How to Train a Chow Chow to Not Bite

How to Train a Chow Chow to Not Bite
Medium difficulty iconMedium
Time icon3-10 Weeks
Behavior training category iconBehavior

Introduction

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?

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Defining Tasks

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.

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Getting Started

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.

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The Walk Away Method

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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.

2

Play

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.

3

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.

4

Try again

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.

5

Be consistent

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

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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.

2

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.

3

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.

4

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.

5

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

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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.

2

Play

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.

3

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.

4

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.

5

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.

6

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

Training Questions

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Training Questions and Answers

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Ollie

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Chow Chow

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5 Months

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Question

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We just bought a Male chow chow he the owner says he was bit by father(🤷🏻‍♀️)! I have to Chow’s already boy-3years girl-2years. The pup didn’t respond well to older male chow chow he was growling barking so my 3 yr Chow was barking growling in response. My 3yr old male chow immediately was aggressive with the little guy, He actually peed a little on floor? How can I get them familiar with each other without a fight? My 2yr female Chow didn’t give either one any attention?

Jan. 19, 2022

Ollie's Owner

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Caitlin Crittenden - Dog Trainer

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1133 Dog owners recommended

Hello Becca, I would recruit another person to practice the Passing Approach and Walking Together methods from the below article with the dogs to introduce on a neutral territory more calmly. https://wagwalking.com/training/greet-other-dogs I would also teach both dogs a 1 hour place command and have separate Place beds for each on separate ends of the room. I would also secure both dogs to something nearby with a leash that's slack enough that they won't feel their leashes while on place, but the leashes will catch them from getting to each other if they try to get off place suddenly. I would practice obedience commands with the dogs around each other, teaching commands that can be used to instruct the dogs to give each other space, like Leave It, Out, Down, Place, Come, and Quiet. Out - which means leave the area: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Leave It method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Quiet method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark Place command: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O75dyWITP1s Down-Stay: https://www.thelabradorsite.com/train-your-labrador-to-lie-down-and-stay/ Come - Reel in method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-whippet-to-recall Once they can pass and greet calmly on a walk, regularly taking them both on structured heeling walks, where both are required to walk slightly behind you and not compete to be out in front, can give them an activity to bond over that's less directly confrontational. Heel- Turns method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel When your older dog first enters the room or you catch him being especially tolerant of the puppy, you can reward him with a treat and calm praise, but don't let the puppy see you don't so, so he won't rush over and start a food fight. I would feed all the dogs separately. In closed separate crates is the safest and simplest option generally. Working on calmly building all the dogs respect and trust for you can also help them listen to your boundaries at home. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-doberman-to-listen-to-you If there is a bite, things get worse, or things aren't improving, I would go ahead and hire a professional trainer who specializes in behavior issues like aggression, to come to your home to evaluate the dogs together in person. Someone experienced should be able to see if there s competing, resource guarding, fear, or other things that need specifically addressing present. I would keep the dogs separate for safety when you can't supervise right now. Crating the puppy in a different room from the adult dogs at night and while you are away. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Jan. 20, 2022

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Chubby

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Chow Chow

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2 Years

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Why my chow become aggressive but not always?

Dec. 4, 2021

Chubby's Owner

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Caitlin Crittenden - Dog Trainer

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1133 Dog owners recommended

Hello Cathy, I recommend hiring a professional trainer who specializes in behavior issues like aggression and will come to your home to do an evaluation, to determine what type(s) of aggression and what's triggering it, then you can go from there. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Dec. 6, 2021


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