Dogs do bite. Scottish terriers do bite. It is without a doubt one of the worst behavior problems you can have in a dog.
Stories the owners tell about biting Scottish terriers show so many different situations one could easily write an encyclopedia about.
There was this Scottie owner who had his shoes, his hands and his ankles bitten every time he tried to leave for work. Another Scottie simply nipped a young child playing with a ball for no apparent reason at all. Then there is this naughty little guy that started acting aggressively to the point of biting every time his owner tried to correct a bad behavior. Other energetic Scottish terriers run around the house at high speed and nip at anyone who makes a move to stop them.
But why do they bite?
Good question. The first step towards controlling your Scottish terrier biting habit is to understand the reasons why he first started and keeps on biting.
As with chewing, biting in young puppies can be related to their teething period. Biting also makes part of their normal playing behavior, they often do it when they are with their mother.
Although it may seem hard to believe, your Scottie may nip or bite to get your attention. And he will keep doing it if he succeeds at it… Adult Scotties may nip when they get too excited or bite when they feel threatened. Scottish terriers can be possessive of their toys and food and biting is their form of defending them from intruders.
Biting can also be a reaction to pain caused to them, like somebody accidentally stepping on their paw. Other Scotties develop a suspicious or aggressive behavior towards strangers or visitors and that’s when biting may occur for no specific reason.
Of course your Scottie’s biting habits may bring negative effects on you and on your relationship. You cannot let him outside or take him to crowded public places for fear of him biting someone, not mentioning the troubles you may have in case it accidentally happens.
Your Scottish terrier does not automatically know what is acceptable and what is not, so you need to establish the limits by correcting him when he misbehaves. An aggressive habit like biting should be taken care of immediately.
So what can you do to effectively control your Scottish terrier’s biting habit?
1. First of all, show him your disapproval with a loud and incisive “no” or “no bite” command. Then leave him alone and do not look at him or talk to him.
2. If he bites while playing, give him a “no bite” command and stop playing immediately.
3. Use a water spray bottle or produce noise by shaking a can with coins or marbles together with a firm “no bite” command. Repeat this process as many times as necessary until he finally stops biting.
If the biting habit persists, consider getting some professional help. Obedience training classes can be of great assistance in correcting most of your Scottish terrier behavior problems.