Preventing Dog Bites: Three Effective Training Techniques

golden retriever dog

Puppies are irresistibly cute and have a soft fur that’s delightful to pet, but their bites can pack a surprising punch if they decide to nip at you. It’s commonly held that dogs are naturally social creatures, a notion we find ourselves in agreement with. Nevertheless, even the friendliest dog breeds can display signs of aggression.

Every year, about 4.5 million people sustain a dog bite, according to the World Health Organization. Some studies reveal that dog bites are responsible for 76 to 94% of animal bite injuries. That’s a whopping number.

Some of these bites are nothing except a minor nip, but many dog bite injuries are serious, requiring medical attention. An estimated 59,000 people die from rabies, a dog-mediated infection, every year. Irrespective of whichever state you live in the U.S., the law allows dog bite victims to recover damages related to their injuries. This takes a significant toll on the finances of pet parents.

To ensure you don’t end up in such a situation, here are some strategies for successfully training your Fido not to bite:

#1 Give Your Fido Chew Toys

A pup biting or snapping isn’t an anomaly, but managing its aggressive behavior is necessary. You can offer your Fido chew toys to prevent it from biting your hands.

Adult canine teeth start growing when a pup is 12 to 16 weeks old. As its gums are a bit sore during this period, you’ll see them chewing on objects increasingly. Thus, your puppy might start nipping or biting your hands.

Keep a chew toy handy so that you can offer it to your furry friend whenever it nips or bites your hand. Go for teething toys because they are crafted of soft plastic, so they won’t hurt your puppy’s teeth, neither baby nor incoming adult teeth. These also ease sore gums.

Stock on stuffed toys, rope toys, rubber balls, as well as other soft toys. Show your pooch a toy, move it, or roll it around to encourage it to play. Shower your furry friend with praise whenever it grabs onto it.

But stop moving your hands immediately or showing resistance if it grasps your hands or clothes. Instead, cease playing and leave the room. Your pooch will, thus, learn that you won’t play with it every time it bites you. Pretty soon, your Rover will understand that biting toys is more fun than biting your hands.

#2 Engage in a Training Session

Regardless of breed, all dogs bite, but some are more predisposed to biting. Their bite is more concerning because they snap with intensity. Forbes’ recent findings reveal pit bulls to be the breed that commits the most dog attacks. Some pitbull attacks are so fatal that they turn into serious injury or result in death. Rottweilers, German Shepherds, Chihuahuas, and Terriers are other breeds involved in bite incidents.

Adolescent dogs and puppies are more prone to rough play than adult canines. While watching your Fido engage in excitable play can be fun, it can misinterpret your signals and consider roughhousing acceptable.

In the majority of dog bite cases, children are most commonly bitten by a canine owned by a family member. The American Medical Veterinary Association asserts that most dog attacks in children occur while interacting with familiar canines and during everyday activities.

Failing to take reasonable precautions can cost you a lot. Loewy Law Firm explains that a dog owner’s negligence leading to a bite injury can cause them to pay for the victim’s medical bills and other losses. That means you can be held liable for the injuries if your Fido bites anyone, even if the wound is minor.

Canines, especially puppies, often bite or nip when they are bored or want to play. You can use this opportunity to train your puppy to stop nipping or biting. Keep treats handy, though.

Anytime your puppy starts nipping at you excitingly or simply to play, yelp to show your pooch you’re hurt. Then, let your hand go limp. This will startle your dog, and it will stop mouthing you momentarily. Praise them by offering treats and resume play.

Yelp again if it snaps your hand. Your Fido will learn that biting too hard will result in the cessation of the play. Thus, it will learn bite inhibition, i.e., it will learn to use its teeth gently.

#3 Try Socialization Classes

Well-socialized canines are confident. They know how to navigate the world without fear. They don’t consider strangers a threat, nor are they troubled by the loud noises. That is why socialization is important for puppies.

A dog’s socialization phase begins as early as three weeks. Thus, you should introduce your Fido to new places and situations as soon as possible. Enroll it in puppy socialization classes, where it will learn bite inhibition and reading other dogs’ body language. These classes also teach puppies how to communicate with similarly aged canines, as well as appropriate and inappropriate behaviors.

dog with open mouth


To sum things up, tackling aggressive behaviors in dogs is challenging. While aggression cannot be cured overnight, you can train your dog with Fido to not bite. Start training your pup not to bite as early as you bring it home. Otherwise, you will have to deal with a pooch whose bite could be hard enough to cause abrasions, bruising, and punctures.

However, if all else fails, call in a professional dog trainer. They will correct your dog’s behavior.

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