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How to Break a Dog of Biting

| Updated September 26, 2017

Things You'll Need

  • Dog toys

  • Dog treats

  • Drag lead (short four foot leash)

Dogs bite when playing, out of excitement, when they want attention or when displaying aggressive behavior. Dog biting is usually common in puppies, but should be stopped before the puppy becomes and adult. A dog who excessively bites is not only annoying, but can become a potential issue within a home with children. As a pet owner, it's important to teach your dog not to bite in order to keep people safe.

Enroll your dog in an obedience training course. If you have a puppy, you can help stop the behavior before it becomes worse.

Discover why your dog is biting. According to Go Pets America, a dog may bite out of exhaustion, because he wants to play or he needs to relieve himself. Take a walk with your dog, go swimming or hiking.

Say "No," firmly when your dog begins to bite your fingers or toes. Offer a dog toy to distract your dog from biting you.

Pet your dog if she begins to nibble. If your dog continues the behavior, grab her collar and say "No." Continue the process until your dog stops biting. Reward her by saying "Good girl," and offer a treat when she stops biting.

Ignore your dog if necessary. Isolate yourself from your dog if she bites, as recommended by Family Education. Within a few minutes, resume interaction with your dog. However, if your dog continues to bite, isolate yourself until your dog stops biting.

Teach your children how to behave around your dog. A dog who feels threatened by tiny, pulling hands will react with biting.

Put a drag lead on your dog when around your children. When biting occurs, firmly hold the leash and say "No." If necessary, wrap your hand around your dog's muzzle.


  • Try imitating a dog's growl to show your displeasure with your dog. This works with puppies.


  • Never push your dog away if he bites. This will encourage him to play rough with you.

    Don't automatically discipline your dog when she bites. She needs to develop a trusting relationship with you.

    Try not to play tug-of-war games with your dog. Dogs are naturally competitive and your dog may feel the need to become aggressive.