How to Train a Dog Not to Bite Strangers
How to Train a Dog Not to Bite Strangers? (Dog Trainer Reviewed Guide)
Are you worried about the rough biting treatment your dog gives to friends and strangers? Bad vices and behaviors in dogs are fairly common in untrained dogs. Your dog needs an ample training routine to let go of the biting habits he gives to strangers.
Biting and nipping strangers can occur in dogs instinctively or due to an underlying issue such as illness. Besides, a dog who doesn’t take obedience training in early life is more prone to developing such bad habits.
Fortunately, there are ways to correct the aggressive biting nature of your dog. The resolution of this behavior starts from recognizing the underlying cause. Once the cause is understood and eliminated, you can proceed with your dog for anti-biting training sessions.
Dog Biting Strangers? Common Causes & Factors
Lack of Obedience Training
A dog can be aggressive and develop biting and nipping strangers from an early age or later in life. The foremost reason for a dog’s biting habit is a lack of training at an early age. A puppy who doesn’t have proper obedience training or has a rough life can develop this bad habit.
Besides, a puppy in the developing stage has an instinctive ability to bite and chew. That’s why the provision of chew toys and teethers is important in a puppy’s life. The habit of biting strangers can be the opposite of what in puppies.
Unfavorable Life Experiences
If a puppy has experienced psychological trauma or abuse in early life, he will have a habit of biting in defense. Such dogs have incorporated the biting habit into their nature for future life. The sudden development of such behavior in adult dogs demands further evaluation.
Your dog suddenly starts nipping strangers and may not like interacting with them. Some dogs are naturally shy and defensive and can launch that nature as soon as they interact with strangers.
Underlying Illness & Stress
An underlying disease and illness will cause a sudden shift from a calm behavior to an aggressive one. Getting aggressive at strangers is a fairly common behavior if a dog is experiencing pain and discomfort.
Almost every disease and discomfort causes dogs to feel stressed and overwhelmed. Fear is another factor that induces aggressiveness and biting issues in dogs. Therefore, to solve the mystery of why your dog starts biting strangers, proper assessment of a dog is crucial.
How to Train Your Dog Not to Bite Strangers?
Taking a stepwise approach is always beneficial to know the exact cause of a dog’s aggression. It will help you to carefully choose the right type of treatment and training to keep your dog away from nipping strangers.
Talk to a Certified Veterinarian
Visiting a veterinarian to get your dog’s behavioral assessment is always a safe way to go. The veterinarian will carefully examine the dog and make sure the cause of aggression is not pain. Certain dogs get aggressive toward strangers as soon as the person’s hand touches the painful body regions.
Apart from a physical examination, neurological assessment and discussing the past experiences of your dog are equally important. Not to mention that certain hormonal and traumatic issues can cause permanent personality changes in dogs.
Know the Triggering Events
You may see your dog’s aggressive biting behavior only at certain times or all the time. Sometimes, a certain point acts as a trigger for the biting behavior. If your dog doesn’t like any part of his normal routine such as grooming, he will try to bite everyone approaching him.
Eliminating such events or avoiding your dog from interacting with strangers during that event helps a lot. Always make sure your dog knows you’re in charge and start his obedience training to reduce his biting behavior.
Establish Your Dominance
Some dogs show aggression and biting behavior to strangers even in front of the owners. Such dogs need to be trained using different techniques including taking charge of your dog. When going outdoors with the dog, make sure your dog stays on a leash at all times.
At the same time, start the obedience training in the dog by making him obey your commands. With time, you need to teach your dog about basic ‘heel and follow’ commands so he knows you’re the leader.
Test on a Friend or an Assistant
Once your dog starts obeying the heel command in front of you, proceed by testing it on your friend. Some aggressive dogs need muzzles so your friend doesn’t experience accidental bites and injuries. While your friend approaches the dog, keep the leash tight and stay focused.
A reward in the form of tasty treats is an effective way to exert positive behavior reinforcement. However, if you notice your dog starts growling at your friend, immediately pull the leash upwards and use the command to keep the dog in control.
Expose the Dog to Strangers
Obedience training may take several weeks for you and your dog to master. The same is true for when you take help from a friend to test the given training. If you find a change in your dog’s aggressive behavior, keep the training going for several more weeks.
After your dog acclimatizes to the basic commands and reduces showing aggression, it's time to take him out for a walk. The more your dog gets exposed to the outside world under your leadership, the more positive behavior he will show.
Walk your dog in your nearest dog park on a leash and allow him to interact with strangers. Keep the meetup sessions short and take several breaks by rewarding treats for showing good behavior. You can also start behaving like you’re angry with your dog as soon as he shows any bad vice in front of strangers.
Keeping a dog calm in fearful situations is only possible through positive reinforcement. Even if your dog finds it reluctant to meet strangers, don’t lose hope and keep training him. Training a dog not to bite strangers demands patience, dedication, and a lot of delicious treats.