get bitten.


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December 22, 2015

We rescued a 2 year old female Shih Tzu. I don't know her history, but she has bitten me multiple times, but has not bitten my husband or any other male. She is very affectionate. She will lay on my lap and let me pet her. When I go to get up, if I try picking her up with me she bites me. I have to push her with my body off my lap before I get up. I've tried cleaning her ears and she snaps at me. I can brush her, but can't cut her hair or nails. I cut one nail once and she was fine. When I went to do the second one she realized what I was doing and bit me. Is there any hope to change her behavior?

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April 22, 2010

I have a male Shih tzu dog. Before he was loving, but lately he doesn't want to take a bath and tends to bite the caretaker if forced to bathe. I would like to know what's the reason behind this change in behavior?

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July 5, 2016

I recently adopted a 3 yr old Beagle from the humane society. The first few days he was a perfect dog, then he sprained his rear leg playing ball. He wouldn't let us get close to him so we had to wrangle him down to get his leash on him to take him to the ER vet. Ever since sometimes he's happy, but sometimes he growls and tries to bite us if we try to touch him. He really only does it when sitting on my couch or if he's in my son's bed and I try to get him down.

I don't know if he's acting like this because of his leg, (which we stay away from) or if he's becoming possessive over certain places that he lays on. How can I break this? We can't be worried if he's going to snip at us everytime we try to scratch his head or try to get his leash on him.

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I have a Pit/Boxer mix. He is a male and he is a year and a half old. We have had him for a week and he's a very well trained dog. We got him from a family that was being stationed where there is a bully breed ban. He's a very good dog and we have no issues besides one.

The only issue we have is when he's in his cage/kennel and anyone besides me or my fiance sticks their fingers through the slot to pet him he tries to bite. He has nipped at my children and a couple of our friends. He doesn't really give a warning besides slightly lowering his head and then he goes for the nip. It's quick, but only once. He doesn't try to nip multiple times or try to attack you. Funny thing is I can let him out of his kennel immediately after that and he's fine. It's not like he is trying to attack anyone. He comes out wagging his tail and wanting love. I asked his previous owners if they ever had that issue and they said that they hadn't. He found it unusual as well. I'm not sure if he's nipping because he's still a little confused about being in a new place and his kennel is his familiar place and he's just protecting his space or what.

I just wanted some tips on how to get him to not nip at people when they do that because I don't want anyone to get hurt and I don't want him or us getting in trouble if he does hurt someone because they stuck their fingers in there.

Thanks for your help.

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December 27, 2014

We just got a Shih Tzu dog from a friend because they don't want him anymore and he was living in bad conditions as they were always busy with their work. I can tell that he is not trained because he did not even respond to his name the first week, now he does though. I just want to know if it is too late to train him now? He is 2 years old and bites. He bit me and my mom once. What do I do? Please help!

By S

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July 26, 2014

We have a King Shepherd and Husky mix about 9 months old. We find he is unpredictable sometimes. He is very good with children, will listen well, and plays with other dogs well. Every once in awhile, for example, a person will be going through a door and maybe have a bag of groceries for example and he just goes very aggressive. He goes for the arm and leaves only slobber, but no clenching of teeth to leave marks, etc., but scares people. What's the best way to break this once in awhile behaviour? Thank you.

By Bob

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We have a Yorkie-Pooh. She's about 4-5 yrs old. She loves people, but she barks something awful. If she's sitting on someones lap or near them and someone approaches where she's at she starts growling really low and if you keep going she will bite you. That goes for my wife, also. We can't even kiss goodnight. It's like she's guarding that person. What do we do?

By Dot from southwestern IN

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November 21, 2011

I just had my Pit Bull bite my neighbor. He is 1 1/2 years old. I got him from a guy when he was 8 months. How do I get him to not bite other people? I don't want to put him down either. Thanks.

By Anthony

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Our 6 year old Yorkipoo is biting, whoever is holding or playing with her. She doesn't want anyone else approaching, etc. The one holding her also gets bit, too. If anyone goes to get her from wherever, she starts growling and lunging.

We love her to pieces, but I'm at my wits end. I'm a nervous wreck. Especially if we're having company. We've been feeling that that is the reason their not coming around anymore. Please help. She also wants only one person at a time, when approached by anyone else she starts growling and snapping. And she bites hard enough to draw blood.

By Dot E

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October 28, 2013

I have an Australian Shepherd who just moved into my house at college with me and 3 roommates. He is sweet and friendly 95% of the time, but I have recently noticed he has some weird quirks. We had a bunch of people over the other night and he sat in a guy's lap who was sitting on the floor, the guy grabbed his front paws to pull him over on his back and my dog snapped at him and made a scary growling noise. He did this same thing to another person who tried to pick him up. I also noticed he growled at someone who crouched down and approached him slowly like she was going to chase him. It makes me really nervous because I can't have him bite someone at our house. He will not growl or try to bite me. I don't know what to do, any suggestions?

By Lauren R

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