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A friend comes over to visit you. You're sitting together, having a good time, when she suddenly reaches out to pet your Chow Chow. Your normally sweet pup turns and gives your friend a warning nip. Your friend draws back, scared, and you scold your Chow Chow. But a few weeks later, it happens again. Chow Chows are big dogs. A bite from your dog could cause serious damage. All of the sudden, you're nervous. What if my dog really hurts someone?
Training your Chow Chow not to bite is very important. Chow Chows were originally bred to hunt and as guard dogs. Due to this background, Chow Chows are highly prone to aggression and can be very territorial of their home and their family. While your pup may be friendly with you, she is more likely to become aggressive with other dogs and unfamiliar visitors. Ideally, Chow Chows should be trained not to bite when they are puppies, but if you have issues with your adult dog biting, training can help.
Chow Chows tend to respond well to positive reinforcement. When training a Chow Chow, be sure to avoid punishment, as it can feed into the natural aggression of your dog. Instead, establish fair but consistent rules about biting and be patient with your pup as she learns the rules of the house.
The Walk Away Method
Dogs are social creatures
Dogs, like wolves, exist in a pack. They crave social interaction and a feeling of acceptance. One method of training your dog is by taking away something she wants: your attention.
Start a game with your dog. Play with her until she starts to get riled up. She will probably try to nip or bite your hands as you play. As soon as she causes discomfort, let your hand go limp and remove it from her mouth.
Take the fun away
Get up and leave the room immediately. Don't make eye contact with your dog either. Go into another room and close the door. Stay in there for at least 20 to 30 seconds.
Start up the game again. Follow the same method as before. If after a few tries, your Chow Chow isn't getting the message, try saying "ouch" or yelping when she bites you to emphasize what behavior is causing you to leave the room.
You should always have the same reaction to your Chow Chow biting you. Encourage others in your house or any visitors to do the same. Over time, your pup will learn that biting ends the game and isn't worth doing.
The Alpha Method
Figure out when your Chow Chow is biting
If your dog tends to bite when you try to make her obey, she may believe she is the alpha of the family. In these cases, establishing yourself as dominant figure in the "pack" can help put an end to biting.
Change your demeanor
Pack leaders are confident and don't answer to anyone. When you are around your Chow Chow, stand tall with your shoulders back. Use a deep, firm voice with your dog. Make sure to use a tone of command when you tell her what to do, rather than one that implies a question. Your Chow Chow can tell the difference.
Teach your dog that she needs to earn her place in the family
If your dog is already biting, she will probably need more than a change in attitude to stop. Use the 'sit' command to show her that she needs to follow directions get good things, such as treats and praise from you. Do not use physical punishment with your Chow Chow.
Make her sit for everything
Make your dog sit before she gets her dinner. Make your dog sit before she goes outside. Make your dog sit before you pet her. This consistency lets her know that there is no free ride and she needs to mind your directions.
Keep working until her behavior changes
Over the next few weeks, you should start to see an improvement in the behavior of your Chow Chow. Make sure everyone in your dog's life is consistent with her and makes her sit before giving her treats and affection. Having an aggressive Chow Chow is dangerous to everyone around her. Asserting your place as alpha can help her understand her role in the family and improve her behavior.
The Yelping Method
Use nature as a guide
If your Chow Chow was still with his mother and littermates, they would use signals to let each other know when play fighting goes too far. Dogs typically make a yelping nose when something hurts them. You can use a similar noise to indicate to your dog that she is playing too rough.
While you are playing with your dog, she may nip at your fingers as part of the game. As soon as she causes you discomfort, yelp loudly and let your hand go limp.
Stop the game
Don't pull your hand away immediately, as this action may make your Chow Chow bite down harder. Instead, leave your hand limp until she lets go and then stop playing with her for thirty seconds or so.
Return to the game
Go back to playing with your Chow Chow and repeat the same routine again. Be consistent and always react the same way when she nips you. She should start to realize that biting stops the game.
No teeth on me
As your dog makes progress, start yelping as soon as her teeth touch you, even if it is gentle. Follow the same routine as before, stopping the game for a set length of time.
Reward the behavior you want
Your Chow Chow may begin bringing you a toy in exchange. Reward this behavior with play, but be sure to maintain your boundaries so your dog doesn't get confused about the rules.
By Christina Gunning
Published: 03/05/2018, edited: 01/08/2021