How to Train a Lhasa Apso Puppy to Not Bite

Easy
3-6 Weeks
Behavior

Introduction

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. 

Defining Tasks

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. 

Getting Started

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

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Step
1
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.
Step
2
Walk away
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.
Step
3
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.
Step
4
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.
Step
5
Practice, practice
The rest is all up to how much time you want to put into working with Fluffy until he no longer thinks about biting.
Recommend training method?

The Why Bite Me? Method

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Step
1
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.
Step
2
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.
Step
3
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.
Step
4
Still going
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.
Step
5
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.
Recommend training method?

The A Little Bit Closer Method

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0 Votes
Step
1
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.
Step
2
Kneel down
Bring yourself down to his level by kneeling on the floor. Move one hand across the floor slowly an inch or two.
Step
3
Fluffy remains in place
If Fluffy stays put, use lots of praise and a treat for a reward.
Step
4
If Fluffy moves
If Fluffy moves, start a little farther back and try again.
Step
5
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.
Recommend training method?

Success Stories and Training Questions

Training Questions and Answers and Success Stories

Question
Poppy
Lhasa Apso
11 Weeks
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Question
0 found helpful
Poppy
Lhasa Apso
11 Weeks

Constantly biting and nipping myself and my daughter chasing and biting our feet and ankles , is no longer doing this to my husband I have tried treats when biting stops shouting awwcchhh and saying no saying no bite , but nothing seems to work

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
709 Dog owners recommended

Hello Lisa, Check out the article linked below. Starting today, use the "Bite Inhibition" method (which you are already essentially doing). BUT at the same time, 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. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Another important part of this is puppy learning bite inhibition. Puppies have to learn while young how to control the pressure of their mouths - this is typically done through play with other puppies. See if there is a puppy class in your area that comes well recommended and has time for moderated off-leash puppy play. If you can't join a class, look for a free puppy play group, or recruit some friends with puppies to come over if you can and create your own group. You are looking for puppies under 6 months of age - since young puppies play differently than adult dogs. 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. Finding a good puppy class - no class will be ideal but here's what to shoot for: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/puppy-classes-when-to-start/ 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. Work on teaching the Out command too. Pay attention to the How to Teach Out section and the How to Use Out to Deal with Pushy Behavior section. Those sections can be especially helpful for pup biting the kids. https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ 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/ Know that mouthiness at this age is completely normal. It's not fun 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 working at it. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Milo
Lhasa
18 Weeks
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Question
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Milo
Lhasa
18 Weeks

We are having no luck with teaching him not to bite. He bites us constantly and forceful at times.

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
134 Dog owners recommended

Hello! As he ages, this issues will slowly start to disappear. But in the mean time, here is some information to help you so it doesn't become a habit that follows him into adulthood. Puppies may nip for a number of reasons. Nipping can be a means of energy release, getting attention, interacting and exploring their environment or it could be a habit that helps with teething. Whatever the cause, nipping can still be painful for the receiver, and it’s an action that pet parents want to curb. Some ways to stop biting before it becomes a real problem include: Using teething toys. Distracting with and redirecting your dog’s biting to safe and durable chew toys is one way to keep them from focusing their mouthy energies to an approved location and teach them what biting habits are acceptable. Making sure your dog is getting the proper amount of exercise. Exercise is huge. Different dogs have different exercise needs based on their breed and size, so check with your veterinarian to make sure that yours is getting the exercise they need. Dogs—and especially puppies—use their playtime to get out extra energy. With too much pent-up energy, your pup may resort to play biting. Having them expel their energy in positive ways - including both physical and mental exercise - will help mitigate extra nips. Being consistent. Training your dog takes patience, practice and consistency. With the right training techniques and commitment, your dog will learn what is preferred behavior. While sometimes it may be easier to let a little nipping activity go, be sure to remain consistent in your cues and redirection. That way, boundaries are clear to your dog. Using positive reinforcement. To establish preferred behaviors, use positive reinforcement when your dog exhibits the correct behavior. For instance, praise and treat your puppy when they listen to your cue to stop unwanted biting as well as when they choose an appropriate teething toy on their own. Saying “Ouch!” The next time your puppy becomes too exuberant and nips you, say “OUCH!” in a very shocked tone and immediately stop playing with them. Your puppy should learn - just as they did with their littermates - that their form of play has become unwanted. When they stop, ensure that you follow up with positive reinforcement by offering praise, treat and/or resuming play. Letting every interaction with your puppy be a learning opportunity. While there are moments of dedicated training time, every interaction with your dog can be used as a potential teaching moment. Thank you for writing in!

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Question
Blu
Lhasa Apso
2 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Blu
Lhasa Apso
2 Months

He always wants to bite what he sees, even toes, Nd he is always excited,

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
134 Dog owners recommended

Hello. Here is information on puppy nipping/biting. Nipping: Puppies may nip for a number of reasons. Nipping can be a means of energy release, getting attention, interacting and exploring their environment or it could be a habit that helps with teething. Whatever the cause, nipping can still be painful for the receiver, and it’s an action that pet parents want to curb. Some ways to stop biting before it becomes a real problem include: Using teething toys. Distracting with and redirecting your dog’s biting to safe and durable chew toys is one way to keep them from focusing their mouthy energies to an approved location and teach them what biting habits are acceptable. Making sure your dog is getting the proper amount of exercise. Exercise is huge. Different dogs have different exercise needs based on their breed and size, so check with your veterinarian to make sure that yours is getting the exercise they need. Dogs—and especially puppies—use their playtime to get out extra energy. With too much pent-up energy, your pup may resort to play biting. Having them expel their energy in positive ways - including both physical and mental exercise - will help mitigate extra nips. Being consistent. Training your dog takes patience, practice and consistency. With the right training techniques and commitment, your dog will learn what is preferred behavior. While sometimes it may be easier to let a little nipping activity go, be sure to remain consistent in your cues and redirection. That way, boundaries are clear to your dog. Using positive reinforcement. To establish preferred behaviors, use positive reinforcement when your dog exhibits the correct behavior. For instance, praise and treat your puppy when they listen to your cue to stop unwanted biting as well as when they choose an appropriate teething toy on their own. Saying “Ouch!” The next time your puppy becomes too exuberant and nips you, say “OUCH!” in a very shocked tone and immediately stop playing with them. Your puppy should learn - just as they did with their littermates - that their form of play has become unwanted. When they stop, ensure that you follow up with positive reinforcement by offering praise, treat and/or resuming play. Letting every interaction with your puppy be a learning opportunity. While there are moments of dedicated training time, every interaction with your dog can be used as a potential teaching moment.

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Question
Ruby
Lhasa Apso
8 Weeks
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Ruby
Lhasa Apso
8 Weeks

She keeps biting my hand whenever I try to stroke or touch her.

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
134 Dog owners recommended

Hello! Here is information on nipping/biting. Nipping: Puppies may nip for a number of reasons. Nipping can be a means of energy release, getting attention, interacting and exploring their environment or it could be a habit that helps with teething. Whatever the cause, nipping can still be painful for the receiver, and it’s an action that pet parents want to curb. Some ways to stop biting before it becomes a real problem include: Using teething toys. Distracting with and redirecting your dog’s biting to safe and durable chew toys is one way to keep them from focusing their mouthy energies to an approved location and teach them what biting habits are acceptable. Making sure your dog is getting the proper amount of exercise. Exercise is huge. Different dogs have different exercise needs based on their breed and size, so check with your veterinarian to make sure that yours is getting the exercise they need. Dogs—and especially puppies—use their playtime to get out extra energy. With too much pent-up energy, your pup may resort to play biting. Having them expel their energy in positive ways - including both physical and mental exercise - will help mitigate extra nips. Being consistent. Training your dog takes patience, practice and consistency. With the right training techniques and commitment, your dog will learn what is preferred behavior. While sometimes it may be easier to let a little nipping activity go, be sure to remain consistent in your cues and redirection. That way, boundaries are clear to your dog. Using positive reinforcement. To establish preferred behaviors, use positive reinforcement when your dog exhibits the correct behavior. For instance, praise and treat your puppy when they listen to your cue to stop unwanted biting as well as when they choose an appropriate teething toy on their own. Saying “Ouch!” The next time your puppy becomes too exuberant and nips you, say “OUCH!” in a very shocked tone and immediately stop playing with them. Your puppy should learn - just as they did with their littermates - that their form of play has become unwanted. When they stop, ensure that you follow up with positive reinforcement by offering praise, treat and/or resuming play. Letting every interaction with your puppy be a learning opportunity. While there are moments of dedicated training time, every interaction with your dog can be used as a potential teaching moment.

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Question
Bella
Lhasa Apso
2 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Bella
Lhasa Apso
2 Years

My dog bite

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
134 Dog owners recommended

Hello. Here is information on puppy nipping/biting. Nipping: Puppies may nip for a number of reasons. Nipping can be a means of energy release, getting attention, interacting and exploring their environment or it could be a habit that helps with teething. Whatever the cause, nipping can still be painful for the receiver, and it’s an action that pet parents want to curb. Some ways to stop biting before it becomes a real problem include: Using teething toys. Distracting with and redirecting your dog’s biting to safe and durable chew toys is one way to keep them from focusing their mouthy energies to an approved location and teach them what biting habits are acceptable. Making sure your dog is getting the proper amount of exercise. Exercise is huge. Different dogs have different exercise needs based on their breed and size, so check with your veterinarian to make sure that yours is getting the exercise they need. Dogs—and especially puppies—use their playtime to get out extra energy. With too much pent-up energy, your pup may resort to play biting. Having them expel their energy in positive ways - including both physical and mental exercise - will help mitigate extra nips. Being consistent. Training your dog takes patience, practice and consistency. With the right training techniques and commitment, your dog will learn what is preferred behavior. While sometimes it may be easier to let a little nipping activity go, be sure to remain consistent in your cues and redirection. That way, boundaries are clear to your dog. Using positive reinforcement. To establish preferred behaviors, use positive reinforcement when your dog exhibits the correct behavior. For instance, praise and treat your puppy when they listen to your cue to stop unwanted biting as well as when they choose an appropriate teething toy on their own. Saying “Ouch!” The next time your puppy becomes too exuberant and nips you, say “OUCH!” in a very shocked tone and immediately stop playing with them. Your puppy should learn - just as they did with their littermates - that their form of play has become unwanted. When they stop, ensure that you follow up with positive reinforcement by offering praise, treat and/or resuming play. Letting every interaction with your puppy be a learning opportunity. While there are moments of dedicated training time, every interaction with your dog can be used as a potential teaching moment.

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