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Dogs typically don’t bite to be aggressive for no reason at all. Sometimes, biting is a defense mechanism, a reaction to being overstimulated, or a way to “groom” humans. It’s worth knowing how to stop greyhounds from biting to avoid injury, whether it may be accidental or not.
You should know what may potentially trigger your greyhound to bite and avoid initiating that trigger. You should also be sure that people who approach your greyhound do so kindly so your greyhound doesn’t get nervous and want to defend themselves. Knowing the different types of biting is also important to learn how to avoid those behaviors.
You should also be sure to find the right way to correct their biting behavior without potentially making the situation worse by responding with frustration or anger.
How To Stop Greyhounds From Biting
Greyhounds are not just going to bite for no reason. Even if the reason may not seem obvious at first, there will always be a reason your greyhound bites. These reasons can range from playfulness, excited energy, fear, or their sense that they are in danger, regardless of whether or not they actually are.
When your greyhound is playing with you, they might nip or bite either unintentionally or as a way to release their excitement. It’s very important to understand that this is not them attacking you. You can simply move away from them when they do this, or give them a chew toy to nibble on until they calm down.
Recognizing what sets your greyhound off or leads them to biting will help you avoid those situations as much as possible. Let others know that your greyhound is nervous, needs to initiate contact first, or needs to sniff them out; whatever it is that will make your greyhound more comfortable around strangers.
Greyhounds do best when they are trained with rewards and positive encouragement when they do something right. Punishment rarely works for these gentle beings. As they learn not to react defensively, and become used to more stimuli, reward them for their good behavior with treats and pets.
Why Do Greyhounds Bite?
With greyhounds being such a nervous dog by nature, they would prefer to just remove themselves from a situation that is amplifying their nerves. If they have to, however, greyhounds will defend themselves, and biting might be one such tactic they use to neutralize a perceived threat.
If a greyhound hasn’t been properly socialized and then is suddenly exposed to people and pets, they are going to be overstimulated by all of the activity around them. In these situations, your greyhound will likely retreat. It’s possible, however, that your greyhound might bite if they aren’t approached with caution and aren’t slowly socialized. Don’t throw them into uncomfortable situations to fend for themselves.
Greyhounds will rarely bite without either a warning or an indication that they are uncomfortable. The only time they won’t warn you is if they bite during play time, and it’s usually an accident. Your greyhound will give obvious cues that they are reaching a breaking point, and it’s up to you to learn those cues.
Are Greyhounds Frequent Biters?
Greyhounds are even-tempered dogs that are not known for aggressive tendencies. This does not mean that they are angels all the time, but you’re less likely to see them act out in a hostile manner. One of the biggest triggers for most greyhounds is stress, so keeping them calm is ideal to avoid them developing a biting habit.
Greyhounds will usually give some other type of indication that they are leading towards defensive behaviors before they simply bite. Greyhounds will growl or snarl towards whatever it is that they are trying to protect themselves from. If that signifier doesn’t resonate with the aggressor, then your greyhound may feel as though they have no choice but to bite.
Puppies are also more likely to bite or nip as they are still learning how to communicate with you. This will be the time where you implement training consistently so they don’t bring this habit into adulthood.
Training Greyhound Puppies To Stop Biting
Greyhound puppies are likely to be more excitable than an adult greyhound, who would love nothing more than to lay on the couch with you all day. Thus, playtime is likely to be a routine you start with your greyhound pup, and should ideally continue into their adulthood. This excitement can lead to them biting more frequently than adult greyhounds, and this biting could be unintentional or accidental nips.
One strategy to help your pup realize that these nips and bites aren’t okay is letting out a small yelp when they do it. This can help them realize that what they are doing can hurt, and that is the last thing these sweet dogs want to do. Moving away from them will also help them understand that biting isn’t the way to get your love and affection.
As cliche as it is, consistency is key when it comes to encouraging their kind behaviors and not letting the bad behaviors slide. A calm demeanor will show your greyhound that they can trust you and they don’t need to develop self-defense tactics. Remembering that they aren’t trying to hurt you will make it easier to manage these tendencies.
Why Do Greyhounds Nibble On People?
Greyhounds have this interesting habit known as nitting, which is somewhat similar to a nibble. They may do this to themselves when they are giving themselves a bath, or they might do this to you in between kisses. While this nitting is usually somewhat gentle, their teeth are strong and it may start to hurt.
Those who aren’t familiar with a greyhound’s unique behavior may not realize that they are not trying to bite you when they do this. While it’s unknown exactly why greyhounds nit on people, there are some theories based on circumstances in which they do this.
Some people believe it’s part of their nervous disposition, while others believe it’s just because they want to use their mouths. There isn’t really a way to make them stop nitting altogether, but there are ways to potentially have your greyhound do this less often.
It’s truly a harmless behavior, so if it’s not hurting you or anyone else, there’s no real need to try and stop this. Otherwise, simply don’t respond to their nitting or move yourself away from them when they do it, and they will usually stop.
Why Are Greyhounds Muzzled?
Greyhounds who were involved in racing would often be muzzled to stop them from nitting or biting their competitors. With greyhounds often being enticed towards aggressive behavior as it was thought to help increase their performance, they were often tempted with live bait to chase. This has sadly led to many assuming greyhounds are aggressive, which if you’ve ever met a greyhound, you know isn’t true.
Since their bites can be powerful, it is even required by law in some areas that greyhounds must be muzzled when they are outside of their property. Greyhounds generally don’t mind muzzles as long as they are the right size and they are fitted properly.
That said, it’s not worth muzzling them unless the law where you are says you should, or if they have a problem with biting that you are still trying to fix.
When Your Greyhound’s Biting Is Uncontrollable
Even though greyhounds aren’t known for being combative, any breed can develop those types of behaviors if they are pushed to the edge. Since greyhounds are big dogs that have strong teeth, this behavior can become dangerous if it’s not dealt with. If it seems like you can’t reign in your greyhound’s biting no matter how hard you try, it’s worth talking to an expert.
Your veterinarian would be able to rule out any health concerns that could be causing your greyhound to act out. Sometimes when dogs are sick, they will try anything to tell you they aren’t feeling good.
A professional and reputable dog trainer can also intervene and help you come up with strategies that are more tailored to your individual greyhound’s behavior. It may take some time and dedication to eradicate their biting and other outbursts, but dogs are always worth it.
Understanding how to stop greyhounds from biting is part of being a responsible greyhound parent, even though the risk is minimal. Sadly, with so many greyhounds being retired from racing and other job-oriented roles, they can come with some baggage. If you are able to find out as much as you can about your greyhound’s background, you’ll be prepared for any increased risk of them becoming biters.
Do not lose your patience with your greyhound if they nit or bite, but don’t fail to take it seriously either. Your complacency is going to make your greyhound assume that what they are doing is okay, and they will have no reason not to continue. A little nibble here and there is okay, but biting shouldn’t be encouraged.