Nipping and Biting Playbiting

Puppies naturally use their mouths to explore things around them but need to learn rules within the household or problems can develop.

The best way to avoid these sort of problems is to teach young puppies that any contact on skin with teeth is wrong. It may seem like fun when puppies are small but can cause problems as the dog grows and gets stronger and playful nips become mouthing and biting.

Encourage them to play with toys and don’t allow them to get over-excited stop the game before it gets too rough. If teeth come into contact with skin say No or Ah Ah and stop the game., either walk away or remove the puppy allowing it to calm down. Be consistent which goes for ALL Family Members.


Aggression falls into lots of categories and any form of aggression problem should be addressed before it becomes more difficult to handle by seeking professional help. Also consult your vet to rule out any medical problems which may cause a change in your dogs behaviour.

Dominant  Aggression – a dog that tries to take control of it’s environment including other family members.

Fear Aggression – it is normal for dogs to bite if they are EXTREMELY Frightened, but some dogs become defensive and bite even when the threat is low.

Dog on Dog Aggression – can be due to lack of socialisation or early experience with other dogs OR has had a bad experience with another dog which has caused defensive behaviour.

Idiopathic Aggression – Means FOR NO REASON when a dog becomes completely unpredictable in it’s behaviour and may even attack inaminate objects as well as family members.

Learned Aggression – if a fearful animal snaps at a person and they jump back they have just taught the dog that aggression works. A classic example is postman, postman comes, dog barks, postman goes away to the dog the behaviour works so he/she will use it again.

Maternal Aggression – hormonal changes may cause a bitch to protect her litter and display defensive behaviour.

Pain-related Aggression – a dog that is in pain may display aggressive behaviour to being touched, approached or handled.

Play Aggression – over stimulation through play or rough housing can cause dogs to lose their self control and bite.

Possessive Aggression – a dog that will refuse to give up it’s possessions such as toys or food.

Predatory Aggression – hunting behaviour whch can be more prevailent in some breeds and consists of stalking and chasing it’s prey.

Protective Aggression – constant scanning of the environment, barking and growling to threaten intruders to keep them away.

Re-directed Aggression – may happen when a dog is interupted by a third party when it is in an aroused state and bite.

Territorial Aggression – defending territory such as it’s home and garden.


Dogs can be vocal but can become a nuisance to neighbours if they are allowed to  bark continously so investigate the cause in order to prevent it.

Make sure that your dog is not left for long periods which may cause boredom  or stress, keep  down outside noise and stimulation.

Other Problems

Jumping Up
Can be caused by excitement  and attention seeking so try not to reward it by paying attention to the dog when it jumps up on you.

Young dogs and puppies will chew  so provide safe chew toys so as to prevent any chewing of furniture or shoes. Can be a  sign of stress or boredom in adult dogs, excercise your dog before leaving it for any length of time or provide hide chews or treat balls to keep them occupied.

Can be a displacement activity, boredom or just an enjoyable pass time for your dog.

Boisterous Behaviour
Discourage this by not allowing your dog to become over-aroused or excited by stopping any inter-action until the dog has calmed down.

Provide puppies or young dogs with a crate which will help teach some self control or limit access around the home. Reward toileting in appropriate places with praise and be consistent by taking them outside first thing, when they wake up or after feeding or drinking. BE PATIENT.

Destructive Behaviour in The Home
Provide chews or toys and limit access around the home, check that your dog is not stressed or bored by providing a more stimulating environment and don’t leave him/her unsupervised.

Separation Anxiety
Don’t allow your dog to follow you constantly as this can lead to separation problems when  you  have to leave your dog for any length of time.The dog may soil, chew. whine, bark or become destructive when left.

Fears and Phobias
Phobia is an abnormal or irrational fear of something can be noise or objects and can cause a dog to hide, shake, whimper, urinate, defecate, salivate, pant or run. Make sure that your dog is extensively socialised at an early age to anything that it may encounter throughout it’s life.

Car Travel
Get young dogs used to travel in the car, provide a crate or car harness to keep the dog under control and    short journeys at first. Seek advice for car travel problems.