You’re strolling down the road when you notice your dog's tail suddenly drops and he stands perfectly still. You follow his gaze and see another dog approaching. You hold onto his leash firmly, but as soon as he gets within a few feet he lunges for the other dog, teeth exposed. You firmly pull him away and, fortunately, the other owner is quick to react. It’s another close shave, thankfully nobody was hurt this time.
You’ve also seen your kids playing with him, which is usually all plain sailing until he gets fed up and snaps at their arm or leg. It’s just a warning bite, but it doesn’t half worry you that something more sinister could take place one day. Training him not to bite could save a loved one from serious injury, and you from a hefty vet bill if he injures another dog.
Unfortunately, training your dog not to bite isn’t always a smooth ride. The behavior will have gradually developed and become habit, and breaking the habit isn’t always easy. Training will consist of obedience commands to regain control. You will also need to manage his environment to prevent biting triggers and reduce the chances of biting taking place. If he’s young, he should learn quickly and the behavior won’t have been ingrained for too long. Then you may need just a few weeks to fully stamp out any biting. If he’s older and been aggressive for years, it may take a few months to fully break the habit.
Getting this training right is essential for the health of yourself, as well as other individuals and pets. Worst case scenario, he could bite a child and be court ordered to be destroyed, and nobody wants that.
Before you commence training you will need to get your hands on a few bits and bobs. A muzzle and a body harness will help prevent any biting during training. For one of the methods, you will also need a citronella or electronic collar, plus a water spraying bottle.
You will need time to dedicate to training each day, as consistency is key. Plus, you will need patience and resilience to see this through, despite the occasional slip-up.
Once you’ve got all of that together it’s time to get to work!