Clinic Hours:
Mon-Fri 8 to 5:30
Sat. by appointment only

31310 Woodhaven Trail
Cannon Falls, MN 55009

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Phone Numbers:
651-258-4050 office
651-258-4051 fax
651-222-0885 Twin Cities


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From day one, it’s up to you to teach your puppy or new dog what is acceptable and what is not. Teach your puppy that it is never okay to bite a person. If they put an indentation in your skin---I consider it a bite potential. If he/she bites you hard, say ”OUCH!” in a loud voice, and command firmly “NO BITE”. Place your fingers around their nose. If biting continues, place their lip or tongue between their teeth when they attempt to bite you. Let them experience how much it hurts. They will learn to control their natural instinct to bite. Praise them when they are quiet and calm!

Proper socialization with people and other dogs is crucial from the time you bring them home. Puppies that learn to respect and trust do not bite out of fear when they are confronted with scary situations. Utilize positive reinforcement when they are being good. Provide them with many toys to bite and chew on. Praise them when they are chewing on their own toys. Puppies and young dogs are like mini computers just waiting to be programmed. You should take the alpha position and consistently guide them into being the dog that you would like them to be.

Biting is a natural instinct in young puppies and new dogs
Keep in mind; it is normal for puppies to place their mouths on everything!
While playing together and during teething, puppies constantly bite each other. When they bite littermates too hard, the victim yelps. The puppy lets go and learns to bite more gently the next time. Puppies also like to bite anything that moves such as hands, arms, legs and feet. Their natural expression of “prey drive” or “chase instinct” is put into motion. When they choose to bite you, do not move. Firmly command “no bite”. When he/she releases, encourage them to “watch” or look you in the eye. And follow it with happy praise.

Puppies and dogs must learn to inhibit biting
The optimal time to teach puppies to inhibit their bite is before the (juvenile period) which begins at 14 weeks of age. Normally they learn from their mother, littermates, and other pack members. New owners must take over this training process when they take their new puppy from his/her original environment, before the learning process is completed.

Natural socialization process inhibits biting
The natural learning process continues by allowing your puppy to socialize with other puppies and socialized adult dogs. Puppies need to roll, tumble and play with each other. When they roughhouse, they bite each other all over. When they are too rough the other puppies and dogs react and reprimand them, so they are able to learn from their own life experiences. Puppies that interact with other puppies generally do not treat their two legged family members like littermates. Hence, the play biting dramatically decreases.

Improperly socialized puppies are more hyperactive, destructive, and bite more out of fear. New owners must realize the importance of proper socialization and the process of obedience training.

Trust and respect inhibits biting
Most dogs exhibit unconditional love. Do not confuse their love with trust and respect. They may love you however you must earn their trust and respect. It is important to attend puppy socialization and obedience classes to learn consistency and repetition when you are training them. Most well behaved dogs enjoy their training time throughout their life. They also are more accepting of environmental changes and new experiences. Most dogs that trust and respect can be trusted with children and new people.

If by chance your dog does bite, do not break their trust for you by abusing them. When there is no respect, the incidence of biting increases.

When there is no trust, the dog bites out of fear and lack of confidence.

National Dog Bite Statistics

  • Approximately $30 million is spent treating dog bites
  • Approximately 1 million dog bites require treatment
  • 70% of dog bites occur on their owner's property
  • 77 % of dog bites are facial injuries
  • 77% of the dogs are known by the person who was bitten
  • 60% of the dog bite victims are children (less than 10 years of age) and most of them are bitten on the face. Severe injuries are almost exclusively in children
  • Male patients slightly outnumber female patients
  • 97% of mail carriers involve the lower extremities
  • Dog bites cause an average of 18 deaths a year

Dangerous Situations to Avoid

  • Approaching a strange dog that is eating
  • Approaching a female dog that is nursing puppies
  • Approaching or leaning over a sleeping dog
  • Challenging a dominant dog by staring into their eyes
  • Getting between two dogs that are fighting
  • Invading their territory if their owner is absent
  • Putting your face close to theirs
  • Running away from an aggressive dog
  • Teasing them or waking them up
  • Threatening them or their family
  • Never leave a baby or small child unattended with a dog


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