Stop Retriever Biting

A Retriever that bites is a serious threat to you and your family and should never be tolerated, so it is important to stop retriever biting as soon as possible.

stop retriever bitingRetrievers are not normally aggressive animals, so biting might signal another problem which requires investigation, training and management.

Stop Retriever Biting In a Puppy

The best time to stop a biting issue is in the puppy stage. Many people assume that puppy biting is harmless because the dog is too small to do any real damage. The problem here is that it becomes a habitual response which could be dangerous when they get older.

  • Consistency. Always consider behavior in light of the adult dog. If biting would be unacceptable in the adult, then it is just as unacceptable in the puppy. If you allow it one day and then decide not to allow it the next, the dog will just be confused, so start as you mean to go on.
  • Think like a dog. If a puppy bites his siblings or mother, he soon finds out it is unacceptable. You can react in the same way be yelping loudly and then ignoring your puppy. If you keep doing this every time he bites he should get the message. Teach everyone in the family to react the same way.
  • Substitution and distraction. Retriever puppies have an irresistible need to bite and chew something, so make sure your dog has plenty of alternatives to your fingers and socks. If your puppy bites something of yours, simply say a firm “no” and substitute one of his toys.
  • Training. Start training your puppy straight away using positive reinforcement for good behavior and withdrawing attention for bad behavior.  Retrievers thrive on love and attention so use that to full advantage.
  • Be the pack leader. Retriever need firm leadership as it is part of their instinctive pack mentality. They understand concepts like submissiveness and dominance and are most comfortable when these roles are clearly defined. If you establish these properly you will be able to stop retriever biting much more easily.

Stop Retriever Biting in an Adult dog

An adult Retriever dog that bites is a much more serious matter and more difficult to get under control, but not impossible.

  • Ruling out illness or pain. Get your Retriever dog checked out by a vet to make sure there is nothing amiss. He might be in pain or have some other problem.
  • Insecurity and fear. Biting might be due to nervousness
  • Consider professional help. Find a trainer to help you redefine the roles. If your Retriever adult dog bites to show his dominance and to get you in line, he is only playing out the role he thinks he must fulfill. Your job is to establish the proper pecking order so that your dog can relax and allow you to take over.

Most behavioral problems in dogs can be overcome when the owner has a better understanding of how dogs think. Stop retriever biting by forming a good relationship with your dog from the start.