My dog jumps and bites when he’s frustrated – what can I do?

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my dog jumps and bites when he's frustrated

Your dog is going to feel frustrated every once in a while. But if your dog jumps and bites when he’s frustrated, that can be pretty concerning.

Wondering what you can do to help? This article has everything you need to know about keeping your dog calm even when something frustrating is happening.

Why does your dog jump and bite when he’s frustrated?

Jumping and biting are some behaviors that many dogs show. Unfortunately, they’re also probably some of the least enjoyable.

Biting hurts no matter what, and it’s certainly not something you’re going to want to encourage in your dog. And jumping can be annoying to deal with. If you have a big dog, then it even has the potential to be dangerous.

If your dog jumps and bites when he gets frustrated, that’s something you’re going to want to put a stop to right away.

But what can you do? Is there any way to help your dog stay calm and prevent this issue?

There are several tips you can try to help your dog stay calm even when something frustrating is happening. Before we get into them, we’ll need to talk about why your dog is getting frustrated in the first place.

Dogs get frustrated when they want something they can’t have or do, like running off to explore or defending territory. This excited energy has to go somewhere—into jumping and biting, for example. To prevent that, you can teach him to be calmer and to redirect his energies.

There are also a few related articles you should make sure to check out:

if your dog bites and jumps when frustrated, you need to stop him
You need to get a handle on jumping and frustrated biting in your dog.

Signs of dog frustration

The first step to stopping your dog from jumping and biting when frustrated is to notice when he’s getting frustrated.

When it comes to behavioral issues like this, prevention is often the best thing to aim for. But you’re going to have a hard time preventing it if you don’t know what signs to look out for.

There are several signs that your dog might be annoyed with you or the situation he’s in. Some dogs will growl, others will paw at their owners to get attention.

You might notice that your dog becomes less affectionate when he’s frustrated too.

You can also use context clues to determine if your dog is getting frustrated.

Consider the situation itself. Is your dog being prevented from getting something he wants? That could cause a lot of frustration.

Your dog is going crazy because he’s being held back

Is your dog facing a barrier of some sort? If your dog feels like he’s being held back, this can result in something called barrier aggression.

When they are faced with a barrier, some dogs become reactive or even aggressive. The frustration of not being able to get beyond the barrier can cause high arousal in dogs.

It might also be an issue of your dog being territorial. Maybe you’ve noticed that your dog jumps and bites when he’s outside or when someone knocks at your door.

Your dog is trying to guard his territory. This is something that you should address right away. Like all kinds of aggression, barrier aggression can be dangerous for your dog and others around him.

Learn more about aggression problems by checking out these articles:

Barrier aggression is when your dog can't go where he wants to, making him jump and bite out of frustration.
Barrier aggression happens when your dog can’t go where he wants to, making him jump and bite out of frustration.

Your dog is redirecting his excitement

There are probably lots of things that get your dog pretty excited. Maybe you’re playing with his favorite toy, or maybe he knows that his meal is coming up.

Whatever the reason, if your dog is too excited and doesn’t know how to deal with it, this can lead to unwanted behavior.

This is called arousal biting. While it can be concerning to see your dog jumping and biting, this is very different than aggression or reactivity.

When dogs are feeling aggressive or reactive, they are usually biting as a way to defend themselves. But with arousal biting, your dog is simply too excited.

He’s feeling too much and he doesn’t know how to properly manage all the energy he has!

You can learn more about over excitement in dogs by reading these articles:

How to stop your dog from jumping and biting out of frustration

Understanding why your dog jumps and bites when frustrated is one step. The next step is finding ways to help your dog better manage what he’s feeling.

These are a few tips you can implement to help keep your dog calm.

redirect your dog's frustration biting
You need to help your dog manage his feelings.

Observe when and why this happens

The best thing you can do to help your dog deal with things like this is observe his behavior.

To prevent jumping and biting, you need to know what’s causing it! Once you do, you’ll be able to get to the source of the problem and find more effective ways to help your dog.

Pay attention to what stimuli get your dog acting this way. If your dog jumps and bites during play, he could be frustrated. But you could be dealing with arousal biting.

Is it happening when there’s a barrier of some kind? Then that could be what’s frustrating your dog.

As soon as you figure out what’s causing the frustration, you’ll be able to target the problem directly.

Prevent your dog from getting frustrated

Prevention is often the best way to deal with behavioral problems like this. If the issue is one you can easily avoid, then do just that.

For instance, maybe there’s a particular spot on your walk where your dog starts to feel a little territorial. Here, your dog jumps and bites because he’s frustrated over being unable to defend this spot.

In that case, as a simple fix, you might want to try avoiding this area on your walks from now on.

But there are some things that are hard to avoid—at least forever. In situations like these, you’ll want to work on desensitizing your dog to the stimulus.

Desensitization means removing the stimulus and then reintroducing it slowly and in a controlled way. This will help your dog get used to whatever frustrates him and learn to deal with it better.

stop your dog from jumping and biting when frustrated by keeping him away from the source
Some situations can be avoided—but it’s better to desensitize your dog to your neighbor’s.

Keep calm

Your dog probably picks up on more of your behavior than you realize. Dogs are adept at reading body language, and they’re highly intuitive too.

If you start acting too excited or frustrated, then your dog is going to see that and mirror you. This is why it’s so important to remain calm.

As hard as it is, when your dog jumps on you and bites out of frustration or excitement, stay as calm as possible. You don’t want to make the situation worse by exciting your dog even more. Do your best to model the behavior that you want your dog to show.

Redirect him before he crosses the threshold

Your dog’s threshold is that point at which he begins to lose control. For instance, maybe when he meets other dogs you can only approach to a certain distance before your dog stops listening to you.

That is your dog’s threshold.

For both your dog’s safety and the safety of those around him, you should make sure to keep him under threshold. If your dog won’t listen to you, then you’re not going to be able to stay in control of the situation.

And that puts everyone at risk, especially if your dog jumps and bites when frustrated beyond his threshold.

This is also why observing your dog’s behavior is so important. Take note of what your dog’s threshold is, and make sure to redirect your dog’s behavior before he crosses it.

Tire him out

A lot of bad dog behavior just comes down to energy levels. As his dog parent, it’s up to you to make sure he’s getting the right amount of daily stimulation.

If you don’t give your dog enough exercise and fun, he’s going to have a lot of pent-up energy. And that energy might come out through jumping and biting out of frustration.

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This is what people refer to when they say “a tired dog is a happy dog.” Dogs that get the right amount of exercise will be calm and well-behaved for the rest of the day.

If you are looking for a little inspiration, there are lots of great things you can try. Check out these related articles for some fun ideas:

Build up his frustration tolerance

If your dog tends to get easily frustrated, then the best thing to do is find ways to build his tolerance.

This might seem difficult, but there are actually some great, simple things you can try. Your dog will feel less easily frustrated, and you should find he has better impulse control too.

Teaching your dog to control his impulses will help prevent frustration. There are a few great things you can try if you’re looking to work on this with your dog.

For instance, you can make your dog sit and wait patiently when you’re putting his food bowl down. If he leaves his sitting position, lift the bowl higher and make him sit again. Don’t let him have it until you’ve told him it’s okay.

You can also try things like making your dog sit and wait to go outside instead of racing out the door. Essentially, anything that helps teach your dog a little more patience will be beneficial.

Get help

If your dog is jumping and biting when he’s excited, that can be really challenging to deal with. There are plenty of great things you can try on your own to get your dog to stop this behavior.

But there are some things that might require some extra help. If the behavior has come up suddenly, a trip to the vet might be a good idea. They’ll be able to tell you if there could be something wrong with your dog.

You can also enlist the help of a trainer or a behavioralist. If you are going to do this, make sure you do some research.

It’s important to choose someone who can provide you and your dog with what you both need. Find someone who focuses on positive reinforcement, as this is one of the most effective dog training methods.

You can learn more about dog training and choosing the right trainer by checking out these articles:

Related topic: For dog training in general I highly recommend you get a program that walks you through step by step, such as Braintrainingfordogs. Certified dog trainer Adrienne Farricelli teaches you to train your dog to be the best dog he can by be using mental stimulation! Check out Dogpackr’s review to see if this is a fit for you!

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FAQs around dogs biting or jumping when frustrated

We’ve covered the essentials of what to do if your dog jumps and bites when frustrated. But you might still have some questions.

Here’s a closer look and some other topics that you might be wondering about.

How do you stop dog temper tantrums?

Does your dog seem to act out when he’s not getting what he wants? Dogs are really similar to human children. They may not necessarily know how to manage their emotions.

So, when they have really big feelings like frustration, they might start throwing fits and temper tantrums.

It can be really frustrating to deal with this. But like with all unwanted dog behavior, there are things you can do to help keep your dog calm.

Remember to work on your dog’s patience and impulse control. The more you work on this, the less you should find him having tantrums. That’s because he’s learning that calm and patience gets him what he wants, not throwing tantrums.

It can take a lot of time and patience to get your dog to learn this. But remember to keep at it and stay consistent with your training. Your dog will get there eventually!

These are a few related articles that might be able to help you out:

dog growling
It can take patience to teach your dog to stay calm.

Why do puppies jump and bite so much?

Did you just get your new puppy? You’re probably so excited to get to know your little guy. But there are some things that he might be doing that can be pretty annoying—and painful!

Puppies tend to jump and bite a lot. And they have super sharp little teeth too! So their bites can be quite painful.

Puppies play with each other by jumping and biting. They have a layer of fur to protect their skin from any real harm. So to your puppy, jumping and biting is all part of the fun!

At this age, your puppy probably doesn’t realize that this behavior is inappropriate. It’s up to you to teach him!

These are a few related articles that might be able to help you deal with this problem:

How do I stop my dog from jumping and biting the lead?

Walking your dog is a fantastic way for both of you to get some much-needed exercise. But going for a walk can be significantly more challenging if your dog is jumping up and biting the leash all the time.

So what can you do? With a little work and training, you can teach your dog to stop biting his lead.

Here’s how to stop a dog from biting the leash.

These other articles might help make your walks a little easier, too.

Some dogs will jump and bite at the leash because it’s holding them back.

What is arousal biting in adolescent dogs?

Between the ages of six to twelve months, your dog is considered an adolescent. Like human teenagers, he’s going through a lot at this age.

You might see a little bit of regression for this reason as your dog enters adolescence. He might start showing some arousal biting. That means biting because he’s trying to direct his energy elsewhere.

During this stage in your dog’s life, you’re going to have to be very patient. Keep working on impulse control training and reward his moments of calm to encourage that behavior.

How do I stop the zoomies?

When your dog gets the zoomies, it’s probably pretty hard to control him. If you’re struggling with dog zoomies, there are a few things you can do.

Making sure your dog gets enough exercise to prevent the zoomies from happening in the first place is important. If your dog does get the zoomies, there are some other things you can do.

Check out these articles for a little help:


If your dog jumps and bites when he’s frustrated, that can be pretty worrying behavior. But there are lots of things you can do to help curb it.

Remember to keep all the above tips in mind and work hard on keeping your dog calm. You and your dog will be much happier!

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