How to stop your dog from barking and biting All The Time
If you have a new young dog in the home, it can be a pretty exciting time for the whole family. Of course, young dogs are not uncommon these days to be given away or sold privately. The problem is that if dogs are taken away from their mothers too soon, it could lead to behavioral problems. For young dogs especially, biting behavior can be an issue under these circumstances.
Barking can also become a real issue and often has roots in anxiety and antisocial behavior. So, the question is: how to stop your dog from barking and biting?
Why Is Biting a Bad Thing?
Dogs will use their mouths to pick up things and play with other dogs. They will even “play biting” with their human family when the mood strikes them. This is a non-aggressive, controlled biting that is playful for the dog.
Biting may be a natural dog behavior in this context, but it can become a problem if the dog has learned bite inhibition from its mother. The mother dog will teach the young pups to inhibit their bites and control their aggression within the first three months. If this has not been trained effectively, the dog may engage in uncontrolled biting and aggressive behavior that needs to be curbed.
This kind of biting can be dangerous to children and dog owners. In some cases, it can become tragic. The good news is that if you have a puppy whose biting seems out of control, you still have time to curb it.
How to Stop Your Dog from Biting
Whether you have a puppy who is going through a rough patch with biting behavior or you have an older dog that has not learned to curb its biting, here are some tips on how to stop it:
Redirection Is Important
What so often works with children will also work with dogs. If your very enthusiastic and overly playful pup is doing its best to bite you, one way to deal with it is to redirect the dog’s attention to something else. Direct your dog to bite a chew toy or other more appropriate thing than your hand.
If you’re consistent with this redirection technique, you’ll be surprised at how quickly your pup learns it is supposed to bite other things rather than your hand or leg when it’s in that mood.
Make Sure You Use Your Voice
When puppies engage in regular play with each other, they learn how to control their biting when the other puppy yelps out loud. This lets the biter know it has bitten too hard and teaches the dog to curb it the next time it plays. In this sense, dog play has a surprisingly complex moral code.
In this context, if your dog is biting you, you must let it know it hurts. Just as another puppy would yelp when a bite hurts, you need to let out a sound that lets your dog know it is hurting you. By saying something like “ouch” loudly when your puppy bites, you will alert the puppy to the fact that it has hurt you. After doing this, it’s essential to step away from the play so that the dog understands that the behavior is not acceptable.
Stop Play Time
One of the most effective ways of curbing this unwanted biting behavior is to stop playing with your puppy as soon as it starts biting. Once the dog learns that you’ll walk away from the play it wants, your puppy will begin to associate this with its uncontrolled biting and curb it.
Stop What You’re Doing
Some breeds have a solid drive to herd other animals, often displayed as nipping at the feet of a person walking around the house. And they want to start playing.
If your dog is nipping at your feet every time you get up and walk around the house, you must stop and standstill. You will quickly find that your pup loses interest in nipping when your feet aren’t doing anything interesting. You can get going again when your dog calms down and stops biting.
Use the Time-Out Technique
Naughty kids are sometimes given a time-out if they act out unpleasantly. You can do the same thing with your dog.
When the play with your dog becomes rough and biting too hard, you can stop the playtime and put your dog somewhere else. Many dog owners place their puppies in a crate with chew toys when they become too rough during play. Doing this not only redirects the biting to something more appropriate but also allows your dog to calm away from you.
Consistency Is Important
Dogs need boundaries, and the best way to promote this is for everyone in the family to be consistent. If your young dog is being taught to curb biting behavior, everyone in the family needs to be on the same page. The best way to do this is to choose a few methods from the above and have everyone in the family stick to them.
Teaching young kids, in this case, is not always easy, especially if they love to run around and play with their puppy friends. In these cases, setting and supervising times when kids can play with the puppies is essential and can be helpful.
What About Barking?
Of course, this is about stopping your dog from barking and biting. We’ve learned to curb erratic and potentially harmful biting behavior, but what about barking? Why do dogs do it, and when does it become a real problem for you and others?
All dogs bark, but some bark more than others. It’s normal behavior for dogs to vocalize, but there are a lot of reasons that they might do it, including but not limited to:
- Signaling that there’s an intruder on their territory,
- Scaring off an animal or other humans,
- Being excited during play and vocalizing their pleasure,
- Experiencing fear,
- Because they are bored and are trying to soothe their boredom,
- Feelings of separation anxiety,
- Getting attention.
When Barking Becomes a Real Problem
Many breeds of dogs bark more than others, and some dog personalities are prone to more barking. It becomes a real issue when the barking is ongoing. This can wake up neighbors and cause stress in the family. This is also the kind of barking that needs to be curbed.
Advice for Stopping Your Dog from Barking
Every dog will bark at some point, but if it seems to happen a lot, and even unnecessarily, you need to address it. Here’s some sage advice for dealing with an issue that could be very annoying:
Why Is Your Dog Barking?
Given the many reasons your dog might be barking, it’s essential to get to the bottom. Is your dog looking for attention from you? Are they barking all day because it is regularly left on their own while you work? Is your dog barking because it is not going for regular walks? Does your dog seem anxious and stressed?
You are working out exactly why your dog is barking is the first step toward addressing the issue and stopping it. The critical thing to remember is that dogs always do something for a particular reason. Getting to that reason is what you need to do to work out how to stop your dog from barking and biting.
This may lead to an easy solution. For example, if you’ve worked out that your precious pooch is barking because the neighbor’s cat is often in your front yard, the easy solution would be to draw the blinds or curtains so your dog can’t see the cat.
You Could Try Ignoring It
In cases where your dog seems to be barking to get your attention, ignoring it is a good option. Like people, dogs will thrive on attention, whether positive or negative. If your dog barks and you come running every time, it will continue to bark because barking gets your attention.
The best way to stop this behavior is to ignore it. If your dog is barking incessantly to get your attention, dismiss it as best you can. This will teach your pup that you won’t come running every time it chooses to vocalize.
Furthermore, you don’t want to look at your dog or touch it. Just don’t acknowledge the dog at all. Ensure you strictly adhere to this procedure and don’t give your dog any attention until it stops barking. Your dog will quickly get the message that this is not welcome behavior.
Put Your Dog in the Mood for Rest and Sleep
Different dog breeds have different energy levels, but even the laziest dogs must be exercised every time. It’s not uncommon for particularly high-energy dogs to bark more often when they are bored. This may mean that you’re not providing enough stimulation for your dog.
In this context, the easiest way to get your dog to stop barking is to tire it out physically and mentally. Take your pup for a good long walk as often as you can. You’ll not only get fit yourself, but your dog will have a great time smelling and experiencing the world and will be less likely to bark because it is tired.
If you don’t always have the time for walks, even playing a game with your dog at home can stimulate and tire it out. Why not throw your dog’s favorite ball or play a bit of a tug of war with your pup?
Give Your Dog a Job
Most of us need to work for a living, but this can provoke excessive barking in a dog that gets bored or anxious. While you might not be able to spend as much time as you’d like to at home because of work, you can help your dog by giving it a job to do while you’re out of the house.
One way to do this is to invest in toys that give dogs physical and mental stimulation. There are unique toys that can be purchased and filled with dog treats. Your puppy must devise a clever way of dispensing the dog treats, which could take hours. These toys provide an excellent way to break the boredom and keep your dog busy while you are away.
Make Your Dog Happier
Dogs are not just here for our amusement. They are amazing animals that can understand our human body language and respond to us. As if this were not amazing enough, they also have a solid moral code of behavior when they play with each other.
Sadly, sometimes a dog will engage in behaviors that humans don’t like and biting and barking are at the top of this list as two of the most annoying. While some owners might not worry too much about these behaviors, they can be anything from annoying to harmful for many.
If you’re wondering how to stop your dog from barking and biting, the answers often revolve around a common-sense approach. Every dog barks or bites for good reasons, and it’s up to you to understand why.
Remember that addressing the issue will make your life and your dog’s life happier and healthier. Dogs will sometimes engage in these behaviors when they’re feeling stressed out, so addressing the sources of the stress can be a huge weight lifted. This is the key to stopping your dog from barking and biting.