Tips To Eliminate Fear Biting In My Dog

For convenience, we will refer to your dog as “he” rather than “he or she”.

 

Dogs will bite for a variety of reasons, but we will concentrate here on one category of biting.  A dog will “fear bite” when he thinks he is cornered and that his only course of action is to fight his way out.  When this situation arises, he is frightened beyond his control and so his response is purely instinctive.  He is so distracted in this situation that he cannot even hear or respond to the calls of his owner, let alone those of the person who induced the terrifying situation in the first place.  Here are three tips to help you solve the problems which cause to a dog to bite out of fear.

 

1       Train him to understand that this response is totally unacceptable.  One way to do this is by muzzling him.  Muzzle him before taking him into any environment that you know he finds terrifying, and in which his most likely response will be to bite.  The muzzle must be designed to allow him to breathe easily and to pant, and it must be fitted in such a way that he cannot remove it.  Ensure that you get him used to wearing it, by fitting it and allowing him to experience the feel in an environment where he is comfortable.  Once he is then comfortable with its feel you can again take him for a walk to the nearby park and after that to a busier location such as the shops.  You can also use these opportunities to gradually expose him to situations you know from experience have been stressful to him.

 

2       Praise and reward him when he behaves well in a situation you know he finds stressful.  This will not only reinforce the good behaviour, but it will act as a distraction from what he finds fearful.  Aim to get him to understand that you are pleased by his good behaviour and he will gradually realise that there is no cause for concern.  As a result he will grow in confidence and this will promote effective learning.

 

3       Gradually expose him to a variety of new situations and new environments.  The purpose here is to promote positive outcomes by not keeping him locked up and thinking about the problem, but instead to provide him with settings which he will find enjoyable and entertaining.  This exposure will reduce his anxiety and hasten his recovery by allowing and assisting him to build his confidence.

 

We wish you every training success and years of enjoyment for both you and your dog.