Behavior Tip of the Month
Biting Departing Guests: A Happy ENDing
Our dog is fine when people come into our house. The problem is when guests turn around to leave. "Max" tries to bite them from behind. It's scary and horribly embarrassing. Please help us.
Although this seems like your dog hates your friends, he's probably afraid of or reacting to the movements away from him. It's important not to punish, since that would increase your dog's fear and reactivity.
Rather, try the following steps:
1. Invite friends over to practice "guest behaviors" of entering and leaving your house.
2. Only lightly feed your dog on the days of your practice sessions.
3. Prepare super, wonderful treats, such as hot dogs or chicken.
4. Greet your "guests" at the door, and have them throw some treats in back of your dog.
5. Before your friends leave, put your pup on leash.
6. When your "guests" stand up to leave, you throw the food treats behind your K-9. Max needs to turn away from the departing guests to eat the treats.
7. When he begins to turn away from departing guests on his own, anticipating his treats, go on to step 8.
8. This time, as your friends leave, they should throw the treats over the dog's head so he has to turn away.
These steps should teach your pup to be less fearful of your visitors and their movements away from him. He will also learn that, if he turns away from people as they leave, wonderful goodies will appear.
Hopefully, following these suggestions will put this rude behavior BEHIND you, and everyone will have a happy Ending!
Best Friend Behavior Counseling and Training
San Diego, Ca.
"Positively teaching pets and their people since 1977"
Do you have a question for Carole? You can reach her at this email address - firstname.lastname@example.org Perhaps she will use it in an upcoming article on this Web site.
The information contained on this site is in no way intended to replace that of proper veterinary advice, diagnosis or treatment.
It is meant to provide resource, so that we can better understand canine health related issues.