How to Train a Schnauzer to Not Bite

Medium
3-8 Weeks
Behavior

Introduction

Your Schnauzer is a biter. They bite during games and nip at your heels when they want their dinner. You mostly ignore the behavior, until one day, your pup nips at the wrong person. Suddenly, your friends are upset and don't want to hang out with your Schnauzer anymore. You need a solution. Training your Schnauzer to not bite is an important part of raising a well-behaved dog.

Defining Tasks

There are many reasons why a dog would naturally bite. Excitement, anxiety, and unfamiliar situations all bring out a Schnauzer's natural instincts. In addition, your pup may be biting because you have accidentally trained him to bite in certain situations. Dogs quickly learn how to get the results they want, so if biting worked in the past, they will try it again. You can train a Schnauzer not to bite at almost any age, though it is easiest with young puppies. The training process will require firm rules and consistent enforcement. Make sure everyone who interacts with your Schnauzer is on-board for the new 'no biting' rules.

Getting Started

Two helpful tools for training your Schnauzer not to bite are toys and rawhide bones. They can serve as a substitute chew toy when your pup decides to nibble on your figures. If biting becomes severe, you can use a spray bottle filled with water as a deterrent. Keep in mind that your Schnauzer will not learn to stop biting overnight. Patience and consistency are required to help your dog, whatever their age, understand that biting is not an option.

The Redirect Method

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Step
1
Pay attention to when your Schnauzer bites
Keep a close watch on your dog for a few days and figure out what situations most often prompt them to bite. Is it when they get excited during play time? Or is it when your child goes in to pet them? Knowing when to expect a nip can help you prepare to redirect your pup's teeth.
Step
2
Use a bone to distract your pup
When you reach to pet your Schnauzer, offer a rawhide bone or other chew toy with the opposite hand. This offering acts as both a reward for not biting and a way to keep their mouth busy while you pet them.
Step
3
Stop petting before a nip
At first, you should only pet your Schnauzer for a short period of time, especially if your pup tends to get excited when you pet them. Ending your petting session on a positive note is better reinforcement for good behavior overall.
Step
4
Discourage biting
If your Schnauzer turns and bites you while you are petting them, say "no" is a calm, but firm voice and turn away from them. You want to be dramatic about the process and make a big show of ignoring your pup to show them that biting is a bad thing.
Step
5
Alternate between hands
Each time you pet your pup, use the opposite hand to give them a bone. Swap back and forth between hands to help your Schnauzer universalize the idea that petting is good and biting is bad.
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The Ouch! Method

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Step
1
React consistently to biting
For this method to work, you will need to react the same way to biting every time it happens. Dogs aren't very good at generalizing, so if you let them bite sometimes and not others, they will quickly become confused.
Step
2
Make a loud noise when biting occurs
Whenever your Schnauzer bites, react with a loud, high-pitched "ouch" or a firm "no." Don't yell at your pup, but indicate to them with your reaction that you didn't like being bitten.
Step
3
Ignore your pup
After the reaction, turn away from your Schnauzer and proceed to ignore them completely. If they continue to try and gain your attention, leave the room. You want to show your pup that biting ends the fun and causes their friend to leave.
Step
4
Return after a minute or so
After a short period of time, return to playing with your Schnauzer. If they bite again, repeat the same series of actions. Remember, the best way to train your pup is to be consistent with your behavior.
Step
5
Reward good behavior
If your Schnauzer plays without biting, give them positive reinforcement in the form of praise and affection. By leaving when they bite and loving on them when they don't, you can show your pup how to behave properly.
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The Spray Bottle Method

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Step
1
Use as a last resort
If you have tried other methods but your Schnauzer's biting issue persists, you can fill a small spray bottle with water to use as a deterrent.
Step
2
Set the nozzle to spray, not jet
Before using the spray bottle, make sure the nozzle is set to a gentle spray, rather than a harsh jet. The goal of the spray bottle is to startle your Schnauzer and interrupt their biting, not to hurt them.
Step
3
Say "no" and give them a squirt
When your pup bites you, say "no" firmly, but without yelling. Accompany the verbal cue with a quick spray from the bottle. It's best if you can point the bottle at them without your Schnauzer seeing it, so they don't start to connect you with the spray.
Step
4
Return to playing
Go back to playing with your pup and praise them if they remain gentle. If they go back to biting, you can repeat the combination of the spray bottle with a verbal reprimand.
Step
5
Phase out the spray bottle
As soon as you can, stop using the spray bottle as a punishment. Spraying your Schnauzer can make them wary of you at other times and you want a positive relationship with your pup. Try using "no" by itself and see if it stops the biting. If not, continue to use the spray bottle sparingly until you can say "no" and get the result you want.
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Success Stories and Training Questions

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