Poodle biting is a very common problem for owners of these cute and curly little dogs. The biggest problem is that most Poodle owners let the behaviour develop and continue when the dogs are puppies and they are still cute. A tiny little poodle with bows in its hair is very cute and yet it eventually grows into a larger dog with bigger teeth that will continue to bit indiscriminately.
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What Causes Poodle Biting
There is a common belief that poodles bite more often than any other dog breed, with toy poodles biting even more often than standards. In truth, Poodles that are well trained will generally not bite at all with only a slightly higher occurrence rate than any other dogs.
The reason for that slightly higher rate is commonly related to their nature – a poodle is not bred to do much of anything other than be a pet. And yet, poodles are considered to be the smartest dog breed around. Combine intellect with a lack of any strong instincts, and poodles can grow stubborn and unresponsive to basic commands if they are not properly controlled.
How to Stop Poodle Biting
Luckily, because poodles are so smart, they can be highly trained and learn that biting is not acceptable behaviour. To start with, make sure your Poodle is properly socialized as a puppy. A puppy should never be taken from its mother before 8 weeks of age – ensuring it is given the time it needs to learn not to bite and to control of its urge to show dominance.
After 8 weeks, the dog should be socialized with your family and with other puppies. Go to bite aversion classes, puppy day cares, and make sure you are very calm and welcoming to the dog. Poodle puppies should never be scolded as they are not young enough to know better and early aggression on your part can create long term behaviour problems.
If you have a poodle biting problem with a puppy, don’t allow it. Provide a toy whenever the puppy bites and make soft whimpering sounds to show the puppy that the bite hurt you. This is how other puppies would show the same behaviour.
Poodle Biting in Older Dogs
If your Poodle is older and still likes to nip or even bite people, you need to make sure you have full control of your dog. To start with, make sure you are the alpha leader. Control feeding times, walking times, and teach your dog some basic commands. Do not back down from your dog and never waffle on your commands. Additionally, avoid any games like wrestling, tug of war, or chasing that can result in biting. This will make the behaviour into a game that grabs attention.
If your Poodle shows aggressive tendencies or fear and anxiety related tendencies, take them to an obedience class where they can socialize with other dogs and be forced, in a controlled environment to address their aggression issues.
If your Poodle Biting problem persists and grows more dangerous, consider hiring an expert or even visiting your vet to rule out any potential health related causes to their biting.
Whatever you do, know that biting from your Poodle is not acceptable. Even with a toy poodle, it is a sign of greater behaviour problems under the surface that need to be dealt with immediately.