Expert Q&A

My 21-month-old miniature schnauzer likes to play and bite/nip. I constantly tell it, “No biting!” while holding its mouth closed, but it isn’t working. What else can I try?

My 21-month-old miniature schnauzer likes to play and bite/nip. I constantly tell it, “No biting!” while holding its mouth closed, but it isn’t working. What else can I try?

BY: The Dog Daily Expert

In general, miniature schnauzers are not known to be aggressive dogs. As you’ve learned, however, some can be more dominant than others -- even though it sounds like your dog just has a playful streak. Nonetheless, for the safety of other people and himself, it is very important that he learns to obey your commands.

Fredric Frye, author of Schnauzers: Everything About Purchase, Care, Nutrition and Diseases, advises that dog commands are better understood when they just contain one syllable. A firm “No!” or “Stop!” is better than “No biting,” according to Frye. Say it loudly and firmly. You may also follow this with a “Sit!” command, so that your dog will focus on another positive behavior. Adding an extra sound component to the verbal command, such as shaking some coins in a jar, could also help get his attention -- a tactic many trainers recommend.

Your dog is still young, so you should try an obedience class. If you properly socialize him now, you will improve the quality of his life and yours -- and prevent bigger problems from emerging in future.


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