The dog’s bite inhibition is by no means an innate ability, but can be learned by the puppy in a time window of approximately between the 4th and 16th week. The learning of the bite inhibition, i.e. the ability to control the strength of one’s own bite, usually takes place playfully by romping around and bellows with the siblings. During the game, jack russell terrier speed the puppies pinch and bite each other, and those who bite too hard will be punished with a counterattack or the end of the game. The dog mother also signals the puppy by averting or reprimanding him when he has gone too far. In this way, the young dog learns to control its bite intensity.
Why is it important to learn bite inhibition?
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Compared to humans, the puppy must also learn when the bite is too strong, after all, it can cause considerable damage to people and especially children with his teeth. The dog must therefore gently use its biting ability towards humans and conspecifics, which is also referred to as “soft mouth”. In practice, this means that the dog owner must set clear boundaries for the puppy so that he learns where the human pain threshold is in play.
If the puppy learns not to control the bite inhibition in the mentioned time window, it is very time-consuming and laborious to teach him this in the following. In order for the puppy to optimally develop the bite inhibition, it is important that he has regular contact with other dogs in the dog school, for example, and that humans train with him. Training in this case means not only controlling the intensity of the bite, but also teaching the puppy what he is allowed to nibble on and bite on and which objects or body parts are taboo.
Teaching the puppy to bite inhibition – tips
To show the dog that he has become too wild in the game and has bitten too hard, you should immediately cancel the game and leave the room. Thus, the puppy learns that the game is over when he uses his teeth in the game. For puppies unwilling to learn, you can also use the muzzle handle, ideally with a signal word. If the dog bites, grabs him over the catch and at the same time says, for example, “taboo”. The dog mother also uses the muzzle handle if the puppy has crossed a border. After several repetitions of the muzzle grip with the signal word, the dog has understood that he has shown an undesirable behavior and you can only use the signal word below to regulate it.
Controlling bite inhibition when dealing with children
Especially in families with children, it is essential that the dog has a good bite inhibition and learns to deal with children in such a way that he does not hurt them. This is not necessarily an easy task for you as a dog owner, because the dog does not see children up to about the age of seven as higher ranks, but considers them as puppies that are strictly handled in the wolf pack. For this reason, the handling of dogs and smaller children requires constant supervision, which intervenes immediately when crossing borders. This applies to the dog as well as to the child. In addition, it makes sense to slowly get the dog used to the fact that the petting of the lefzen, the rod or the ears by the child does not represent a border crossing.
Basically, the following always applies: No dog bites without a reason! Therefore, close observation of the dog, but also of one’s own behavior is indispensable for a harmonious coexistence of man and dog.
Bite inhibition exercises for dogs and children
First, get the dog used to letting you pet the legs, ears, or rod. If he allows these touches from you as a matter of course, you can practice these cuddles together with your child. Teach your child that he does not approach the dog hectically, but handles him carefully and does not frighten him or become rough in the game, otherwise the risk increases that he defends himself with a bite, or the child wants to regulate with it. Basically, training in bite inhibition is to be carried out only by adults, since the dog does not consider small children as adults.
Panic biting due to stress and anxiety
Many dogs respond to stress with anxiety and show this as a last resort by biting. The anxiety-inducing situation can be triggered by a person little known to the dog, who harasses the dog by touching and petting over the head, but young rat terrier puppy also by unsettling situations to which the dog is not used, such as staying in a crowd. In such situations, it is important to identify the anxiety trigger, defuse the situation and train such stressful situations through targeted desensitization. As a result, the dog learns to deal better with stressful situations.
If your dog is a panic-biter, you should also make sure that he has a quiet retreat and a feeding place where he is undisturbed. Especially important for such dogs: Get help from a professional and train regularly.
Bite to rise in rank
Among dogs, crossing the boundaries in the pack is immediately clarified by biting and the order of precedence is retained. The same applies to the ranking of a dog within a human family: Here, too, the dog should always know what rank it has and what rules apply to it. This requires a certain authority, which is completely normal for the dog. If within the family each family member has his assigned place and fixed prohibitions and concessions are the order of the day, the dog will not try to reach a higher rank. But if he is given concessions beyond his rank, he will try to rise in the hierarchy by biting.