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Dr Scott Nimmo
Dr Scott Nimmo, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 20379
Experience:  BVMS, MRCVS. { Glasgow UK }
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I have a 10 week old bulldog. How can I TELL IF SHE IS VICIOUS.

Resolved Question:

I have a 10 week old bulldog. How can I TELL IF SHE IS VICIOUS. she bites hard... out of control when playing.. Also when do i put a collar on her..
Submitted: 7 years ago via Answerly.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr Scott Nimmo replied 7 years ago.
Thanks for the question.

In direct answer to your question : What you are describing, biting and aggressive behaviour while your Bulldog pup is playing is something you do see from time to time in any breed, it may not mean a bad temperament just a need for training and as your dog is still very young you have time to sort it out. I have often advised clients at my clinic on this subject in the past and the following is from a practice hand out I put together. I hope it is of some use to you ....

Bite Inhibition is one of the most important things your puppy must learn to become a well-trained, respectable dog. Bite inhibition is a learned response in which your dog will consciously inhibit the full force of his biting ability. Without learning bite inhibition a dog from a large breed could severely injure or even possibly kill another dog or even a child. Puppies learn bite inhibition during the socialisation of nursing and playing. If a puppy bites while nursing the mother dog will get up and walk away. If the puppy bites too hard while playing with his litter mates, the bitten puppy will yelp and stop playing with the biting puppy. This teaches the puppy that all playing must stop if he bites too hard.

A puppy should learn bite inhibition by the time she is four and a half months of age. Since many puppies are taken from their mothers and other litter mates before this time, it becomes necessary for the new owners to take over the role of teaching bite inhibition. When you are teaching your puppy bite inhibition treat him as his mother and his litter mates would. When she bites too hard, get up and walk away, make sure she knows that when he bites too hard all play must stop.

Some ideas you can use to teach bite inhibition are :

Sit down and start playing with your puppy and bring his attention to your hands. When your puppy starts to bite your hands too hard say “Ow” firmly and stop playing and stop all interaction. Do not look at your puppy but avert your eyes to the side away from your pup she needs to know that you are serious about stopping the play. Make sure that your response is short and firm, if you whine or wince your puppy may think that you are still playing and you have defeated your purpose. After some time has passed, face your pup again and offer your hand if s he tries to bite again, repeat the process.

If your puppy is just nipping at you or your clothes you can offer a toy to chew on, if she is not interested in the toy but keeps on nipping, you should withdraw all attention, you can even walk away. As you practice this, your puppy should be using less and less pressure as she is playing with you. Your first goal should be to inhibit the force of her bite and then to reduce the frequency of his bite. If she is never allowed to use even a light bite, when faced with a situation of stress she will probably react with a overly strong bite and could hurt someone unintentionally.

Bite Inhibition is an important part of training and socializing your dog. It is easier to teach a puppy bite inhibition but even older dogs can learn with some patience and good training.

If I have not covered your question fully enough or you would like to ask more I will be online for the next hour or so and I will be at your disposal.

Scott Nimmo BVMS MRCVS
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I want to Know if is possible that a puppy can be viscious.. and not be trainable.
Expert:  Dr Scott Nimmo replied 7 years ago.
Hello again,

With time and patience the majority of dogs will be trainable and become well adapted as they get older. However I have to say that now and then in my career I have encountered dogs which were just born bad and nothing could be done with them, this thankfully is rare.

At ten weeks of age your pup ,is still very young so there is a good chance you can sort things out ...


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