How To Discipline A Dog For Not Snapping?

Has your dog started snapping recently? Are you worried about your dog snapping? Do you want to discipline him for snapping? And the internet is filled with so many articles. So, I am here to help you and not to get confused by so much information. 

 You are on the right page to understand why your dog is snapping, How to discipline a dog for not snapping? And most importantly what you shouldn’t do in these situations. Let’s dive into the article.

To understand when your dog is about to snap at you, your family, or any stranger. You need to communicate well to understand what he is thinking, what he is feeling, and what he wants. 

Snapping is a warning sign that your dog can bite now. To communicate well, you need to first understand the reasons behind snapping.


  • Why does your dog snap at you?
  • 5 methods to stop dog snap
  • What you shouldn’t do to your dog for snapping?
  • Conclusion
  • FAQs 

Why does your dog snap at you?

When the dog snaps he is trying to communicate his way of the discomfort. Growling and snapping and wagging his tail are the previous processes of dog snapping. Understand he is not liking something or someone. There can be many reasons for this aggressive behavior but below are the main and major reasons for the snap.

  1. Defending territory:

Most dogs like to be in control. Protecting their territory is like taking charge of them. This reason can happen especially when a guest or stranger is at your house.

Moreover, they like to defend their owners and their favorite things. The dog will first try to show you that he wants to defend himself by his body language then he will start snapping. When it looks like it is necessary to protect something they like.

They may feel that someone can take over their territory. The reason behind it can be anything: looks, personality, tone, etc. Dogs are naturally protective of their things.

  1. Physical pain:

Like humans, dogs can also find and feel pain in their bodies or any particular part. You don’t know how much they are getting hurt.

By snapping if you accidentally touched his pain point he wants you to know that he is in pain and discomfort. You need to make him feel comfortable. This is what he expects from you. 

Control your emotions of anger in front of your dog at this moment.

  1. Fear:

Your dog can snap at you for petting him or when a guest arrives. Snapping is a warning your dog gives. Your dog can be scared and threatened that something will be taken from him. 

The way humans like to protect their loved ones. Dogs like to protect the thing they love the most, like food, toys or their favorite place. At the time of snapping avoid rewards.

  1. Resource Guarding of food: 

Dogs love their food like meat. They can’t tolerate anything that’s disturbing while eating meat or any favorite treat.

They can anytime think that you will take it away from them. Even if it’s the owner sometimes. Basically, they are possessive. 

Snapping is less in this situation for adult dogs as they are trained. Dogs can even bite you for guarding their food. Training is needed in these areas as soon as they are puppies.

     Snapping is a way of communication for dogs in these situations. Keep records of when the dog snaps or barks to help study the reasons. 

   5 Methods to stop dog snap: 

Dogs are creatures of habit. Dog discipline is about controlling bad behavior and creating some boundaries.

Firstly, understand dog snapping is not bad if it isn’t excessive or out of control. Snapping can be a way for your dog to communicate. Just like for some dogs it is barking. Maybe the dog is suffering physical pain. The Reason for snapping. To understand the whole situation and then discipline your dog for snapping.

Bonus tip: When your dog is snapping and you have the treat to give him. Don’t hold it too high. Your dog may bite or snap you for the treat. Give it closer to him. Don’t make him jump.

  1. Taking their toys:

You can take away your dog’s favorite items for a while but act calm and behave nicely. This is a great way to deal with snapping.

When the dog gets calm, return his things. You can do it every time he snaps. This method can be best for dogs who love their things on the next level.

Give him punishments but not hitting or yelling. It will make the situation worse. Disciplining your dog does not include punishments, understand it.

  1. Positive reinforcement:

You may know positive reinforcement works in all situations but negative can ruin your dog’s health. Don’t yell or hit your dog. Don’t give him punishments like not giving him food. This will only create negative reinforcement.

After your dog snaps, say ‘quiet’ and let him know no it is inappropriate behavior. Also, say ‘calm’ to make him feel reassured.

Reinforce good behavior and ignore what you don’t like. Ignore when he snaps don’t look at him walk away no expressions. But when he gets silent give him a treat, pat him, and love him. This will make him understand if you get silent he gets the attention and reward. 

Playing with him can also give him positive energy.

  1. When dog snaps avoid giving attention:

Dogs may snap for attention. Dog owners give attention to their dogs when they show bad behavior. Instead of giving attention and a treat when they are behaving well all day long. 

Yelling or hitting or any sort of reaction can work as attention in these situations. Dogs don’t know if you are telling them it is good or bad. Unless they are trained to understand some words.

So, when your dog snaps, don’t look at him, have no expressions, and just walk away. Especially don’t talk. Then when the dog is calm, come to him, say ‘good boy’, and give him a treat. 

If it happens sometimes, the dog will understand snapping won’t give him attention but good behavior will only give him benefits. The thing is here not giving him attention for bad behavior.

 “Appreciate him when he is behaving good more often” is a piece of advice by an experienced professional dog trainer. 

  1. Desensitizing:

The reason behind snapping can be sometimes any past bad experience getting repeated. Dogs may get very much threatened in this sort of situation. 

After getting through the reason, you can get your dog out of the particular environment. Or take out that particular thing or person from your dog’s sight. It can be anything like a hat, a kid, or some leather jacket.

Just make sure the dog is calm. Then you can train him to adopt these sorts of moments. Assure him that you are there to protect him and now you are in charge. Getting adapted to these situations will take time.

Calm him and make him behave good and when he does, reward him with toys or for that matter anything.

  1. Train by giving commands(counter condition):

Giving commands to your dogs works in every situation like barking, snapping, and growling. Proper training with consistency is what it takes. The dog needs to understand the real meaning of everything you say correctly. With that, what he needs to do specifically after command and what he will get if he does it.

If the dog snaps at you at the time when you switch his place from his bed. Try giving him a treat, when he slowly moves from the place. Call him near you little by commands if comes reward him with a chicken treat.

Do this exercise daily morning and evening. At first, maybe the dog will not respond to you properly. Gradually he will come with you to other places happily. 

Give positive experiences. To make him feel it is the best way. Your posture and tone is the important thing while giving commands. If you’re nervous, your dog will vibe it out.

What you shouldn’t do to your dog for snapping?  

My friend Joe’s professional trainer always tells him that dogs don’t learn from punishment to not do a certain thing/behavior.

Don’t tell your dog to not snap like ’no’ or ‘don’t do this’. They react more positively when you tell them what you want them to do than what not to do. In the long term, saying ‘no’ does not even work as training.            

Dog snapping can be new for you. Instead of reacting intuitively, reacting calmly is better. If not, first calm down.

Important info: 

Most of the dog snaps in the air. Because of boredom or some fear. They can get threatened. To give you a warning before biting, he could be snapping at the air. 

Give him proper exercise and a day full of activities. To keep him away from boredom which is making him snap at the air. 

If the dog continues after some weeks, go check out the veterinarian. It could be some neurological problems.

FAQ’s section

  1. Is it ok to use a basket muzzle?

Ans: Some people also use basket muzzles when going on a walk to manage a dog that might snap. It is important to keep other people safe from your dog, especially children. I would recommend using it sometimes in case of emergencies and when you don’t have options.

  1. What if you are getting scared by the sudden snap of your dog?      

Ans: You will get scared but you need to handle your dog. Calmly and firmly. Use an assertive tone in that situation. Let yourself understand that maybe your dog is in pain. So you can’t get scared and yell at him. It will give him more pain.

  1. Should I ignore it if my dog snaps only one time?

Ans: You should never ignore snaps of your dog. Your dog can snap for many reasons and he is giving you a warning. So, maybe if you ignore him the first time he will take the next step, biting which is way more dangerous. Understand his hints and discomforts.

  1. When should I take my dog to the vet for snapping?

Ans: You can first try disciplining your dog at home for a few weeks. If it gets in control then amazing. If not, then take him to a professional trainer. Or in case it’s excessive in the beginning you can go to a vet at that time also.

  1. How long does it take to discipline your dog for not snapping?

Ans: It will take around 8 weeks if snapping is not excessive but if the bad behavior is now a habit and you’re giving him attention for snapping then it can take a further long time. Be consistent with your training. 

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