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Lhasa Apsos have earned quite a reputation for being biters, but this is in most cases simply a misconception. With the right training, you can teach your Lhasa to stop biting at everyone. But, in many cases, biting is simply your dog's reaction to certain situations. The best way to get the pooch to stop biting is to understand why they are doing so in the first place. There are many reasons why the might be biting you, ranging from overexcitement to simply trying to establish his place in the pack. Oh, and let's not forget biting as just a part of playing.
Biting is a natural behavior with just about any breed of dog, leftovers from their days of running wild in the world. While this type of behavior might be acceptable in the wild, it is not a behavior you can afford to let them display in the domesticated world. It is your job to teach your pup not to bite, something that is going to take a little time out of your day, every day, until they have it all figured out. Remember, the key to successfully training your Lhasa Apso to stop biting is consistency.
You can start working on training your Lhasa to stop biting at a very early age. In fact the earlier you get started, the easier it will be for your pup to figure out what you want of him. While you can teach an adult dog to stop biting using the same methods used to train a puppy, it might take a little longer.
Your supply list includes:
- A quiet place
- Chew toys
The Get a Little Closer Method
The quiet start
Go into a nice quiet room in your house and call your pup in or carry him in and place him on the floor.
On your knees
Kneel down a short distance from your pup and slowly advance your hand towards him a couple of inches.
When he stays
When the dog stays in place, be sure to reward him with a treat and plenty of praise.
When he moves
If the dog moves, step back a little farther and try again.
Treats for the win
Try placing a treat on the floor on the ground between the two of you and move your hand closer slowly. Each time you stop your hand and he doesn't try to lunge at you and bite, give him the treat. When he doesn't, move back a little and try again. Work with your pup until you can touch him all over while he is eating the treat with no reaction.
The Watch for It Method
Keep a close eye on your pup
When you are playing with your pup, be sure to keep a close eye on him for signs that he plans to bite. In most cases, it will happen as he starts to get overly excited during playtime.
When your Lhasa bites, you need to take immediate action by yelping or saying "ouch!" This lets him know that the bite has hurt you. This is similar to how his litter mates would react in the future.
I'm out of here
After reacting like this, turn away from him and let him see you are ignoring him. The idea is for the dog to get the idea that negative behavior nets negative results.
I will follow you
If your pup tries to follow you, you should leave the room and place a baby gate in the doorway to keep him in. Leave him with plenty of time to calm down. Once the pooch calms down, go ahead back into the room, give him a treat, and try again.
Perfection through practice
The rest is all about practicing the exact same scenario until the dog finally comes to understand that biting is a completely unacceptable form of behavior.
The Startle Method
Create your own rattle
Use an empty soda can with several marbles inside of it to create a rattle. You will need this during training.
Let's play a game
Start playing with your Lhasa, allowing him to get more than just a little bit excited. You need to get him to the point at which he bites you. Tell him "NO!" in no uncertain terms.
Walk the line
At this point, you need to simply turn and walk away. Not a word, not a pet on the head, nothing, just the sight of your back as you walk away.
If he follows and tries to bite
If he follows you and tries to bite, give him the "NO BITE!" command and shake the rattle. The loud noise should be more than enough to stop any dog in his tracks.
Time to calm down
Give your dog plenty of time to calm down, and when this happens, be sure to give lots of praise and a treat. Keep repeating this until he no longer wants the negative attention associated with biting. It will take a few weeks, but the results are well-worth the effort.
By PB Getz
Published: 03/29/2018, edited: 01/08/2021