No one wants to have a dog that bites. Even if it is playful biting, there is always the chance that someone could get hurt. For that reason, it is important to implement training to curb that biting.
Blue heelers can be known to nip if they don’t have proper training. Here are a few steps that you can use to train your cattle dog not to bite. It will make you feel more confident and safer about having your blue heeler around other animals, people, and children.
One of the simplest ways to learn how to train a cattle dog not to bite is the time-out method. There are a few short, simple steps that can help you to show your dog the error of their ways and to stop biting altogether.
When they bite, grab them by the collar and take them out of the room. Don’t yell at them; yelling will only scare them. Just take them out of the room and to a place where there are no toys or stimulants before closing the door.
Give them 30 seconds of quiet time. This is the period where they will learn that their behavior isn’t okay. When that 30 seconds have expired, open the door and let them join you again.
Should the dog bite again, follow the same method. Instead of leaving them in there for 30 seconds, this time, up it to 60 seconds. The more they do it, keep adding 30 seconds to their sentence.
For gentle play, make sure that you reward them. Make sure that you use a quiet, calm voice and pet them to keep them calm. Should they remain calm, introduce another treat to use positive reinforcement of their behavior.
Keep reinforcing these steps until you are confident that they won’t bite anymore. When you are fully confident that they won’t bite, you can then start introducing them to public spaces like parks and dog parks.
Another way that you can learn how to train a cattle dog not to bite is the environment method. Sometimes cattle dogs bite because they are bored. Since they are an energetic breed, they act out if they don’t get the necessary stimulation. Make sure that they are getting plenty of exercise. Walks are great, as is playing with them.
It is also important that you have a space for the dog to escape to, primarily when children are involved. Like humans, dogs need to have their own private space. Giving them a bed or their own room can provide just that.
Make sure to give them puzzles to play with. There are toys or food puzzles available that can be quite effective. It redirects their need to chew, particularly if you are dealing with a puppy. This is a great way to keep them distracted for hours at a time.
Playing with them is crucial as well. Activity is fine and well, but you can strengthen the bond that the two of you share with a little bit of playing. It is also crucial that you don’t get them too worked up as they can bite when they are overstimulated.
It is important to note that this method only works if your dog has already been through a basic level obedience class. Though it is not impossible for them to take to the commands, they will do better if they’ve already had some level of training.
If you haven’t practiced commands in a while—such as leave it, heel, or down—then start with the basics again. Sit and down are important to re-establish. From there, you can move into some of the more complicated commands.
Work your way back to practicing “leave it” and “down” once again. Knowing what they mean can discourage a dog from wanting to bite you. This is because they know what will happen when that action takes place.
Just make sure that you react whenever you issue a command. That is crucial in helping change their mindset from biting to listening to the command. Before long, you can get those commands ingrained in them so that they have a natural reaction to them. Just make sure that others in the house are on board with that method as well.
Should you deter the dog from biting, make sure to reward them as well. The goal is to get them to understand that good things will happen if they don’t bite you. Praise and treats are the positive reinforcement that dogs thrive on, allowing you to create a better listener. With more training, you can implement more difficult commands as you move on to help teach them other things.
The last thing any pet owner wants to do is to deal with is a biting dog. Some breeds are more prone to nipping and biting than others. The good news is that, with some proper training, you can ensure that your dog doesn’t bite anymore.
Ensuring that your dog doesn’t bite is important. You want to feel safe with your dog and know that they are not a threat to potentially bite a stranger, their child, or their pet.