How to Train a Lhasa Apso to Not Bite

Easy
3-6 Weeks
Behavior

Introduction

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. 

Defining Tasks

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. 

Getting Started

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:

  • Treats
  • A quiet place
  • Chew toys

The Get a Little Closer Method

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Step
1
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.
Step
2
On your knees
Kneel down a short distance from your pup and slowly advance your hand towards him a couple of inches.
Step
3
When he stays
When the dog stays in place, be sure to reward him with a treat and plenty of praise.
Step
4
When he moves
If the dog moves, step back a little farther and try again.
Step
5
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.
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The Watch for It Method

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Step
1
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.
Step
2
Ouch!
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.
Step
3
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.
Step
4
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.
Step
5
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.
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The Startle Method

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Step
1
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.
Step
2
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.
Step
3
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.
Step
4
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.
Step
5
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.
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Success Stories and Training Questions

Training Questions and Answers and Success Stories

Question
Colver
Lhasa Apso
2 Years
2 found helpful
Question
2 found helpful
Colver
Lhasa Apso
2 Years

My male dog bites when guarding food and this is understandable, however not acceptable. He also has bitten me while adjusting his collar, when I moved him away from me in bed, and once when I was reaching for my shoes. His behavior is so unpredictable I ask people to not pet him although I know he would like the contact. This bad behavior started to develop after age 1. I have been taking Colver for training since 6 months of age. In May 2019, he earned the Canine Good Citizen award.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
708 Dog owners recommended

Hello Susan, Check out the videos linked below: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=19RnH9dLip0&t=1120s https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mgmRRYK1Z6A https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=duptf7_pt5k Keep in mind size doesn't effect the way a dog's mind needs to be trained. Doggie Bootcamp for overall attitude adjustment - pup needs to wear a basket muzzle where possible. Introduce the muzzle using his daily kibble - not from bowl, but put food into a baggie and use as treats from there. Place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omg5DVPWIWo Crate manners: https://thegooddog.net/training-videos/free-how-to-training-videos/learn-to-train-the-good-dog-way-the-crate/ Thresholds: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-w28C2g68M Heel article - The turns method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel Heel Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTiKVc4ZZWo Working method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-doberman-to-listen-to-you Obedience and Canine Good citizen classes are great for some things, but they really don't address aggression issues - you need a trainer who specializes in behavior issues, including a variety of types of aggression - not just fear aggression, because this sounds like resource guarding and possessiveness probably related at least partially to a lack of respect. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Momo
Lhasa Apso
3 Months
0 found helpful
Question
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Momo
Lhasa Apso
3 Months

1)Biting too much

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
708 Dog owners recommended

Hello Kunal, Check out the article linked below. Starting today, use the "Yelp" method. At the same time however, 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 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. Also, 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 at it. Commands that increase self-control in general and teach pup calmness are also good things to teach. These commands will take time to teach of course, but they can also be a great way to create your own puppy class with pup. If you have other friends' with puppies, why not invite them over, sending them the following videos and articles too, and practice it all together - allowing puppies to learn and be socialized. Place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omg5DVPWIWo Heel article - The turns method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel Down-Stay: https://www.thelabradorsite.com/train-your-labrador-to-lie-down-and-stay/ Leave It: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Out - which means leave the room: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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

Hi l really need some Advice my partner got Lilly 4 months ago from a lady who was giving her away so he got her for our Daughter's there 12 and 13 and she can be very Aggressive like growling and has bitten on 3 occasions we have tried everything like ignoring her for 10 mins putting her in a room but nothing seems to work so would Appearance some Advice thank you!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
708 Dog owners recommended

Hello Irene, I do suggest hiring a professional trainer who specializes in behavior issues and aggression to help in person. There could be a number of things going on that need to be evaluated through questions and observing her. There could be a lack of socialization, resource guarding, fear aggression, or something else. Exactly how this is addressed will depend a lot on the specifics of the case. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Jack
Lhasa Apso
5 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Jack
Lhasa Apso
5 Years

Jack. Loving dog. Very anxious . Likes to sleep a lot . Will run at door or phone or any noise and start barking . Has nipped our youngest kids when they are just stroking him and suddenly he will just turn and nip them for no reason. Only really with the children of the family not so much the adults .

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
708 Dog owners recommended

Hello Simon, For the barking, I suggest desensitizing them to the doorbell and noises and teaching the Quiet command. Quiet method for quiet command - which should also help with doorbell desensitizing: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark Desensitizing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bpzvqN9JNUA For the kids, I suggest hiring a professional trainer who specializes in behavior issues like aggression. Pup likely needs a lot more structure, for respect and trust for the kids to be carefully build through things like obedience practice and making the kid's presence and touch associated with good things, and this needs to be done with the proper safety measure in place to keep the kids safe, like pup being on a back tie leash or wearing a basket muzzle during training and interactions right now. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Mylo
Lhasa Apso
4 Weeks
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Mylo
Lhasa Apso
4 Weeks

He tries to bite to harshly and is very aggressive

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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