There are some common misconceptions that float around about nipping. Ideas that are used to excuse away poor bite inhibition or inappropriate behaviours. We wanted to clear the air about a few of these misconceptions:
Myth: My puppy is biting because he is teething
Fact: Puppies bite as a way of playing and communicating. If your puppy is biting, it’s because they think it’s a fun way to interact with you. It has nothing to do with teething
Myth: My dog would never bite
Fact: All dogs will bite! They all have individual thresholds that dictate when they’ve reached their limits. One dog may have a trigger to bite within a second of a child appearing. Another dog may tolerate a lot from children before he snaps, but it is a FACT that every dog will bite given the right set of circumstances. In a situation where a dog is frightened, they will either fight or flee. If the option is not available to flee, they will fight. If a dog is protecting resources or feeling assertive, they will bite. Good bite inhibition can be taught to any dog to help build higher thresholds.
Myth: It was an accident. He didn’t mean it
Fact: Dogs have an amazing ability to control the accuracy of their mouths and teeth. When they bite, they either mean to or are being careless. They are very capable of being delicate with their teeth to do no harm
Myth: It was my fault. I got him too excited
Fact: It is the dogs responsibility to control their mouths. Teaching good bite inhibition is a critical step in the education of a young dog. You should be able to play, even rambunctiously, with your dog and not be bitten because of it.
Myth: I should not have approached him while he was chewing his bone
Fact: Dogs must be taught to accept you approaching whether they are chewing something valuable or eating. Growling or biting is simply not acceptable. If your dog growls when you approach, find a qualified behaviourist to help you address the issue so you can ensure all are safe around the dog.
Dogs are dogs! We don’t need to make excuses for their poor behaviour, we need to teach them better behaviour! It’s easier than you may think.