How to Get a Dog to Stop Biting & Growling

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    • 1). Observe your dog closely to find out what is causing his aggressive behavior. Dogs rarely act aggressively just for the fun of it. Your dog's aggression has a specific trigger, and you need to find out what that is. Watch your dog's body language. What makes him stiffen, bristle, growl and bite? What are the circumstances surrounding each incident. Keep a record of these incidents until you see a pattern emerging that will tell you what is causing your dog's aggression.

    • 2). Ask a friend or family member to help you reproduce the stimulus that triggers your dog's aggression. Put your dog on a leash and stand far enough away from the stimulus that he does not respond aggressively to it. For example, if he is upset by bicycles, ask your friend to ride by repeatedly, just far enough away that your dog won't become aggressive.

    • 3). Tell your dog to sit and give him rewards when he does so. Use treats and praise to show your dog that remaining calm is a good thing. Repeat step 2, rewarding your dog for staying calm, at least 10 times (separate sessions).

    • 4). Move closer to the stimulus that triggers your dog's aggression. If your dog gets upset, ask him to sit. Reward him if he does. Keep rewarding him as long as he is calm. Do this for five to 10 minutes at each training session. When your dog stays completely calm at this distance for at least 10 sessions, you can move on.

    • 5). Take your dog closer and closer to the stimulus as he learns to stay calm. Always reward him for sitting calmly at your side rather than growling or biting. Don't move forward until your dog is consistently calm for at least 10 sessions at each distance.

    • 6). Remove the stimulus if your dog behaves aggressively and refuses to settle down. Wait a few days before trying again. When you do hold another training session, go back to the previous distance and practice a few more times before moving closer.

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