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If there is one mistake many Lhasa Apso owners and others tend to make, it is that when your little fluffball is biting and nipping, it means they are being aggressive. In most cases, nothing could be further from the truth, especially with puppies as few have matured enough to be truly aggressive. Half of teaching Fluffy to stop biting lies in understanding why she is biting in the first place. Puppies tend to bite as part of exploring their world and establishing their position in the pack with the most effective "biter" assuming a higher place in the pecking order.
Keep in mind that biting is a natural behavior present in every breed of dog. It is a remnant of a time when they were wild animals and it was necessary for survival, both against predators and other members of the pack. Your role is to teach your pup that his biting hurts, but to do so long before his bites have the potential to cause physical harm. Worth noting is that even a young puppy can bite hard enough to draw blood and damage bone.
The thing is, the more time you spend with your pup and taking them out to socialize with other people and animals, the less inclined they are likely to be to bite. As for training supplies, very little is needed. You need an ample supply of time, patience, treats, and quiet places to work. The rest is all about how much effort you want to put into working with your pup.
The Nipping and Biting Method
Let him know
When Fluffy bites you, let out your own yelp just like another dog would. Then use the cue "No bite". Keep your tone low and non-threatening.
Or in this case, walk away from your pup. Don’t pet him, don't say anything, just walk away. You want Fluffy to associate biting with getting nothing.
What if Fluffy keeps trying to bite?
If Fluffy still keeps trying to bite, even after you give him the "No Bite!" cue, try making a rattle out of a few marbles in a tin can. The loud noise should startle your pup after you give him the cue.
We were playing a game
"But we were just playing a game and he bit me!" When this happens, stop the game immediately. Give your pup plenty of time to calm down, before starting the game again. As soon as Fluffy calms down, be sure to praise him and give him a treat to show him that being calm is where it's at.
The rest is all up to how much time you want to put into working with Fluffy until he no longer thinks about biting.
The Why Bite Me? Method
Watch your pup for the signs
There are many reasons why Fluffy might suddenly decide to bite you. It could be for defensive, play, or even in the right circumstances, aggression. In most cases, it is simply a result of Fluffy being too excited to hold it all in.
When Fluffy bites
When Fluffy does decide to go off the deep end and bite, make sure you let him know it hurt. You can do this by yelping or saying something like "Ouch!" This would be similar to what would happen with his den mates in the wild.
Ignore and move
Ignore your pup after this and move away from him. Make sure he is aware of the fact you are ignoring him. This will help him to see that biting does not earn him any rewards. Once he settles down you can praise him and give him a treat.
If Fluffy seems to be intent on following you and biting at you, it's time to take an extended break. Leave the room, put up a barrier and go into another room. Again, give Fluffy time to calm down and reward him with treats and praise.
Back to the game at hand
As soon as Fluffy settles down and appears calm, go back in and try again. Keep working on this training until Fluffy no longer seems to have taken in chunks of your flesh for a snack.
The A Little Bit Closer Method
Start in a quiet room
Start by calling Fluffy into a nice quiet room in your home. Have him sit and then take a step back.
Bring yourself down to his level by kneeling on the floor. Move one hand across the floor slowly an inch or two.
Fluffy remains in place
If Fluffy stays put, use lots of praise and a treat for a reward.
If Fluffy moves
If Fluffy moves, start a little farther back and try again.
Just a little bit closer
Place a treat on the floor between the two of you and move a little closer. Each time Fluffy doesn't move, give him the treat. Keep working your way closer until you can reach out and touch your pup anywhere and not get bitten while he is eating the treat.
By PB Getz
Published: 03/29/2018, edited: 01/08/2021