Poodle biting is a common problem for the owners (and victims) of these little cute and curly dogs.
The biggest concern is that most Poodle owners allow the behavior to develop while the dogs are still puppies and are still cute and adorable. Although whenever you look at a tiny poodle with bows in its hair you can’t help but think it’s cute, it will eventually grow up into a much larger dog with bigger and sharper teeth that is used to biting indiscriminately. It’s like keeping a ticking bomb in your house.
What Causes Poodle Biting
It’s a common misconception that Poodles in general bite more often than the other dog breeds, with toy poodles biting the most often. Actually, well-trained Poodles will not bite at all, and if ever they do, it’s only slightly more often than other dogs.
There is a reason for Poodles’ slightly higher biting rate, and it’s commonly related to their nature – Poodles aren’t bred to do much of anything more than just being pets. And yet, Poodles are thought to be the smartest dog breed around. Their intellect combined with the lack of any strong instincts, can make Poodles grow stubborn and unresponsive to even the basic commands if they aren’t controlled properly.
How to Stop Poodle Biting
Fortunately, since Poodles are smart, they can be highly trained to learn that biting is not an acceptable behavior. For starters, while your Poodle is still a puppy, make sure he is properly socialized. A puppy younger than 8 weeks old should never be taken away from its mother – this is to make sure that it has time it needs to learn not to bite, and to control his urge to assert dominance.
Past 8 weeks, the puppy should be exposed to and socialized with your family and with other puppies. You can also go to bite aversion classes and puppy day cares. Make sure to be very calm and welcoming to the puppy. Never scold Poodle puppies as they are not yet old enough to know any better and displaying aggression early on your part can help create long-term behavior problems in your dog.
If you encounter Poodle biting problems with a puppy, put a stop to it. Make soft whimpering sounds to let your puppy know his bites hurt, and give him a toy to bite on instead of your hand (or other body part). Other puppies would show the same behavior this way.
Poodle Biting in Older Dogs
When your Poodle gets older and still likes to nip or even bite people occasionally, check again if you still have full control of your dog. Dogs have a pack mentality, so make sure you are the alpha leader. You should always be in control of his feeding times and walking times Start teaching your dog some basic commands as soon as you can. Never back down from your dog, ever. And never waver on your commands, always be consistent. Additionally, stay away from games that can result in biting like wrestling, tug of war, or chasing. This will turn their negative behavior into an attention-grabbing game, which they might think is fun.
If your Poodle displays aggressive tendencies, or fear and anxiety–based tendencies, it’s a good idea to take them to an obedience class. There they can learn to socialize with other dogs where they can be trained to address their aggression issues in the safety of a controlled environment.
If your Poodle Biting problem continues or worsens, it might be best to consider hiring an expert or see your vet to check for any potential health-related causes to the problem.
Always remember that biting from your Poodle, or any dog for that matter, is not acceptable. Biting is a sign of greater underlying behavior problems and these need to be dealt with immediately.