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How to Stop a Rhodesian Ridgeback Puppy from Biting: A Comprehensive Guide

Written by: Arlene D.
| Published on September 13, 2023

The Rhodesian Ridgeback Puppy is a beautiful and powerful breed known for its distinct “ridge” of hair running along its back. Bred originally to track lions in Africa, these dogs are both athletic and intelligent. While owning a Rhodesian Ridgeback Puppy can be a fulfilling experience, like other breeds, they might exhibit a biting behavior during their puppy phase. In this article, we will delve deep into understanding and curbing this behavior in your Rhodesian Ridgeback Puppy.

1. Understand Your Rhodesian Ridgeback Puppy’s Biting Behavior

Before addressing any issue, understanding its root cause is crucial:

  • Teething: The Rhodesian Ridgeback Puppy, in its early months, goes through teething, which can be uncomfortable. Biting helps alleviate some of this discomfort.
  • Playfulness: Sometimes, your Rhodesian Ridgeback Puppy might confuse hands or feet with toys. This is often because they’re in a playful mood and not out of aggression.
  • Exploration: For a Rhodesian Ridgeback Puppy, biting is a way to explore the world. It’s one of the ways they learn about their surroundings.

2. The Right Chew Toys Make a Difference

When your Rhodesian Ridgeback Puppy starts to bite, introduce them to appropriate chew toys. Not only will this deter them from biting humans, but it will also provide relief for their teething pains.

3. The Art of Bite Inhibition

Teaching bite inhibition to your Rhodesian Ridgeback Puppy is a cornerstone in bite prevention. If they bite too hard during play, let out a sharp yelp or “ouch.” Your Rhodesian Ridgeback Puppy will start to understand the force boundaries over time.

4. Consistency is Key

Every member of the household should react the same way if the Rhodesian Ridgeback Puppy bites. If one person scolds while another allows it, it confuses the Rhodesian Ridgeback Puppy. A uniform reaction ensures faster learning.

5. Socialize Your Rhodesian Ridgeback Puppy

Rhodesian Ridgeback Puppies benefit immensely from early socialization. Exposing your Rhodesian Ridgeback Puppy to different environments, people, and animals can decrease anxiety and fear, leading to reduced chances of fear-induced biting.

6. Divert and Distract

If you notice that your Rhodesian Ridgeback Puppy is about to nip or bite, use a distraction. It could be a toy, a treat, or a command. Over time, your Rhodesian Ridgeback Puppy will associate the distraction with a reward, minimizing biting incidents.

7. Implement “Time-Out” Sessions

If the Rhodesian Ridgeback Puppy shows continuous aggressive behavior, consider giving them a “time-out.” It teaches the Rhodesian Ridgeback Puppy that aggressive behavior will result in isolation from playtime.

8. Reward Good Behavior

Each time your Rhodesian Ridgeback Puppy displays good behavior or responds positively to a command, reward them. Using treats, praises, and affection as positive reinforcements can do wonders.

9. Seek Professional Advice If Needed

If your Rhodesian Ridgeback Puppy’s biting behavior is persistent and aggressive, seeking advice from a professional dog trainer is recommended. They can offer a perspective and training techniques tailored for your Rhodesian Ridgeback Puppy.

10. Puppy Training Classes are Beneficial

Consider enrolling your Rhodesian Ridgeback Puppy in puppy training classes. These classes often teach basic obedience and social skills, allowing your Rhodesian Ridgeback Puppy to interact with other puppies, fostering a natural learning of bite inhibition.

An Online Dog Training Course Can Help Your Rhodesian Ridgeback to Stop Biting

Our 2 favorite online courses are:

1. SpiritDog’s “Perfect Obedience” Course

The Perfect Dog Obedience Bundle is an online dog training program designed to help dog owners achieve well-behaved pets. The comprehensive course covers basic obedience, biting, loose leash walking, and includes bonus mini-courses on training habits and rewards, stopping jumping, and separation anxiety solutions. With lifetime access to expert trainers for personalized feedback and a 60-day money-back guarantee, this course aims to provide effective, accessible training for a variety of dog behavior issues.

2. K9 Training Institute’s “Dog Masterclass”

More than just an obedience course, this more comprehensive training course tackles any behavior problem you might face with your dog.


Raising a Rhodesian Ridgeback Puppy is an enriching experience, filled with joy and challenges alike. Biting is a natural behavior in puppies, but with consistent training, understanding, and patience, it can be curbed. Remember that every Rhodesian Ridgeback Puppy is unique, and what works for one might not work for another. Adapt the methods listed above to suit your Rhodesian Ridgeback Puppy’s personality and needs. The bond you’re building now will ensure a loyal and well-behaved adult Rhodesian Ridgeback in the future.

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