understanding dog bites.

Some dogs do bite when they are excited. Image: Pixabay

Overjoyed and ouch! Why does my dog bite when excited?

Dogs may bite when excited due to heightened arousal levels and lack of bite inhibition, especially in stressful situations.

understanding dog bites.

Some dogs do bite when they are excited. Image: Pixabay

Does your normally sweet pup turn into a nipping ninja when playtime rolls around, or during greetings? While those sharp puppy teeth might seem harmless, excited biting can be a real concern. Thankfully, understanding the reasons behind this behaviour is the first step towards a solution.

Reasons Behind Dog Bites During Excitement

There are several reasons why your dog might resort to biting when feeling excited:

  • Misdirected Play and Dog Bites: Puppies often learn bite inhibition through play with littermates. If your dog wasn’t properly socialised with other dogs, they may not understand the difference between playful mouthing and a too-firm bite.
  • Attention-Seeking Dog Bites: Even if it’s negative attention, some dogs will nip or mouth hands or arms to get a reaction. If you unintentionally reward this behaviour by yelling or swatting them away, it can reinforce the biting.
  • Overstimulation and Dog Bites: Some dogs become overwhelmed in high-energy situations. Excited greetings, boisterous play, or even petting can trigger biting in an attempt to create space.

Calming the Canine Chew And Dog Bites

Here are some strategies to help curb your dog’s excited biting:

  • Redirect with Toys: Keep plenty of chew toys on hand and redirect your dog’s attention to these during moments of excitement. Reward them for playing with the toys instead of your hands.
  • Ignore the Dog Bite: If your dog nips during greetings, completely stop interacting with them. Turn away, stand still, and wait for them to calm down before resuming attention. This teaches them that biting results in the fun stopping.
  • Teach Bite Inhibition: Enroll your dog in a puppy training class or work with a qualified dog trainer to learn techniques for teaching bite inhibition. This involves yelping when they bite too hard during play (mimicking a littermate’s yelp) and then stopping play for a short period.
  • Manage Excitement Levels to Prevent Dog Bites: If your dog gets overly stimulated in certain situations, like greeting guests, manage their environment. Use a leash to control their movements, or have them wait in a separate room until they have calmed down.

Be Patient and Consistent When Dealing with Dog Bites

Remember, changing behaviour takes time and consistency. Be patient with your dog and stick to your training plan. Rewarding calm greetings and alternative play behaviours will help your furry friend learn to express their excitement in a more appropriate way.

When to Seek Professional Help

If your dog’s biting is accompanied by growling, snapping, or other aggressive behaviour, it’s crucial to consult a veterinarian or certified animal behaviourist to rule out any underlying medical conditions and develop a personalised training plan.

With the right approach, you can help your dog learn to express their excitement without resorting to those painful nips, making playtime, greetings, and all your interactions much more enjoyable for everyone.

Artificial Intelligence assisted in compiling this article.