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When an owner welcomes a dog into their home, a common behavioural problem that occurs is play biting.  Dogs who play bite can hurt people; puppies are renowned with their sharp pin like teeth to cause pain whereas bigger dogs who play bite can scare the owners as well as hurt them.

A dog play bites to instigate a game but quite often a persons attempts to stop the game with pushing or raising their voice are seen as ‘playing back’. The dog in each case is testing the boundaries to see what she can or cannot get away with. The owners communication is vital to be clear in order to get the message across that the game is not welcome.

Discouraging play biting with isolation 

To make it completely clear you do not wish to engage in the ‘game’, each time your dog play bites you, take the by the collar and isolate them in another room. When isolating the dog, do not speak or look at them. The idea is to use your body language to make the message clear and calm that this behaviour will not be tolerated.  When the dog is in isolation their state will calm and this will give them an opportunity to think about the consequence of their actions. When the dog is calm let them out and go back to your original spot. If your dog comes over and attempts to carry on with the play biting , repeat the method again.

You instigate the game and decide the rules

Once the dog is calm and has left you alone, then you can teach them a desired response by calling them into your space and show them what is allowed for example cuddling or light playing. If they then again become too excitable and bite, repeat the method until they realise they took it too far.

In this scenario of isolating each time the dog bites, someone has to give up, do not let it be you. I have had a severe case  where I have had to isolate a dog over forty times in one day. Eventually they got the message but this particular dog was extremely tenacious. The dog in question was a Golden Retriever so breed really has nothing to do with it. Rather it is about action and your reaction – And your reaction should always be calm, convincing and consistent with never giving up and you cannot fail.

If your dog has any behavioural issues contact the dog training in London team now.

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