Puppies spend a lot of time playing, chewing, and checking out different things. Puppies use their mouths and their sharp canine teeth to do all of these normal dog activities.
When puppies play with their owners, they often bite their ankles and legs, as well as mouthing on their hands, limbs, and clothing.
When your puppy is already 7 weeks old, this kind of behavior might be cute, but when he’s three or four months old and getting bigger every day, it’s not cute anymore as their bite gets stronger each day.
To stop your dog biting your ankles, continue reading down below!
How to Stop Dog Biting Your Ankles
It’s important to stop your dog biting your leg even if you are just playing. There are many ways to stop a dog biting your foot effectively.
The goal is to get your puppy to stop biting and mouthing people permanently. But the first and most important goal is to teach him that people’s skin is very sensitive, so he needs to be very careful when he uses his mouth on them.
A Guide On How To Stop A Dog From Biting Your Ankles
Does your dog bite on your leg when you are walking together? You should train him with bite inhibition.
Bite inhibition means that a dog is able to control how hard he bites. A puppy or dog that hasn’t learned not to bite people doesn’t know how sensitive human skin is, so even when playing, your dog bites your feet aggressively.
Some behaviorists and trainers think that if a dog knows how to use his mouth gently with people, he will be less likely to bite strongly and tear skin if he ever bites someone for reasons other than play, like when he is scared or hurt.
1. Socialize Your Dog More Often
Dog nipping at ankles during play or walk would be too annoying for you as an owner. So socialize them when they are still young. Most of the time, puppies learn not to bite when they play with other puppies.
When a group of puppies play, they chase each other, jump on each other, and fight. Puppies also constantly bite each other.
A puppy will sometimes bite his playmate too aggressively. When it bites someone, it hurts so much that they usually yelp and stop playing.
The person doing the wrong thing is often startled by the yelp and stops playing for a moment. But soon enough, both friends are back in the game.
When puppies play with other puppies in this way, they learn to control how hard they bite so that no one gets hurt and the play can go on without stopping.
When it comes to being kind, puppies may learn from one other, but they can also learn it from their owners.
2. Show Pain When Your Dog Bites
If your dog keeps biting your leg during walk then let your puppy bite until he bites really hard. When he does, let your hand go limp and let out a high-pitched yelp as if you were hurt.
This should scare your puppy and stop him from biting you, at least for a little while. If yelling doesn’t stop your dog from biting, you can say “Bad!” or “Ouch!” in a firm voice. If your puppy stops or licks you, praise it or give some treats.
Continue doing what you were doing before. If your puppy bites you again, let out another yelp. You should not do these steps more than three times in 15 minutes. If yelling doesn’t work, you can try a time-out.
Time-outs are often a great way to stop puppies from biting. When your puppy bites you hard, let out a loud yelp. Take your hand away if he leaps and looks at you or around.
For 10 to 20 seconds, either ignore him or get up and go away if he begins chatting to you again. Return to your puppy and entice him to play with you again after a brief time-out.
It’s critical that you instill in him the concept that play that isn’t hurtful continues. Have fun with your puppy until he starts biting hard again. When he does, do what was said above again.
When your puppy stops giving really hard bites, you can make the rules a little stricter. Demand that your puppy be even more gentle. When you get a bite that isn’t too hard, you should yelp and stop playing.
Keep yelling at your puppy and then ignoring him or putting him in time out when he bites you hard.
As they fade, repeat for his next-hardest bites, and so on, until your puppy is able to play with your hands very softly, modulating the power of his mouthing such that you feel little or no pressure at all.
Watch this video for ideas on how to finally stop your dog from biting your ankles and feet.
Teaching Your Dog That Biting Hurts
Have you experienced before a dog biting your feet? You may want to read these effective tips below:
- When your puppy tries to chew on your fingers or toes, give it a toy or a bone to chew on instead.
- When people stroke, pat, or scratch their hands, puppies often put their mouths on them (unless they’re tired or distracted).
If petting your puppy makes him crazy, distract him by giving him small treats with the other hand. This is to ensure that your dog is comfortable being touched without him biting.
- Instead of wrestling and rough play with your hands, try games like fetch and tug-of-war where you don’t touch each other.
Once your puppy knows how to safely play tug, keep tug toys in your pocket or where they are easy to get to. If he starts to lick you, you can quickly get his attention back on the tug toy. He should start to think ahead and look for a toy when he wants to chew.
- If your dog bites your legs when walking, keep his favorite tug toy in your pocket. When he sneaks up on you, stop moving your feet right away.
Bring out the tug toy and wave it around to attract them. When your dog snatches the toy, start moving again.. If you don’t have the toy, just stop moving and wait until your puppy stops biting you. When he stops, praise him and get him a toy as a reward.
Repeat these steps until your puppy can watch you move around without trying to bite your feet or ankles.
- Give your puppy a lot of new and interesting toys to play with so he or she won’t chew on you or your clothes.
- Give your puppy lots of chances to play with other puppies and adult dogs that are friendly and up-to-date on their shots.
Playing with other dogs and getting to know them is important for your puppy’s development. It is less likely that he will play rough with you if he burns off his energy playing with the other pups.
- Consider putting your puppy in a good puppy class, where he can play with other puppies and learn important new skills while being watched.
- Use a time-out procedure like the one above, but change some of the rules. Give him a time-out every time you feel his fangs on your skin, not just when he bites hard.
Give a high-pitched yelp as soon as your puppy’s teeth touch you. Then walk away from him right away.
You should ignore your dog for at least 30 seconds up to 1 minute before you play with him again.
If your puppy keeps following you or biting and nipping at you, leave the room for 30 to 60 seconds. (Make sure the room is safe for your puppy before you leave it alone there. Don’t leave him in a place where he could hurt himself or break something.)
After the short break, go back into the room and continue what you were doing with your puppy in a calm way.
You can also keep your puppy on a leash during time-out training and let it drag on the floor when you’re around to watch him. Then, when your puppy bites you, you don’t have to leave the room.
Instead, you can grab his dog leash and guide him to a quiet place, tie him up, and turn your back on him for the short time-out. Then you should untie him and go back to what you were doing.
- If a time-out doesn’t work or isn’t possible, you could try a taste deterrent.
Before you play with your puppy, spray the parts of your body and clothes that he likes to chew on. Stop moving and wait for him to respond to the bad taste of the deterrent if he tries to taste you or your clothes.
When he lets go of you, give him a lot of praise. For at least two weeks, put the bad taste on your body and clothes. If you give your puppy a bitter taste every time he mouths you for two weeks, he will probably stop mouthing you.
- Always be understanding and patient with your dog. Puppies and young dogs often mouth each other when they play.
Mouthing problems can be hard to deal with, so don’t be afraid to hire a Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT). A CPDT will give you and your dog lots of help with mouthing through group or private classes.
Why Do Dogs Aim For Our Legs?
The following are some of the reasons why dogs like biting at your ankles and legs:
Why do certain dogs seem to take pleasure in biting after people’s trouser legs?
1. Your legs are the part of your body that are most accessible. The reputation of being an ankle-biter is particularly widespread among little dogs, which is not surprising given their size; after all, the legs are the most accessible part of the body!
2. The dog is looking for attention or to be in charge. It’s possible that when it’s aimed towards members of the family, it’s the dog’s way of playing, getting attention, or controlling who comes and goes from the home.
3. The dog is trembling with fear. It may be fear-based if it is aimed against those who are unfamiliar. But how could it possibly be fear if the dog is actively attacking!?
4. You have supported and promoted this conduct without even realizing it. It is quite possible that the dog saw that whenever he approached near those legs, the human automatically stepped away, which encouraged the dog to continue with this behavior.
5. The dog seems to believe that this is a great game. In the same way that other dogs chase balls, bikes, runners, and squirrels, certain tiny dogs may attack legs out of their predatory drive just because it is fun.
This behavior is similar to how other dogs may attack smaller animals.
Puppies engage in this behavior simply because they find it to be an enjoyable pastime, particularly if you keep moving while he maintains his grasp on your trouser legs. “Let’s play some tug of war!”
General Safety Measures
To get your puppy to play, don’t wave your fingers or toes in his face or slap the sides of his face. If you do these things, your puppy might want to bite your hands and feet.
Don’t make your puppy less likely to play with you in general. Playing together strengthens the bond between a dog and his family. You should show your puppy how to play gently instead of not at all.
When your puppy mouths, don’t pull your hands or feet away. This will make him want to run up to you and grab you. It works much better to let your hands or feet go limp so they’re not fun to play with.
When you slap or hit puppies for playing with their mouths, they may bite harder. In response, they usually play more aggressively.
Physical punishment is another way to make your puppy afraid of you, and it can even make the puppy really mean. Don’t shake your puppy by the scruff, hit him on the nose, stick your fingers down his throat, or do anything else that might hurt or scare him.
If your dog bites your ankles when leaving, then that must mean he is suffering from separation anxiety. Do not punish him if he does so, instead, give him some toys and treats before leaving.
When Does Dog Biting Become Aggression?
Most of what a puppy does when it mouths is normal. But some puppies bite because they are scared or angry, and this kind of biting can be a sign of future aggression problems.
Puppies sometimes throw tantrums when they are upset. Dog biting your ankles and growling can be a sign of your dog throwing tantrums. Usually, a puppy throws a fit when you make him do something he doesn’t want to.
Even something as simple as holding your puppy still or touching his body could make him upset. Play can also make kids have temper tantrums. Even friendly puppies can throw fits when they’re too excited or upset to play.
It must be the reason why your dog bites your ankles when excited . Distinguishing between a puppy tantrum and fun mouthing might be a challenge.
Most of the time, a puppy who is playing will have a calm body and face. His nose might look wrinkled, but his facial muscles are not very tense.
When your dog is throwing a tantrum, he may seem frozen or rigid. He could pull back his lips to show his teeth or grunt. Almost always, when he bites, it hurts a lot more than when he mouths during play.
Don’t yelp like you’re hurt if you’re holding or handling your puppy and he starts to act up. If you do that, your puppy might keep being aggressive or get even worse at it.
Instead, try to stay very calm and not get upset. Don’t hurt your puppy, but keep holding him firmly without squeezing until he stops struggling, if you can.
After he has been quiet for a second or two, you can let him go. Then make plans to get help from a trained professional.
Your puppy won’t just stop biting when it gets angry if it does it over and over again, so you should look at its behavior and fix it as soon as possible.
Dog biting your ankles can be a big problem in the future if you will tolerate it. A trained professional can help you figure out if your puppy’s mouthing is normal or not, and they can also show you how to treat the problem.
If you think your puppy’s biting is a sign of aggression or fear, talk to a professional dog behaviorist to help solve your problem. They are trained how to handle problems like this so rest assured that your dog will stop this biting behavior eventually.
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