How to Train Your Dog to Not Jump and Bite

Medium
2-4 Weeks
Behavior

Introduction

Jumping is a natural behavior for dogs. Dogs will typically jump when they want your attention or if they want something you have, like a toy or a treat. If your dog thinks you have something he must have, he may jump on you and bite to get what he wants. Dogs will also jump out of excitement when meeting somebody new. Having a dog who jumps and nips at you can be scary and also dangerous. Puppies typically bite because they use their mouths to taste and feel the world around them. They do not know how much biting hurts; it is just a natural reaction for them. If you have an adult dog who is jumping and biting, it is possibly because her behavior was not corrected as she aged, leaving her with a bad habit.

Defining Tasks

Teaching your dog not to jump and bite is imperative if you plan on taking your dog anywhere or if you plan on having company at your house. A dog who has bitten someone could potentially be in trouble with the law. So, you are going to want to have a dog who is well-trained, under your control, and not jumping and biting anyone around. For a puppy, teaching him not to jump and bite could potentially require several training sessions and reminders through repetition. However, for an older dog, you are changing habits they have built up over time. Either way, you are going to require some patience. Expect to spend several minutes a day, every time your dog is tempted to jump and bite, teaching her to forget this kind of behavior.

Getting Started

Along with patience, time, and commitment to your dog's obedience training, expect to have treats, toys to offer, and the idea of the habits you would like to see your dog have such as sitting when a guest comes to visit instead of jumping and nipping at your guests. 

The Expectations Method

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Step
1
Tempt
To tempt your dog, hold treats in your hands and stand in front of your dog.
Step
2
Jump and nip
When he jumps up and nips at your hands, cross your arms, hiding the treats.
Step
3
Key phrase
Use a command word or a key word such as "ah ah” or a command such as 'sit'.
Step
4
Treat
When your dog sits, offer him a treat.
Step
5
Step away
Stepping away, try the process again with treats in your hands that your dog can see.
Step
6
Repeat keyword
When he jumps up and bites, use your keyword, “ah ah” and “sit.”
Step
7
Attention
When your dog diverts his attention away from your hands and sits for you, offer him a treat and verbal praise.
Step
8
Guests
Your dog will need to associate this with guests coming into your home as well as greeting you. When guests come over, use the same process holding the treats and the verbiage, so your dog associates the jumping, no matter the occasion, with the need to sit and be still followed by the reward of a treat.
Step
9
Practice
Practice several times a day for several weeks before you expect your dog to be able to sit calmly and quietly without jumping and biting.
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The On His Level Method

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Step
1
Attention
If your dog jumps and bites you when he is excited, it's because he wants attention from you. One trick is to get down on his level instead of having him jump up to yours.
Step
2
Consistent
With consistency, every time your dog jumps up and bites you, squat down to his level to give him affection and a treat to bite instead of you.
Step
3
No touching
Without touching him while you are standing, only show affection once you are at his level.
Step
4
Command
With this method, you can use a command such as 'down' if your dog knows it. If your dog needs to learn 'down', this is a good opportunity to teach him so he knows to lie down and wait for you to come to his level when he wants attention.
Step
5
Tell friends
Teach anyone around your dog if they would like to pet your dog, he needs to be calm sitting or lying down and not jumping up before they are allowed to touch him.
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The Teach Early Method

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Step
1
Ouch
Letting your dog know that jumping is uncomfortable and biting hurts is a crucial part of training your dog not to jump and bite.
Step
2
Jump and bite
When your dog jumps and bites, turn your back to your dog and use the key word such as “ouch” or “ah ah.”
Step
3
No attention
Don't give your dog attention to your dog until he calms
Step
4
Follows
If your dog follows you around when you turn away from him, turn around again.
Step
5
Commands
Using a command such as “no,” “ouch,” or “ah ah,” keep your arms crossed and your back to your dog.
Step
6
Calm praise
Once your dog calms, reach down to pet him and praise him.
Step
7
Guests arrive
If your dog jumps at bites when guests arrive in your home, consider leaving a treat bowl near the door and offer your dog a treat each time he sits before opening the door and once your guest is inside.
Step
8
Repeat
You will need to repeat this process every time your dog jumps up and bites to let him know jumping is not okay.
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Success Stories and Training Questions

Training Questions and Answers

Question
A
Dane x
7 Months
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Question
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A
Dane x
7 Months

From shelters,large but still puppy. Keeps launching and grabbing arm and hand biting hard and shaking, hard to distract or get his attention when get one arm free he grabs at other one. If turn back and ignore he jumps onto my back and bites at hair. When on lead has perfect manners, off lead can't keep him calm and focused

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
463 Dog owners recommended

Hello MB, First, I suggest teaching the Leave It command from the "Leave It" method from the article linked below. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite I also suggest working on obedience commands that require self-control like Place, Sit Stay, Down Stay, Watch Me, and Heel, in general. At home I suggest keeping a drag leash on him so that you can train in the moment. Check out something like VirChewLy chew proof leash. https://www.amazon.com/VirChewLy-Indestructible-Leash-Medium-Yellow/dp/B004HIM4XM When he understands what Leave It means then you can use that command and rewarding calmness, in combination with corrections, like the video below demonstrates. https://youtu.be/EcwvUOf5oOg If you feel at all unsure how to do the training yourself I suggest hiring a professional trainer to help you, or if you feel like the biting stems from true aggression instead of just over-excitement. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Bagel
cattle dog/shepherd mix
10 Months
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Question
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Bagel
cattle dog/shepherd mix
10 Months

I have already been turning my back and ignoring when she jumps and bites, but she just grabs my legs and jumps and bites the back of my leg. How do I deal with that?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
463 Dog owners recommended

Hello Jessica, Check out the article linked below and try the 'Step Toward" method. When you do this be firm. You are using your body language to convey that you want her to respect your space. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-australian-shepherds-to-not-jump If the jumping continues after two weeks of practicing the Step Toward method, or you are seeing zero improvement after one week (improvement may be gradual but you should see some pretty quickly), then check out the video below and work on building respect in general and adding in more structure. https://youtu.be/EcwvUOf5oOg Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Cami
Toy poo
10 Years
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Cami
Toy poo
10 Years

Cami is been with me for 3mths now. When I go to pick up my other dog (who I had first) , Cami runs from wherever she is and jumps up and tries to bite my arm. I know it’s jealousy but don’t know what to do about it.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
463 Dog owners recommended

Hello Elxyis, First, this is a behavior that I suggest you hire a professional trainer who specializes in aggression and behavior issues to help you with in person. I suggest starting by increasing the dogs' respect for you. Check out the following videos and articles for a overall doggie bootcamp, working on commands and daily boundaries to address pup's respect for you and overall attitude. Also, don't tolerate pushiness or guarding you. If pup nudges your hand, climbs into your lap uninvited or gets between you and the other dog, make pup leave the room. I suggest keeping a drag leash on him while you are home to supervise, so that you can quickly enforce commands with less drama. I also suggest getting pup used to wearing a basket muzzle as a standard thing during the day when you are home while you are dealing with this issue, and crating pup when you are not home or need a break. This dog needs a lot of structure and boundaries in life right now. Don't feel bad about being a bit of a drill sergeant with him for a while - It won't hurt him, it's a lot better than pup being re-homed, and biting you is unacceptable. Working and Consistency method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-doberman-to-listen-to-you Out command - this command should be done with the help of a professional trainer to avoid being bitten: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omg5DVPWIWo Crate manners: https://thegooddog.net/training-videos/free-how-to-training-videos/learn-to-train-the-good-dog-way-the-crate/ Thresholds: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-w28C2g68M Heel article - The turns method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel Heel Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTiKVc4ZZWo To introduce the muzzle, first place it on the ground and sprinkle his meal kibble around it. Do this until he is comfortable eating around it. Next, when he is comfortable with it being on the floor with food, hold it up and reward him with a piece of kibble every time he touches or sniffs it in your hand. Feed him his whole meal this way. Practice this until he is comfortable touching it. Next, hold a treat inside of it through the muzzle's holes, so that he has to poke his face into it to get the treat. As he gets comfortable doing that, gradually hold the treat further down into the muzzle, so that he has to poke his face all the way into the muzzle to get the treat. Practice until he is comfortable having his face in it. Next, feed several treats in a row through the muzzle's holes while he holds his face in the muzzle for longer. Practice this until he can hold his face in it for at least ten seconds while being fed treats. Next, when he can hold his face in the muzzle for ten seconds while remaining calm, while his face is in the muzzle move the muzzle's buckles together briefly, then feed him a treat through the muzzle. Practice this until he is not bothered by the buckles moving back and forth. Next, while he is wearing the muzzle buckle it and unbuckle it briefly, then feed a treat. As he gets comfortable with this step, gradually keep the muzzle buckled for longer and longer while feeding treats through the muzzle occasionally. Next, gradually increase how long he wears the muzzle for and decrease how often you give him a treat, until he can calmly wear the muzzle for at least an hour without receiving treats more than two treats during that hour. Finally, you may need to set up scenarios where he tries to rush you around your other dog - while wearing the basket muzzle for your safety, and correct the behavior in real time also. If you work on his overall respect for you doing the above training I mentioned the behavior may stop on its own without having to address it directly. If that doesn't happen, a correction needs to take place as soon as he moves toward you to bite. To get the timing right without being close to pup you may need an e-collar or a second person to correct pup. For this part of the training I suggest hiring a trainer who is very experienced with aggression to help set up the appropriate scenario and decide on the best way to do this based on you and your dog. This can be done with or without rewards. A correction for starting to push - with intent to bite when he got to you, needs to happen first, but after a few repetitions of the situation, once pup stops rushing, if he ignored you being near your other dog and stayed calm, you could reward him for that correct response also. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Russell
Labrador Retriever
5 Months
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Russell
Labrador Retriever
5 Months

Lately when we get ready for a walk he lunges at me He wants to bite if I try to ignore him he goes for my legs and shoes if I stand still he goes for my arms he’s 55 lbs hard to ignore

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
463 Dog owners recommended

Hello Diana, Check out the video linked below. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EcwvUOf5oOg Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Roger
Golden Retriever
13 Weeks
0 found helpful
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Roger
Golden Retriever
13 Weeks

Roger bites me, mostly arms and clothing. Won’t let go unless I can get to a treat. By then, I’m bleeding, or my sleeves are ripped. I take blood thinners, but the bites are deep and bleed a lot. I now wear long sleeves to hide the bites and bruises. I’ve tried: Kong’s (filled/unfiltered/frozen), frozen, damp washcloths rolled, teething toys, bully sticks, carrots. He walks well on leash, but is stubborn about when we go or not. I play games with him, ball, hide a treat under a couple cups. Then he bites and jumps. So into his crate. Help. I’m desperate. Everyone says to take him to a trainer but it not affordable for me.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
463 Dog owners recommended

Hello Lucy, First, if you can find a free puppy play date class attend one of those with him so that he can learn how to control the pressure of his bite by playing with other puppies. Petco and some other pet stores with training offer free puppy play classes if you call and ask for the schedule. If you have any friends with puppies under 6 months of age, set up play dates with those puppies too. Moderate the puppies' play and whenever one pup seems overwhelmed or they are all getting too excited, interrupt their play, let everyone calm down, then let the most timid pup go first to see if they still want to play - if they do, then you can let the other puppies go too when they are waiting for permission. Second, check out the article linked below. Starting today, use the "Yelp" method. At the same time however, begin teaching "Leave It" from the "Leave It" method. As soon as pup is good as the Leave It game, start telling pup to "Leave It" when he attempts to bite or is tempted to bite. Reward pup if he makes a good choice. If he disobeys your leave it command, use the Pressure method to gently discipline pup for biting when you told him not to. The order or all of this is very important - the yelp method can be used for the next couple of weeks while pup is learning leave it, but leave it will teach pup to stop the biting entirely. The pressure method teaches pup that you mean what you say without being overly harsh - but because you have taught pup to leave it first, pup clearly understands that you are not just roughhousing (which is what pup probably thinks most of the time right now), so it is more effective. When pup gets especially wound up, he probably needs a nap too. At this age puppies will sometimes get really hyper when they are overtired or haven't had any mental stimulation through something like training. When you spot that and think pup could be tired, place pup in their crate or an exercise pen with a food stuffed Kong for a bit to help him calm down and rest. Also, know that mouthiness at this age is completely normal - especially for a retriever. It's not fun and pup is biting way too hard but it is normal for it to take some time for a puppy to learn self-control well enough to stop. Try not to get discouraged if you don't see instant progress, any progress and moving in the right direction in this area is good, so keep at it. Commands that increase self-control in general and teach pup calmness are also good things to teach. These commands will take time to teach of course, but they can also be a great way to create your own puppy class with pup. If you have other friends' with puppies, why not invite them over, sending them the following videos and articles too, and practice it all together - allowing puppies to learn and be socialized. Place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omg5DVPWIWo Crate manners: https://thegooddog.net/training-videos/free-how-to-training-videos/learn-to-train-the-good-dog-way-the-crate/ Thresholds: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-w28C2g68M Heel article - The turns method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel Heel Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTiKVc4ZZWo Down-Stay: https://www.thelabradorsite.com/train-your-labrador-to-lie-down-and-stay/ Leave It: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Out - which means leave the room: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ If you decide to host a puppy class or want to practice more on your own, here are some additional resources: check out these videos of a puppy class. Follow along with your puppy at home and practice the exercises to help with general basic obedience: Puppy Class videos: Week 1, pt 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vnhJGU2NO5k Week 1, pt 2: https://www.dogstardaily.com/videos/week-1-part-2-sirius-berkeley-puppy-1 Week 2, pt 1 https://www.dogstardaily.com/videos/week-2-part-1-sirius-berkeley-puppy-1 Week 2, pt 2: https://www.dogstardaily.com/videos/week-2-part-2-home-jasper-sirius-berkeley-puppy-1 Week 3, pt 1: https://www.dogstardaily.com/videos/week-3-part-1-sirius-berkeley-puppy-1 Week 3, pt 2: https://www.dogstardaily.com/videos/week-3-part-2-sirius-berkeley-puppy-1 Week 4, pt 1: https://www.dogstardaily.com/videos/week-4-part-1-sirius-berkeley-puppy-1 Week 4, pt 2: https://www.dogstardaily.com/videos/week-4-part-2-sirius-berkeley-puppy-1 Week 5, pt 1: https://www.dogstardaily.com/videos/week-5-part-1-sirius-berkeley-puppy-1 Week 5, pt 2: https://www.dogstardaily.com/videos/week-5-part-2-sirius-berkeley-puppy-1 Week 6, pt 1: https://www.dogstardaily.com/videos/week-6-part-1-sirius-berkeley-puppy-1 Week 6, pt 2: https://www.dogstardaily.com/videos/week-6-part-2-sirius-berkeley-puppy-1-0 Finally, check out the PDF e-book downloads found on this website, written by one of the founders of the association of professional dog trainers, and a pioneer in starting puppy kindergarten classes in the USA. Click on the pictures of the puppies to download the PDF books: https://www.lifedogtraining.com/freedownloads/ Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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