Help, My Dog Bites! How to Deal with Dogs Who Bite

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By Dr. Sophia Yin
1966-2014 R.I.P.




My adopted Chihuahua, Chico, has come a long way. However, if anyone comes to the house or if he is outdoors and meets a stranger and he is on the ground, he immediately wants to attack, following several displays of barking and aggressive lunging. One time he did clip a woman’s knee and drew blood. What do you advise for training Chico to be receptive to friendly people when he is outside and walking on the ground?

Gloria Aceti
Washington Crossing, PA


We just adopted a terrier that is loving and sweet.  Unfortunately, she exhibits extreme aggression at times. She does not do well with visitors coming into the house, and refused to stop barking and nipping at them.  We encourage our guests to give her treats upon arrival, at the suggestion of our vet. We tell her NO firmly and attempt to grab her snout when she behaves this way, but nothing seems to work! She’s also aggressive when we try to wipe her feet. What do you suggest?

Reluctant to Return our Rescue Dog
Rocklin, CA


Some people may read these descriptions and assume that these and other dogs who bite are just mean, but it turns out the most common cause of aggression in dogs is fear. It’s not fear brought on by abuse, but, rather, fear that developed because these dogs failed to receive the amount of socialization they needed starting before three months of age and continuing into early adulthood. Even from the short descriptions above, the telltale history is there. These dogs quickly got used to their adoptive families within a few days or weeks because it’s easy to get used to people who are constantly around them; but new people who pop into their lives fleetingly are another story.

Once Fear or Reactivity is Recognized, Take Action Before the Behavior Progresses to a Bite

Generally fearful dogs start off by trying to stay away from the things that scare them. But as they are confronted with scary situations repeatedly, they can learn that offense (barking, snapping, biting) is their best defense because it makes the scary people go away.

To see the body language of fear/anxiety, see Dog Bite Prevention Week: Poster on Body Language of Fear and Aggression and Dogs Bite When Humans Greet Inappropriately.

Treatment of Fear, Reactivity, or Aggression Focuses on Two General Approaches.

One approach to dealing with fear and aggression towards people is to train the dog to associate unfamiliar people with good things in a systematic/graded manner. This process is desensitization and classical counterconditioning (DS/CC),and it involves exposing the dog to the fear-inducing “stimulus” at a level where she barely responds and keeping her in a happy state, instead of a fearful or reactive state, by pairing the experience with things the dog likes (such as food, play, toys). The goal is that, as we systematically increase the level of the stimulus (how close the people are, how quickly they move, or how scary they look) while keeping Fido in a happy emotional state, the dog will systematically come to associate the scary people with this positive emotional state permanently.

Now, a lot of people try this method and have only partial success because they omit a few vital points.

  • The first is that you must stay below the level of scariness where Fido barks, lunges or has any major reaction. This is referred to as staying below threshold. That usually means that the visitor must pretend Fido doesn’t exist. That is, stand sideways to the pet and look away as if the visitor is actually ignoring Fido even though he’s tossing treats. Ideally Fido just looks like he’s happy to get food.
  • The second key point is that the food or fun thing must be occurring the entire time the scary person is near. For instance, if the scary person is tossing small treats, the treats must come at a rapid enough rate that Fido doesn’t have a ton of time in between treats to decide that he’s still scared. Usually that means starting with treats coming rapidly at first and then slowing the treat rate down.
  • Treats also have to continue long enough so that Fido decides that the person is safe. That may take just a minute or it may take several visits, depending on Fido. In the latter case, when the visitor is running out of treats, the dog should be removed from the room or the visitor should leave.
  • The visitor also must make sure she doesn’t move too close too quickly or move in a quick or threatening manner since these can make the dog react defensively (e.g. going above threshold). (For tips on how to approach correctly so you aren’t accidentally threatening: refer to the How to Greet a Dog book and poster)

The second method for modifying behavior is to train dogs to perform appropriate replacement behaviors that are incompatible with the fearful behavior. This is called operant counterconditioning. The replacement behaviors we train must be ones the dog enjoys so that Fido is at the same time learning a positive association with the situation. For instance, when a dog is fearful, we can train the dog to focus on us and engage in fun behaviors such as heeling and other focus games that we have taught through reward-based training. Why do we have to be careful to avoid methods that use force or punishment to train or maintain the replacement behaviors? Say we train the dog to focus on us so he doesn’t bark or lunge and we do so using choke chain or pinch collar corrections. The dog may learn to focus but will do so out of fear of getting a correction. As a result, the dog is not likely to develop a positive association with the scary person/object/environment. The dog may outwardly look more controlled, at first, but side effects such as greater reactivity and fear are likely to occur in the near future. The dog may hide that he’s scared or that he wants to react, prompting us to put him in a situation where scary people are even closer to him. Then, at some point, he might not be able to contain himself and may break out in a reaction more severe than before.

As with the DS/CC we described in method 1, always start at a level where you can keep the dog happy and focused on you, keep the dog focused the entire time, end the session and remove the dog from the situation before he’s tired or you run out of treats. The better your technique and ability to train in a systematic fashion the faster the training will go. Technique is the difference between taking 10 minutes and 10 months to see a huge change. (For more information on technique, read Dog Training Classes Can and Should Be More Than Sit, Stay, Stand)

To learn more about:

Understanding How They Learn and The Principles that Guide Learning (Timing, Motivation, etc):

Why We Tend to Avoid Punishment and Aversives and Dominance Theory

Treatment Must Also Address Impulsivity

These general approaches are pretty straightforward and, with good technique, you can get dogs through situations relatively easily. However, it turns out there’s more to these situations than just using the DS/CC techniques in the reactive situations. In fact, the first thing that we often have to do is address the dog’s impulsivity (lack of impulse control) and his lack of ability to look to the owners for guidance, especially when he’s scared or highly excited. How are these things important? Impulsivity is the tendency for animals to perform behaviors without first thinking and evaluating the situation. Dogs with high impulsivity or low impulse control tend to rush towards items they want (food, people, dogs) and react in an extreme manner when excited (jump, whine, pace, bark, lunge). The more they practice acting impulsively, the more likely they will react impulsively when scared. These dogs also have an inability to look to their owners for direction, especially when they’re scared or distracted.

Luckily, one program can address both of these issues. In my version of the Learn to Earn Program where dogs are required to automatically say “Please” by sitting for everything they want – every bit of kibble, petting, praise, attention, getting their leash on, going out the door—dogs learn that they can have what they want if they ask politely by sitting and looking at their owners for permission. In this intensive program, dogs can exhibit huge changes within a week. The trick is that the humans need to learn to reward the dog’s good behavior consistently and must be aware of their every interaction so that they don’t accidently reward unwanted behaviors, such as jumping, whining, and pushing for attention. So, at the same time, this program teaches owners how to give the right body signals and cues that their dog naturally understands and how to actually provide leadership and guidance through skill rather than force. As an added benefit, once owners have these skills they are better bonded to their pet and their pet feels more comfortable looking to their owners for guidance in the scary or highly exciting situations.

The Step-by-Step Approach:

Now that you know some of the general approaches. Here’s the basic order of approach.

  1. First, keep safe: avoid all situations where the dog is fearful or aggressive until you have gained the skill to work productively in these situations. And when you do work with your dog with visitors and unfamiliar people present, you may choose to avoid having the visitors or unfamiliar people give your dog treats. It can be unsafe to rely on other people to give treats because the visitor may do something inappropriate such as moving too close, staring at, or suddenly trying to pet the dog. Or because they toss the treat too closely to themselves and the dog comes closer and then realizes he’s too close for comfort and snaps. Instead, you, the owner, can give the dog the treats or have the dog perform exercises where he focused on you.  Also, it’s best to have the dog on leash, even on a gentle leader, snootloop or halti head collar. Make sure you’re holding the leash short enough that even if your dog does lunge towards people he can’t reach them (e.g. he can only lunge a few inches). For added safety, some dogs will need to learn to enjoy wearing a muzzle. You can cut a hole in the front of the muzzle to give treats. (See Training Dogs to Love Wearing a Muzzle)
  2. Second, identify all other situations where your dog is fearful or highly aroused (e.g. uncontrollable barking, whining, lunging) and address these issues too.  This is important because fear of objects and other things can heighten fear of people. For instance, if your human-fearful dog gets scared of a loud noise or object in the morning and then goes for a walk, he’s more likely to react fearfully to people on his walk. Similarly if your dog practices rough, overly rowdy behavior, then, when he’s fearful, he’s more likely to display that fear with the same rough, overly rowdy behavior.
  3. Avoid the other fear and high arousal situations until you have the skills to modify the behavior in these situations. Generally you can gain some skills quickly and just start working in the situations at the distance or intensity that you can handle. For instance, if your dog gets scared around inanimate objects on walks, when you see the type of object he might bark or lunge at or run away from, you can work at the distance where you know you can keep him happy and focused on you.
  4. Take your dog through Dr. Yin’s version of the Learn to Earn Program so that you can systematically and quickly develop the ability to provide direction for your dog and so your dog can quickly develop the ability to control his impulsivity. Some dogs only take a few days to a week while others may take a month or two—the biggest variability is the human’s awareness of what they are doing. If owners could be 100% consistent in rewarding desired behaviors and removing rewards for unwanted behaviors, they’d have a nearly perfect dog in just a week or two but for many owners it takes weeks to become aware enough to be 80% consistent. The benefit of the Learn to Earn program is that even if you never reach professional level skill, you’ll still be way better at communicating with your dog and moving in ways that make your signals and intentions clear.
  5. DS/CC to the specific fear, reactive, and/or aggressive situations. Generally, this means going about your day in a normal manner, but, whenever you pass an unfamiliar person, you have your dog perform the fun heeling games so that he can focus on you while learning good things about the people that pass by. The better your technique, timing, and ability to use your body movement to help keep the dog focused on you, the more successful and efficient you’ll be. Similarly when guests visit, set the situation up so that you can keep Fido focused on performing replacement behaviors and then you separate him from the guests if he’s not completely comfortable and under good control.
  6. Also, DS/CC to any handling type procedures that are an issue: In many fear or reactivity cases, the dog is also difficult for being handled in certain ways (such as for toenail trims or grooming). Generally I recommend starting with classical DS/CC where the owner pairs the procedures with food and then increases interval between food until food is no longer needed (See Training a Dog to Enjoy Toenail Trims). Once less food is needed, I often switch to rewarding a specific behavior such as holding still for 10 seconds while being groomed and increasing the amount of time the dog must perform the good behavior to earn the reward.

This is the overall approach to the fearful or reactive dog in a nutshell. It’s all about addressing the dog’s overall ability to look to you for guidance, and your ability to be aware of his emotional state and to reward desired behaviors and remove rewards for unwanted behaviors. Because the techniques do actually involve skill and technique, unless your dog is extremely easy, you will most likely need coaching. But now you’ll know what to look for and you’ll be aware of the common mistakes to avoid.

Dr. Yin passed away in 2014 but her legacy lives on.

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88 responses to “Help, My Dog Bites! How to Deal with Dogs Who Bite

  1. I used to have a dog who was a very curious case and I would love to hear some ideas regarding her behavior.
    This dog was a female GSD and this behavior appeared for the first time when she was around 4 years old. Gioia was a very outgoing dog with familiar people and her behavior with family was typical GSD meaning she was social, playful, and attentive to us. She could best be described as aloof towards unfamiliar people, and she was around many, at the dog club and in competitions. She worked happily, played happily, and showed no signs at all of being uncomfortable around any person. While she did not solicit attention from unknown people she did not avoid them and she showed absolutely no concern about them, no matter how many were crowding her (at shows for example) or how strange they looked, sounded, or acted. She also showed limited curiosity about new folks, she might notice someone new if she was in a context where known people out numbered unknowns (such as the dog club) but when she was surrounded by strangers at shows or at the pet store she had no interest in sniffing them or whatnot.
    In all cases she seemed relaxed and engaged in her work or her environment.

    Sometime when she was around 4 years old I had her at a meeting of GSD fanciers of different types and my neighboring person (we were seated at long tables) was one of those people who just insist that they can make friends with every dog. I told her that this dog (who was laying down by my chair) had never had any interest in making friends with casual strangers yet she persisted in making friendly overtures and touching Gioia. After a few minutes Gioia went up and laid her head on my neighbors lap and and allowed her head to be stroked for a few minutes. At some point (seconds, minutes, it has been so long ago that now I do not remember) Gioia bit the lady on her non petting hand. Gioia bit her just hard enough to make her jump (there was no damage to her hand) and for all my life I think Gioia smiled and laughed. She was relaxed and happy through the entire incident and after it was done she play bowed, bounced, and then laid back down at my feet.

    This pattern would have repeated if we had not changed how we handled Gioia. After what we called “The Sucker Punch” indecent we were more aggressive in preventing well meaning people from attempting to interact with her. This was not difficult and we continued to compete with her, train her at two dog clubs, and show her.

    After the Sucker Punch Incident I think Gioia actually decided this was a fun activity and if we were not extremely careful she would give all type of solicitous behavior in an attempt to get strangers to come up to her, she would then bark and/or snap at them, watch them jump back and start her play bowing happy dog behaviors again.

    In the moment of her aggressive behavior her facial expressions were not mixed, she had a very hard eye, forward ears, and an offensive pucker. I could not detect any ambivalent or fearful signals like hackles, snarling or showing any teeth, whale eye, or pulled back mouth. After each incident her expressions were also not ambivalent she was relaxed, loose with a soft eye, ears and mouth. For all the world it seemed as if this was a really fun game for her. I had many people tell me this was a fear behavior but nothing in her affect seemed at all fearful. It seemed the most like how she would get a reticent or challenging sheep or goat to move.

    But again, we were careful with her and so in grand total there were only a very small number of incidents, none of which ever resulted in any contact (excluding the first one) or injury. Only 1 time did Gioia injure someone and that story follows.

    The only other aggressive behavior we had with Gioia was at our agility club. Our coach wanted to reset Gioia’s hind end onto the teeter and he did something he had never done before with Gioia (or any dog) and he grabbed her around the waste to reset her hind legs. This took me and Gioia by surprise and while I froze Gioia did not, she spun around (in mid air it seemed) and bit him hard, very hard, and shook him a little and then let go. No barking, growling, or any warning at all. He grabbed her, she bit him, and she let go. It took like 1 second. He flushed out his hand and continued teaching and we working. Gioia worked happily and as she always did in agility and she showed no signs of being traumatized. She really did not care for my coach after that and while she never showed any aggressive behavior towards him again (and he never grabbed her again) it was obvious to me that she really found him aversive if he wanted to interact with her. She would go hard and still. She was not worried about him unless he wanted to “make up” with her, as long as he was indifferent she was her typical self. I am not sure how this was related to her previous behavior.

    Gioia lived a long live, earned many titles, and aside from this behavior she seemed a normal and well adjusted dog. She traveled extensively, worked hard, and enjoyed a long and full life. We loved her and her us and I think having her taught me much about behavior but I have not yet been able to come to any better idea as to her motivation than she found scaring people to be reinforcing. I would love to hear other people thoughts.

    1. Thank you for your story.
      I recently adopted an American Eskimo puppy who is showing tendencies similar to what you have described. We’ve only had her for 4 months and she is now around 9 mos. I have been feeling conflicted on whether to keep her and if she would be able to fit into our lifestyle. Your story gives me hope that it is possible to have a dog who has been aggressive but is still able to be involved in an active lifestyle. At 5 mos Asha was firmly corrected into a forced ‘down’ on the first day of obedience class and after never accepted the instructor. She actually tried to nip the instructor multiple times on the last class when the instructor was walking her on lead. She seems to take after Gioia.
      A more compete story of her is related in the comment section of the “Body Language of Fear” poster page.

      1. I have a GSD pup that is 11 months. I have done a lot of socializing. He was recently fixed and I thought we might see a little improvement. My pup is great with my husband and me, and only a small handful of people. Anyone else, I can’t trust him when they come in our house. I have gone through 3 top trainers. The last one told me to use the shock collar. I am fearful that this is going to make it worse. He already nipped and 2 people. I can’t see my life without him, but I must say I have been a nervous wreck that he may hurt someone. I feel like a terrible parent. The last trainer was pretty rough around the edges and had me in tears. Told me he is fearful and to not let him around other people. More or less, forget entertaining. Any advice would be appreciated. I do not know what to do.

        1. Never ever use a negative control / training method such as a shock collar or any dominance related contact. Reward based training to promote required behaviors is always the best way.

  2. We have a 3yo Yellow Lab who is severely fear aggressive. He has bitten both my husband and myself on several occasions. Luckily, we are the only ones he has bitten so far…He accidentally had ocassion 3 times to bite people but he either just “barked in their face”, or just grabbed clothing. Once he gets stressed, he completely and totally short circuits and will bite anything and anyone in his way. We obviously keep him leashed at all times…he is now in a prong collar which has helped us control him quite a bit. We leave the leash dragging behind him now so when someone comes to the door (completely freaks when this happens) we can at least get his leash from the safety behind him.

    I was bitten most recently and it was actually interesting. I heard a crash outside and looked to see one of our horses had gotten in with my 2 blind horses and one of those is my 36yo first horse whom I am very protective of. We both jumped up and grabbed shoes to get outside. I ran out the door first and left it open so Rio trotted out behind me. I hooked him up to a tie out line which was handy. I am watching hooves flying all around my ole timer and in that split second decide it would safer for the dog in the house so I just went to unhook the line (all the while watching my horses) and he bit my hand VERY badly…my whole hand was in his mouth and he bit down hard!!! Rio had not been barking or doing anything audible to me to indicate he was picking up on our anxiety and adrenalin rush so I was paying him no attention at all. Prior to this, we hadn’t been bitten in over 2 months so I guess my guard was down completely.

    His stressors are other dogs on leash being walked (he does GREAT at a local day care- they took the time to start him off slowly but he now plays well with the whole pack), sometimes people coming near the car and people coming to the house. I can get him in a down and not barking from a distance…if we get too close to the strangers, he freaks. At times there is no quieting him and I have to completely remove him from the stressor.

    We had his thyroid tested by Dr Dodds and at that time he was fine – will retest yearly tho because his mother has thyroid issues

    95% of the time this dog is relaxed, playful, mischievous and loving….but the rest of the time is quite challenging for us! Any advice will be appreciated. Thanks

    1. how bad was the bites did you have to go to ER. you said you were biten before. i like to know because my dog bites/attacks .

      1. My dog does the same don’t feel badive had him ten years plus but may be some one beat on himbefor

    2. Weird. I have a fear aggressive dog and she’s never bitten barked or growled at me or any family members (has nipped, snapped at and barked at strangers though). But none of my family have ever given her any cause to fear us (I use no painful or aversive tools or techniques on her).

      I think you should stop with the prong collar and all aversive training techniques as these contribute to fear. Imagine every time you got scared of something and reacted someone yanked on your neck or pinched you. How would this make you feel? More scared of whatever it was that scared you surely, not less. You may, over time, also come to resent the person that administered these punishments and react towards them too.

      Try a positive approach and try to heal the broken relationship between you and your dog – he needs to know he can trust you fully to take care of every situation and keep him safe. I can’t see him believing this if he gets a pinch on his neck whenever you turn up when he’s reacting.

    3. Hi Barbara!

      I know this comment was left years ago, but was wondering if you’ve ever figured it out? We just recently adopted a dog with basically the same exact issues and reactivity with biting – whether it’s us, strangers, etc. He’s completely fine 95% of the time as well. Just when he’s highly stressed, that impulsivity is nuts and it’s like we’re strangers to him. Please let me know if you’ve had any success with your lab? We’re struggling a bit too…


  3. I had an experience similar to Susanne’s with a Standard Poodle. He was an adolescent at the time and we had moved from Maine to Georgia. They must have some mean dogs down there as several people would see us coming and before I had time to move my dog off the sidewalk literally jumped out of the way and crossed the road. Linus (the poodle) apparently thought This was a game and actively started to look for people. Fortunately preventing rehearsals and a little CC did the trick. Linus was also a very calm, confident dog who showed in Utility and did countless demos for schools etc… Other than this brief adolescent “hobby” he was always friendly and easy going.

  4. I have a very loving, playful and intelligent black lab. He’s like any normal dog with me and my other dog and does well with other dogs in general. With people he is a nightmare. He had a very bad start in life, having been quarantined at birth due to a Parvo outbreak and then , at eight weeks old was attacked while sleeping. Another dog tried to kill him. He hid for a week and would only come out if held. He wouldn’t come out for food either, including raw meat.
    I could write pages about his behavior although through years he has come a long way.. He just can’t be around other people.It takes him weeks to “warm up” but when he does, he’s adorable. He is now six can go out and play and will still bark at people.I don’ tallow him to be approached and a stranger can come within three feet but only if they ignore him. He used to get hysterical running in circles, barking, air biting and he would then hide behind me. In the beginning he would just freeze and look at the ground. Now he barks until he’s too tired to bark more and then he just stands still in place just watching and panting. That’s not to say that he wouldn’t react if someone tried to pet him.I just don’t allow it and it kills me.
    He doesn’t know the happiness that come with having the “life of a dog”.

    1. I have an Australian Lab who is great with me in house but completely unpredictable with strangers. I don’t know what to do to keep her and the people around me which is difficult because I have a two year old. Any advice? We adopted her at 5 years old 5 months ago.

        1. I’m also looking for answers for seemingly unexplainable stranger aggression on what seemed to be a well socialized American Eskimo pup.
          I have found Jean Donaldson’s book ‘Dogs Are From Neptune’ to be of some help. I am employing some of her recommendations but fear it is going to be a long arduous process to achieve significant lasting results.

        2. I hope my dog Molly is in big trouble by me and I am thinking to spank molly and put her i timeout in her pin or house. I don’t want to spank molly but you have to discipline your pets

      1. I have the same problem. My dog is 17 months. Bite my friends daughter on the nose. The daughter stepped on him and tripped all an accident and he bit her.
        He also can be fearful of strangers. What did you do to help change these behaviors?

  5. I have a question , every time I coammnd my dog to sit , he obeys and sits, but when I give him the treat he paws with one paw and won’t let me give him the treat , it’s like he wants to snatch it from my hand , I always have the treat firmly gripped with my thumb on top and my index holding the treat on the bottom so it won’t get snatched from my fingers, how do I get him to stop pawing me when I give him his reward? so I grab one paw so he won’t lift the other while praise him 4 the mean time

    1. I have a problem with my pup roughly taking her treats. It was partially my fault. She used to be very gentle but during the rush in obedience class sessions, I started letting her snatch them. The way I found to correct this is by teaching her the ‘Take It’ command. When rewarding her the treat, I hold it directly in front of her face. She is not allowed to get it until she completely withdraws from it and waits for me to say ‘Take It’. That means no sniffing, licking, trying to bite or snatch it, pawing, etc. Every time she tries to get it without my saying ‘Take It’, I withdraw the treat and say ‘Off’. She will finally figure it out and by that time she will also be a bit less excited and take the treat more gently.
      Do not reward pawing. It’s equivalent to someone tapping you hard on the shoulder demanding your attention and saying hurry up.

  6. I have a 7 year old Shepard/pit-bull. She is aggressive around strangers and mostly males. I have work very hard on this behavior by “going to a happy place” or having friends ignore her. Which was working out great she was making friends. Always become friends quickly with females. My next door neighbors granddaughter teases Mickie a lot. I have told her many times that dogs not understand and that you are scaring her. She will not stop. Her grandmother and mother will not teach her to stop. The other day I was out of town and my husband let them out to potty and Maggie my yellow lab went to the fence to greet my neighbor out of no where Mickie jumped up and bit the grandmother that was trying to pet Maggie. It was a good bit 3 puncture wounds. I am concerned that this has happened. Mickie has known my neighbor for years. Why would she bit her. Was she protecting Maggie, treated by her being to close to the yard. Not sure now if I should keep Mic away or try and she if I can have her make friends. What do you all think.

    1. Unfortunately, we cannot diagnose behavior problems over the internet. We do recommend that if you are having these issues, you see a certified Animal Behaviorist. We recommend the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants, or the AVSAB, American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior Since this has escalated to biting another person, you should try to speak to someone as soon.

  7. My toy Fox terrier has come to start biting us for a multitude of reasons. While we know he shouldn’t sleep in our bed he does on a separate pillow. The other night when we first went to bed my hand ” encroached” on his space where he thought I was going to remove him from the bed and he bit me.
    His aggressive behavior have always been there but lately it has increased.
    He has been diagnosed with IBD and is on a special diet. His aggression has increased since my wife went in for surgery and his IBD issue about 3 months later.
    Any advise which direction we should go to correct this situation. He is a good dog most of the time.

    1. We recommend searching through the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants, or the AVSAB, American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior You may want to also check with Karen Price certified trainers as well as Victoria Stilwell Positively certified trainers

    2. Hi 🙋 we have a rescue dog neville 2 years old. Unfortunately he had bitten me a few times quite painful bites but nothing that serious glad to say. He only bites me not my husband. He used to fly at me when I left the room and returned afterwards.and he has bitten me when I moved to get off the settee when he is sitting close to me. He used to fly St me when I moved the cushions aggressive way. That seemed to have stopped now and the leaving the room situation. But the biting seems to have returned recently. He is very unpredictable and I get rather nervous when he sits near me. He seems very persessive of me at times not wanting me to move away from his side.

  8. My dog was abused by the men in her previous family and I have not figured out everything since I adopted her 4 weeks ago. When I would walk her I would notice she avoids males yet will be totally interested in saying hello to females but if a male starts to bend down to pet her she is fine but if they try to kiss her face she will nip. when the person is lowering their head I see her freeze, then when they are in her face she will try to nip at the face. she does not continue or lunge its simply a warning kind of nip (no blood). With me I receive an unlimited amount of kisses from her and she loves when I give her kisses or ask her if she can give me kisses. I thought maybe if she got used to giving me kisses it might help. How can I go about teaching her that she can not bite people. It has not been a huge problem since I live with another girl but she has nipped my boyfriend who holds no grudges and has been trying to get her to offer him kisses by allowing her to sit on his lap or petting her while she naps on the couch. After this happened I have asked everyone who sees her on the street to please only pet her with hands only. She is amazingly sweet and loves belly rubs as most dogs do. She cuddles and sleeps in the bed with me from time to time. Its disappointing because I don’t know how to help her get over this fear and I don’t want to risk her fearing my boyfriend by trying to use him to help teach her a male wont hurt her. After she nipped him I reacted by saying no and putting her in her bed and making no contact and she comes slinking back over as if she’s a snail and will start licking my ankle to try and get me to give her attention I assume. what should i do?

  9. I need some help ROK is a 6 month Walker hound I got that had worms really bad when I got him at 6 weeks. He was almost died. He bites me he whines he will not leashe train. I’ve had him in puppy class twice. He will not lesson. I have 3 other well behavoved min pins and he likes them until he wants to kill them. At night he refuses to go to bed and gets mad when I try to put him in his crate. I go for walks we play in the pool. I just don’t know what to do. Help.

  10. I have a 6 month newfie. He thinks he has to bite when given attention. I have tried to advert him to toys doesn’t seem to help. when walking he is very good on leash until he sees we are heading home at which time he wants to run toward house and wi jump at me and bite. how do i control this. He is very sociable but thinks he has to nip at everyone.

  11. I have a 4 year old rescue english bulldog that was used for breeding He is a sweet boy towards me, but aggressive towards other dogs and people. He starts at the feet and then attacks. I have had him for 3 months and at the beginning he was neutered. He lets me hold his muzzle (for short periods), I go first in the house, make him wait for his food. He has never shown aggression towards me–what can I do to make him more accepting of other dogs and visitors to my home.

  12. I am at a loss, I have my husbands Shih tzu, My husband passed away last year, we were seperated for a couple years, we did argue in front of the dog, he was in a wheel chair,,i tryed to tell him he was turning the dog against me…the dog keeps biting me to the bones on my fingers. i am too old for him to keep doing that.i have 4 other shih tzus, they are mom, dad sister, and one that is not related, his dad is old dog now, but he trys to protect me..i can not find a muzzle for a shih tzu that he can be fed treats through,,not even sure that would work, HELP

  13. I ? we have a problem with our 4 and a half month old pedigree German shepherd bitch who is continuing to bite us. I have tried everything that i know of to cure her of this but nothing has worked so far. I have had German Shepherds for over 40 years and have raised 13 of them since puppies 4 of which were from my own breeding the others were bought in from another breeder. None of my dogs has ever bitten me before apart from the usual baby puppy biting. I am getting wary of petting her now as i can not tell if she is going to bite or not. There is no growling and is not food aggressive. She can be quite happy playing or chewing on a toy and then out of the blue she just up and lunges at me / us biting on any thing she can grab onto. Any advise would be really appreciated. Thanks in advance.. Regards Gai Cooper.

  14. I took my puppy from a dog foster home about a year ago. I love him to bits; he has a great personality, and I feel that he loves our family so much. BUT, he bites and chews a lot. How to stop it?
    My husband and I were thinking about taking him to ‘doggy school’, but then again, it’s extremely expensive, and the nearest ‘doggy school’ is far away from us. Maybe you have some advice? THANK YOU!!!!

  15. Does the bite scale pertain to dogs who are involved in a dog fight and the person intervenes and gets bit?

  16. I’m 11 and I’m 4 foot 11 and my dog only bites me. She doesn’t bite my parents and my brother but my brother is as tall as my dad and he’s 6 foot 3. But my dog she’s about 6 month old and she bites hard and shakes my hand like a toy , she bites so hard she shivers or like shakes. HELP

    1. Mia, I know your question was posted 2 yrs ago but I am curious still. The post did not say what kind of dog you have or how big it is in relation to your size. You were very young to be seeking help online about your dog. It makes me wonder if your parents recognized what was happening between you and the family dog, and if they took any action to correct the behavior, since the time your post. Is the dog still living with your family and how is your dog’s behavior now? I hope that you were able to learn some training tips online to help your dog stop its biting habit as a young dog, even if your parents did or didn’t help you.

  17. I have three dogs, two old english sheapard, male 9 years old and female 5 years old. Recently i adopted another medium size dog, female about 10 months old. Both females had a few fights, nothing serious. Last week my older female had a bath and cut her hair, when she came back to my house the younger female started to attack her badly, they got into a bad fight and i got injuried trying to stop the fight. Now everytime my younger female sees the other one, she starts to barking and she can get very aggressive. I don’t know if there is something i can do to repair their relationship. I’m not sure if the bath had something to do. My older female dog doesn’t seem to have a problem with the other one, but when she realize she is under attack she reacts. Another importante thing to mention is that my older female is deaf.
    Both females get along with my male dog.
    I could use some help or advice. Thank You

  18. ADVICE NEEDED!!! We have an 18 month old Harrier Beagle and recently he has become very aggressive toward us! To the point where we don’t know what to do with him! Any ideas on how we can stop him biting? We haven’t had him from a new puppy we got him at 11 months old and he hadnt had any training before we got him!

  19. I have a Cavalier kings Charles spaniel, he is 4 years old, he has never bit a dog before now. A while ago we had another who was quiet and he started biting her and he accidentally punctured her neck. recently we got a lab puppy who he kept on biting. sadly she died. then recently we got another puppy and now he is biting her. we don’t know what to do if he keeps it up one of them will have to go. we have another lab although he won’t touch her. But he has never bit a dog before. what should we do. HELP!!!!!!!!!!

  20. Our son and his wife have had two wonderful dogs for the past 12yrs. They now also have a fifteen month old son. They live and work at UCDavis, here in California. Three months ago, wwhile my son was doing an internship in France, Bowser, the male husky-mix, knocked our grandson down, and bite his face. Bowser is egressive in that he chases othe animals that enter his yard, and has killed a number of chickens that his family has attempted to raise. However, he and their other dog have both been thuroughly trained and delt with in such a way that they have never been aggressive towards another human.

    After biting my grandson, the dog was quarentined at my daughter-in-law’s parent’s home, in San Jose, and then turned over to our home in Eureka. Bowser now lives in a loving home, but without a K9 companion, and in a much smaller space. My husband and I are both disabled, and depend on our other son to come over and take Bowser on runs every other day. How ever, we also have a cockatoo that disapproves of Bowser and scolds him daily!

    Our most recent concern is that Bowser was startled a loving movement I made, and bite my nose a week ago. This required surgery. And, while I was required to fill out an extensive report, the sherif’ office has not arrempted to contact us!!

    All along, we were committed to finding a better home for Bowser, but now are in a quandary over how safely he could be placed. I have contacted one other canine psychologist who simply recommended that we 1) wait to hear from the sherrifs! And spoil him, in every way, while remaining physically safe, until we do; 2) consider having a vet do a blood check to determine any hormonal changes that might, at his age, be to blame for his behavioral changes. The vet could also check to see if he may have any degenerative conditions ( arthritis, etc. ) that might also cause him to be more reactive. She also counseled that, since Bowser has been strictly disaplined, throughout his life, we have no idea if his regressive nature was very minimal all along, or simply being present right under his behaviorally controlled environment.

    It has been exactly one week and three days since I was bitten. My appointment with my surgeon is tommarrow. I have no idea if he is under any legal requirements to make sure the sheriffs move in on this case. I am very worried about giving Bowser the best possible outcome in this matter. He has never snapped at anyone before, so I do not see these two biting events as simply being part of his nature. I know that, breed wise, he may only have a few more years to live, but so far, he does not exhibit any of the aging symptoms I have seen my previous dogs exhibit.

    I am at a loss in knowing what to do! Although we were advised to see a vet, once again, I am concerned over what legal responsibilities the vet would be placed in, and have put off doing so. Now I believe that tommarrow, when I see the surgeon, what we legally can do may be taken out of our hands!

    Please help in any way that you can, and as soon as possible! Thank you so much fo creating such a useful site!

    1. Contact or Siberian Husky Rescue of CA. They are a really wonderful community of people and are very familiar with the breed and all their behavioral problems. They can offer you some good advice and might even be able to help rehome Bowser.

  21. my dog growls whenever my step dad enters the room and its esculating to more frequently and today when i went to feed him he bit me but didnt break the skin, i told everyone he didnt actually get me but just snapped but is there any way to stop this behavor or does he have to be put down?

  22. My dog growls when I kiss me mum and every time I there he start biting then he rubbers stuff off the table he only 1 year old

  23. I have a three yr old blue pit. She loves people and other animals. I have a 13 year old son who wants to kiss her all the time. She will growl low first then will bear her teeth and growl. Now she has nipped him on the cheek after warning him to back off. She did not attack him. My son is beyond upset because we constantly tell him to stay out of her face or the dog was going to be put down. She is not the aggressor and did nothing more that snap at him. Unfortunately she has bruised his face and cut him right on the cheekbone. It also happened once when she was quite young and he was in her face. I really don’t know what to do at this point.

  24. We have a 2 yr. old miniature toy poodle. About a year ago the next door neighbor was outside and our dog got excited and nipped at him. Now, a year later someone else was outside and when I let my dog out to go potty she ran up to this man and bit him (not breaking the skin). I need to correct this AND FAST!!

    1. Hi Glenda,

      When the Low Stress Handling books were first published with the registration codes, we were using an older website that is no longer available. Our current website does not have this registered user page, but we are looking into bringing that back. In the meantime, here is the page that you are looking for:

  25. i understand this method and want to try it. My chihuahua Westin is four and he bites everyone who comes near me or in my house. He’s extremely possessive. How do I expose him to more social situations while having this fear that he’ll bite the wrong person and have to be put down?

  26. About a year ago, I adopted a 5-year-old affectionate Chihuahua. He has breathing problems, asthma, and has been checked out by our vet. The only med he can tolerate is children’s benedryl which he gets only at night before bed, and it works for about 5 hours. Sometimes he gets another dose if he has more breathing problems. If he is touched while sleeping, he will lash out and bite, usually drawing blood. Crating him is out of the question as it seems only to aggravate the other problem: and that is savagely biting when handled. Enjoys a lap, can jump up, and sometimes will beg to be picked up. But if he’s picked up, he WILL bite. Can you suggest any training tips to correct these behaviors?

  27. Our 5 months old German Shepherd will be playing with us and then will accidentally bite us instead of the toy and I’ll yelp. Then she starts barking and biting in the air and runs away then comes back and nibbles at me and runs away again. Its as if she thinks that yelp is a cue to play nip and chase. This has become very frustrating. She also does this when we’re watching TV and she wants attention. Most of the time it feels aggressive because her barking is right in our faces and she starts biting to get a reaction. We have ignored this but I don’t feel like it is working anymore and we can’t exactly do nothing once she bites. Help!

    1. Play with her in a room or gated off area where she can be safely confined. When she misbehaves or puts her teeth to your skin no matter how softly withdraw while letting out a high pitched yelp, turn your back on her, get up and leave abruptly. When she has completely calmed down, resume playtime. Repeat if necessary. Bad behavior=No Playmates, Calm behavior=Play resumes

  28. My Almost 5 year old miniature pincher is aggressive and very over protective of us and my 2 kids. It’s almost impossible to have visitors over without her trying to bite them on their hands and feet. Nipping on their feet is not as bad as her bitting them on their hands. She is very sweet with us but there are times when she gets upset. We put her in her crate Everytime she does this we give her time out
    However this isn’t working. I was told that it is impossible to change their behavior once they are past 3 years old. Any help is helpful!

  29. This has been very helpful, thank you!
    We have a MinPin mix rescue that is the sweetest thing, but he has this habit of when a stranger comes into the house, he jumps on the couch and then if the person passes him, he lunges nipping at their ankles, he hasn’t bitten, but his nails have scratched when he lunges. Its always quick and he feels badly after he is scolded.
    I was really worried that I had an aggressive, territorial dog but that is so opposite his character, I mean he exhibits some territorial natures, but the surprise attacks just didn’t fit with his personality.

    I’ve come to realize with this article that it is a fear reaction – he runs to the couch, which is his safe place, and only attacks when someone comes close to him in that safe place. He does something similiar on a leash where he lets them get sort of close but then if its too close, he growls and snaps.

    It honestly makes me feel better that it is a fear reaction – it just makes me love him more and want to comfort him and make him feel better versus the frustration and embarrasment I have been feeling about it.

    I think these techniques may help a lot – need to get the husband fully on board with the consistency but I think we can do that. THank you so much for the helpful advice!

  30. I have a female dog , she is 3 year old. Recently she is been very aggressive and has attacked me twice in span of 10 days.I dont know what to do, I love her a lot and she loves me too, though yesterday she was stealing food from dustbin, I asked her to not to do it and go back to the room. She attacked me. Do I need to take her to vet or something. I looked for you instantly as I am one of your followers and i like the way you train with so much love. These days she is a bit afraid due to a new puppy in the house and seems like she does not like him. Any help or reference would help me a lot?

  31. Put a stop to his mouthy behaviour by making him/her aware of bite inhibition. Play with your pet till he bites, especially hard. When he bites raise an alarm and let your hand go limp which would startle him. Pamper him when he stops. repeat the procedure for sometime. He will learn.
    Familiarise him with the surroundings and raise your dog with positive training techniques, then he will grow up to be more relaxed and confident, and this will help to stop dog biting behavior.
    Exercises like swimming would help him release all that energy they have and ensure overall health. It would release his energy or channel them in proper direction. Provided take all precautions needed (
    Dogs often get bored and restless so varied activity would help to keep your dog alert, focused and happy.

  32. I adopted a mini australian shepherd, who was a busy as a puppy, after a couple of years with us. He was attacked by a pitfall and almost died. Now he is five years old and he is always trembling, panting and obsessive barking. Now he has bitten two friends while at our house. The last attack he actually broke skin and some blood was expose. I’m really worried about him plus my husband wants to get rid of him. Please help me with this. I love my dog and don’t want to get rid of it

  33. I have a jack russell Terrier who is mean and bites us and our other dog. I love her too much to give her away but she really hurts my other dog so what can I do? Do you sell any spray or pills for a biting mean dog?

  34. i have an 8 year old collie-shepard mix who i adopted at 4 months from a shelter. when my boyfriend and i got together 5 years ago they had some issues. my dog was jealous and chewed up his book(he never chews up our things and hasn’t since). my dog then also ran away a couple times and when my boyfriend went to get him my dog laid dismissively on the ground but bit him when he went to grab him. fast forward to this year (5 years later) my dog bit my boyfriends aunts face who was in his face playing with him on his bed and jus last month he snapped at my boyfriend’s mother who was watching him in her home and missed her face. im confused a devastated that this is happening and not sure what to do. is this a behavior that can develop in older dogs or a reason this is happening? i understood why he may have bitten my boyfriend and maybe even his aunt but there doesnt seem to be a reason to why he bit at his mother who loves my dog. any thoughts or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. thanks

  35. I have a pitbull mix who is very aggresive to everyone except for me and my parents. He has snapped at my brothers, jumped up to bite my sister, snapped and grazed the skin of my cousin, and bitten two holes in a friend’s cheek. All of these incidents have been provoked, but we are moving from the country to a lakeside neighborhood, and we may have to get rid of him because of his aggression towards strangers. We dont want an incident to happen with neighbors or small children, but nothing we try seems to work to get him to stop biting except to keep him outside when strangers are over. Any advice? I really don’t wamt to get rid of him, but currently there is no other option…

    1. As you know, you have a serious issue. I would get this product bundle we offer here and start practicing the concepts immediately.
      Then find your nearest Veterinary Behaviorist (a Behaviorist that is a DVM) or contact your nearest Veterinary school, see if they have a Canine Behavior center of any kind and get your dog in to be evaluated ASAP. Good Luck.

  36. My family adopted a miniature Australian shepherd about three years ago when he was 8 weeks old. He was a great puppy and young dog and the only “problem” we had was that he got sick during car rides. He grew up with our other mutt dog, who would always bark and be threatened by men but never bit anybody. That dog unfortunately got sick and passed away last summer. Around the same time, about a year ago, our Aussie started becoming more and more aggressive. He has bit a couple adult men who provoked him (kicking him, shoving him or getting in his face). Just today he bit a 7 year old girl walking home from the bus stop when he escaped his electric fence. This is the first female, let alone child, and non-threatening passerby he has ever bitten. I live almost a thousand miles away, and my mom wants to put him down. I am absolutely heartbroken, but I see the threat. He is not neutered, we are hoping that starting there will help, and are looking into a behavioral veterinarian. Does anyone have any suggestions or ideas? I would appreciate any and all information.

  37. I took in a mini schnauzer 4 years ago at 5 months. He was treated really rough by the families 4 little boys. He’s a great dog now. Our only problem is when we go to pick him up, he tries to bite. He’s nipped hard enough for bruises to pop up but no deep punctures. We are in the process of welcoming another foster child into our family and I’m concerned Rowdy will bite/nip at our new addition. I’ve tried holding him my the scruff until he relaxes and I let him up. I’ve tried ignoring the behavior afterwards with no attention, petting or verbal. He also gets nippy when it comes time for grooming, bitten me once hard enough to cause welts, bruises and some blood to come to the surface. Any help would be appreciated. I love my dogs. I can’t take the chance on this behavior continuing. Any advice would be appreciated

  38. I have 1 year old Jack Russel/Pit/Dalmatian mix which we rescued when he was 7 months old. He is really good around his owners (there’s five of us) but whenever somebody comes into our house he runs up to them and nips at their hands and feet. I don’t think he is doing this out of aggression but in a playful manor. He will usually calm down eventually but sometimes he does not stop. How do I get him to be more obedient with us as well as be more gentle with visitors in our house.

  39. We adopted a shepherd mix from the pound in January. He is about 3 years old. He is really good with the family when we are home, but when we have to leave and put him in a crate he goes nuts. He had destroyed 2 crates so far ( wire crate and plastic crate) escaping them while we are gone. We put him on a chain outside, thinking that he would be ok, that the issue was him being confined. He tore the vinyl siding off the house 🙁
    The biggest issue with him though is that he has nipped 3 people so far. Each incident involved my son. My 2 year old son would be playing with someone and the dog would bite who he was playing with, we assume thinking that the person was a threat to our child. We don’t want to return him to the pound in fear that he will be put to sleep, he really is a sweet dog towards the family, but can’t risk him seriously injuring someone or having us involved in a lawsuit. What to do?

  40. We have small (17 pound) mixed breed dog. He is a rescue, maybe 3 years old. Woody is CRAZY about us and waits for us when we are gone, sitting for hours on the window ledge. We have had him almost a year and, as he feels more bonded, he has become more and more protective. He has taken to trying to bite the woman who cleans our house every other week. We can’t have this, but we couldn’t live without him. What ideas do you have? Any help would be greatly appreciated!

  41. Hi need some help ive got an australian sheppard who has been with us since a pup but now 1 year me and my child was mucking around with each outher and my chuld bumped his head on dog and dog bit him on face not badly but now im worried about the dog going near him what can i do help will be good cause if it continues it will split my marriage up as my husband dosent want to loose dog

  42. We just got our dog about 6 months ago from the shelter, however we knew him well before he had to go there. He was great at first, he loved everyone in our family. However, lately, he has began to snap at one person in the house. He will not let him around me at all without growling. It has gotten so bad that he will sit between my boyfriend and I when we are on the couch. If the dog and I go upstairs into the bedroom, he will not let my boyfriend in. He will stand his ground and bark/show his teeth. The other day my boyfriend went to come sit next to me on the couch and he actually bit him. We’re unsure what to do at this point as we feel we have tried every approach. We have tried to punish him by locking him in a room by himself, and we have tried to show him that my boyfriend is not a threat.. He is the sweetest dog in the world to me, and to everyone else. But he has grown to hate my boyfriend for absolutely no reason at all. He has never laid a hand on him, they were great together at first and all of a sudden he began to growl and now it has lead us to this.. Please help!

  43. Hi guys, I’m just looking for some advice.

    I have a 1 1/2 year old German shepherd bitch called Harley, and she is the most loving, gentle pup. I take her to dog training every Wednesday and Sunday, where she has just recently settled around the dogs she knows. She is not so settled out on the lead. Just the other day, Harley had her first proper encounter with my little cousin who is 9. Harley was lying on the floor and my cousin sat beside her which was fine, but when my cousin stood up, Harley tried to hump her. When I pulled Harley away, she snapped at my cousin. She never made any snarling/growling noises, or even showed any signs beforehand. I have never seen Harley even try to bite and do not know what to do to sort this behaviour before the next time. She was given into trouble and sent to another room until I decided to let her back in.

    Does anyone have any ideas of why she could have done this? And what can be done if she tries/does this again?

    Thank you in advance,

  44. My son recently rescued a dog from our local humane society. He was listed as a stray. He was adopted and returned at least once. Reason for return was adopter was moving and couldn’t find a rental that allowed pets. Lane, because who gets a dog just before they move and then doesn’t get a pet friendly rental?

    So, Rudy’s history is basically unknown. He has some areas pressure sores on his elbows and hind quarters that may evidence spending significant time on concrete or paved surface, not sure if that means he was kept outdoors or not. He is very easily spooked. I think he was abused.

    He’s a beautiful dog. Shepherd or Belgian Malinois mix. Dog has some wild big stand up ears. He absolutely adores my son. He’s indifferent to my husband, will let him pet him though. Me, well he will let me pet him, feed him and give him treats, but he has tried to bite me, twice. The first when I tried to hug him. The second time when I tried to pick up pieces of treats that he missed on the sofa. He was sitting next to my son at the time. Maybe he was being protective? At any rate, I think maybe his abuser was a woman. I’m not sure how to curb this behavior, if that even possible.

    Any advice as to how I may try to win his trust would be appreciated.

    Thank you.

  45. I have a 4 year old rescue (pitbull lab mix) I’ve had him for two years now. When I adopted him, his papers said that he was barrier aggressive. I brought him home, he hadn’t met any of my family members yet. He was just sitting in his crate in my room then my mom went in there got on her knees and then my dog had ran after her and bit her. He hasn’t shown and signs of aggression like that since. My mom being the person she is, forgave me and the dog. I did move out of the house so he wasn’t around her. And just last night my brother and sister came over and my dog Rambo had ran downstairs with the other dog and seemed perfectly fine, my brother was taking the other dog outside and out of no where Rambo had bit my brother. I was so confused as to why he bit him because there were no signs that I had noticed. He had met my brother before and was very comfortable with him and the other dog. I’m not sure what to do. I’ve been researching a lot, I don’t have the money right now to take him to some sort of rehabilitation center. But I don’t want my family members to be in any sort of fear when coming over. Rambo is so loving and gentile towards me and some of my other siblings he’s around every day. So again that’s why I’m so confused. If anyone has any ideas of what to do or how to help, that would be greatly appreciated. Thank you

  46. I took my puppy from a dog foster home about a year ago. I love him to bits; he has a great personality, and I feel that he loves our family so much. BUT he explores by biting. It will bite and chew everything. My husband and I were thinking about taking him to ‘doggy school’, but then again, it’s extremely expensive, and the nearest ‘doggy school’ is far away from us. Maybe you have some advice? THANK YOU!!!!

  47. English bulldog 2 years old bites when you are petting him or for no reason. Moved my leg near him while sleeping. This is more then 10 times with different family members. Can he be helped. Don’t want to put him down.

  48. Hi we have a Shih Tzu and he is 3 years old. We love him so much but he has bite my husband twice and my son 1 time. He just tried biting me last night and I am so worried. We have no idea why he is acting this way and I don’t know what to do. Is hurting me a lot because we can’t trust him with nobody or my own family. What can I do?

  49. I took my puppy from a dog foster home about a year ago. I love him to bits; he has a great personality, and I feel that he loves our family so much. BUT, whenever I take him for walks, we have problems. He hates other dogs and other people sometimes even growls at us. My husband and I were thinking about taking him to ‘doggy school’, but then again, it’s extremely expensive, and the nearest ‘doggy school’ is far away from us. Maybe you have some advice? THANK YOU!!!!

  50. I have a 1 year old black lab retriever and for some reason he keeps biting people sometimes it’s right when they try to come in and other times he’ll be fine for a half hour then attack/bite them I don’t know what to do I don’t know his past since I adopted him

  51. Hello! Please suggest me how to take care of my 5 years old Lhasa Apso who barks and even randomly bites to the passing by strangers outside my house and even to me when he gets really angry! Can I train myself at home because I can’t effort trainer.

  52. I would be interested in your theories for how to desensitise a toy poodle mix to grooming. This particular dog has a lifetime of grooming ahead of her and has already been refused by two salons. She is currently biting at level 4 on the Dunbar Scale.

  53. Our female blue healer has become violent towards our neighbor ad recently bit him and it drew blood. Our neighbor has to come to us to get on the bus for school. What do you devise happens?

  54. Your dog is highly aroused and anxious with grooming. Our DVD “Desensitization & Counter Conditioning: teaching dogs to willingly accept medical procedures” will help you train her to get used to touching with grooming tools & being brushed. She may also benefit from having you consult with a veterinary behaviorist in your area as she may benefit from supplements or medications that will allow her to relax and be able to start learnig.

  55. My dog has now bitten several people. When she bites them, they walk past her and my other dog is laying near, so they will walk by and she goes for the other dog and seems to always bite us. She does sometimes run at the other dog with no one around but she has now gotten several people and i’m scared of having to give her up because of her biting several people. What can I do to change her biting people?

  56. I have a 1 year old male maltese, Blue, that I got as a 4 mos old puppy from a breeder in Alabama. I have both him and his half sister, Bella, who have the same father but different mothers. My male has grown to be so aggressive literally to the point of growling and biting me, drawing blood on two occasions both times were before he was neutered at the age of 8 mos old. He will growl aggressively and try to bite me and anyone else who seems to 1) do anything or nothing at all and 2) touches/pays more attention to Bella. He’s clearly very, very jealous of her and the attention she gets from others. I have tried to love him, hold him, you name it through all of this but I feel like he hates me. He recently broke his leg in two places and has become even more aggressive toward me and my mom. He jumped out of the basket on my bike when my mom was trying to buckle him in to take them both for a ride. The vet tech couldn’t believe he had a “beware of a biting dog” notation on his pen because he was so sweet with her. He can be so sweet with me and then turn into something crazy for no reason at all.I mean just a simple touch or petting him will send him into crazy land. I can send you a video of him laying by himself with me and Bella behind him and he wakes up and just starts growling and biting the air around him.

    I did put a bark collar on him that spritzed citronella under his chin when he barked. It cured the barking but I don’t know if it and/or me thinking he and his half sister are inbred. I thought putting this collar on him would be the most humane way to help him stop barking but like I said I fear that it seems to have created a monster. I don’t want to re-home him but now he is attacking Bella as well. I know he’s got to be in pain or even more annoyed of everything around him because of his leg being bandaged up in a cast.

    Please help me and Blu. I know he can be the loveable puppy I bought from a breeder. I do recall them both having this same behavior as puppies but Bella has snapped out of it and has always been the more calm one. He has always had more energy and literally wouldn’t let you hold him for long before he would leap out of the breeder’s or my arms. I truly love Blu and am willing to put in the time and effort to correct his behavior. I just fear I will never be able to cure him of this and that he won’t be until he is in a single pup household.

  57. We have a twelve year old dog who bites strangers, and goes into attack mode even with small children. The dog was passed on to us by our daughter who was afraid of the biting problem and didn’t want the dog anymore. We have had the dog for a couple of years now. She bit our next door neighbor and it bled. I tripped over the dog a year ago and injured my ankle and it still hasn’t healed up. Yesterday she was sleeping under my lounge chair and I didn’t know it. I went to get up and the foot rest hit the dog, not hurting her but startling her, but now my already injured foot is in worse pain. I hate to put the dog down as she is a good dog most of the time and it’s not her fault that I keep getting injured when I am around her but I feel like she is a danger to my mobility. I am 68. I wish our daughter would take her back. We had a trainer to the house but it didn’t seem to help. Also too expensive. Who would want to adopt an old dog that bites and she’s too healthy to put down, plus it is too sad.

  58. Hi I am having a Sharpei when we are playing with her she is biting us how can we stop her from biting coz I don’t want her to stay outside she is so lovely when she is calm and sleeping but when she woke up same story please help me

  59. My dog bites hard when he doesn’t want to go in the crate, he also revenge pees in the house and he growls, because of this Mom said we WILL re-home if this keeps happening. I’m trying really hard to be nice to him so he doesn’t bite, but he still does. I also have been taking him out, we also have a tie out and we put him out there too. I DON”T WANT TO RE-HOME HIM!!!!!!!! What do I do?! HELP!!!

  60. My daughters dog has never been abused and is their only dog but they are thinking about putting him down because they have tried everything and he is still lunging at people and trying to bite them. He has even bitten my daughter and her wife. They have tried the shock collar, a clicking thing (not sure what it’s called but a trainer told them to use it and click it when he’s being a good boy)when he’s good,they even sent him to doggy rehab in NC and they ended up having to go get him and they refunded them their money due to him being unreformable. I feel awful and want to take him but he tries biting my husband,he like me and a handful of other people but that’s it. Is there anything you can do to help them so they don’t have to put Benji down?? The vet has also put him on anxiety medication a very high dose and it does no good. Their vet refused to see him because he would try to bite the vet even when they hold him the vet said to muzzle him but no one can get a muzzle on him. He is a smaller dog. He is a mixed breed. But he looks like a wiener dog and Chihuahua mix.

    1. Hi. Check here for a Veterinary behaviorist near you or that does phone consults and have your dog seen right away.

  61. My daughter has an 18 month old Aussiedoodle that for the most part is very well adjusted with her family of 3 kids and herself. She received the puppy from a professional breeder when the puppy was only 6 weeks old. Although the dog is generally well adjusted, he for no apparent reason has started to bite and hard enough to draw blood. Earlier this week, I was at her house with her 13 yo daughter and we were petting the dog who was sitting between us on the couch. He seemed very content and was loving it. We stopped for a moment and without warning, he bolted at my hand that was by my side and bit it hard enough to draw blood in three places.
    He immediately went back to his peaceful position as if nothing had happened. This same behavior has occurred multiple times with the members of the family that the dog adores. We can’t continue like this and are thinking of moving the dog that everyone loves to a shelter for our own protection. The only option we think would offer the protection would be to muzzle the dog. However, he is still a puppy and it seems unfair to have this dog live his life with a muzzle. Any suggestions???

    1. You need to contact a veterinary behaviorist asap as this isn’t normal.

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