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Why do Bulldogs Bite Feet? And What to Do!

When you look at a French or English bulldog you see innocence, intelligence, and a pleasant demeanor. When you look at an American bulldog it is easy to see aggression and strength; however, American bulldogs have similar characteristics as its fellow bulldog breeds. They are loyal and loving companions. But regardless of bulldog breed, all bulldogs have a flatter face with a more defined jaw. This jaw is extremely powerful and the bulldog will use it to protect its family or as a cautionary warning if a stranger spooks it. Bulldogs can bite and they bite very hard.
Why do bulldogs bite feet? This is typical of adolescent bulldogs that are going through a learning phase. Biting can occur while the pup is growing and learning how to interact with others. The problem with feet is their accessibility to a bulldogs mouth. Whether walking, sitting, or resting on the floor this leaves feet open to be bit or nipped. This action can be corrected.
Luckily, a bulldog can be taught to not bite the hand (or foot) that feeds it. Any bulldog can also be socialized to be more comfortable around strangers as well. Meaning sniffs and seeking attention. On the flip side, if positive reinforcement along with thorough training is not given, your bulldog may carry on a tendency to bite at feet or bite at others. Especially if it is weary of strangers and easy to provoke.

Why do bulldogs bite so much

Even though a bulldog can grow to be a loyal and dependent companion, it will go through the puppy stage. All dogs go through the puppy stage where it is learning what habits are good or bad. Biting is a very common stage among all breeds of dogs as a puppy. This stage is commonly known as teething. The puppy is learning its boundaries and adapting to its new environment.
During this teething stage, you will be bit by your puppy. There is no question about it. If you are sitting on the couch, wiggling your toes, your feet become fair game in your bulldog puppy’s book. Also, sudden movement can trigger the natural dog in it to pounce. Example: you stand up quickly and go to the kitchen to grab a snack. Puppy sees that movement and thinks, “game is on and prey is on the prowl.” Your feet and toes will soon feel a biting sensation followed by your own personal yelp.
What is different about a bulldog’s biting though, whether young or old, is their pronounced jaw line. I mentioned it being powerful, but this specific feature was bred with a purpose into the bulldog. I like to paraphrase an excerpt from the post Why Do Bulldogs Have Squished Faces.
Imagine the bulldogs flat nose equating to a pair of flat nose pliers. Flat nose pliers are much stronger than needle nose pliers. They easily latch onto things and have a firm grasp. This is similar to a bulldog. Because they have a short jaw and flat nose, they can firmly clamp and latch onto whatever they bite. The muscles in the jawline and a bulldogs muscular body physique only strengthen the bite and pull.
Not to strike fear in you though, bulldogs are normally loving and gentle animals once they have been trained. They are known to be great around small children, watchful of others, and patient. Just because a bulldog has this powerful bite should not distract you from their natural ability to protect and remain steadfast as a companion dog to their family.
Regardless, when a bulldog bites feet, it can hurt. This is typically never done with a violent tendency but is rather a learning stage. I have been bit by dogs, heck, my kids bit me while they were teething. When this happens you still love them and you bite your tongue to not become outraged. Young bulldogs need to be nurtured and corrected with kindness.

How to Stop My Bulldog from Biting My Feet?

If your young bulldog sees your sudden movement and swoops in to attack, stop immediately. This movement attracts a bulldog like bees to honey. If your feet aren’t moving your bulldog will no longer be fascinated and should settle down.
I recommend that you be cautious in your movements from place to place, nothing that could draw excitement. For young kids running around the home it will be next to impossible to slow them down. Your bulldog puppy will easily get excited and will want to run and play with everyone else, with possible biting at the feet. It’s just what they do while teething.
To reign in the uncontrolled biting, be sure to purchase several chew toys. It is handy to even carry a chew toy with you in the rare case that a bulldog puppy attempts to surprise attack your feet. If the bulldog moves in towards your feet and stopping doesn’t seem to be working. Pull out the chew toy and catch its attention by squeezing it if it makes noise or waving it if it doesn’t. Use the toy to redirect the bulldogs attention and energy. You can hand the toy out for the bulldog to bite onto. Once your bulldog its off playing with the toy proceed to move.
Know that this is only a temporary phase for your bulldog and it will grow out of it as you act appropriately in the household and train your bulldog correctly. Training your bulldog impulse control through specific commands will significantly help in the young puppies growth and throughout its life. These basic impulse control commands include: sit, wait, and down. These exercises will help your bulldog to control its natural tendency to jump and get excited.
Socializing your bulldog is another important step in stopping your bully from biting your feet or the feet of visitors. To socialize your bulldog, take frequent visits to public places and dog parks where it can learn to be comfortable around strangers and other pets. Visit friends and family members with your bulldog so it can grow bonds of trust with them. A well socialized bulldog will:
  • Become more comfortable around other people and pets
  • Have a significant reduction in stress and discomfort around strangers
  • Gain significant control over biting from fear or overexcitement.

The key takeaways to teaching your bulldog to stop biting feet are:

  1. Slow, cautious movements.
  2. If bit, show disinterest and walk away. Your bulldog wants to play and will notice your lack of enthusiasm.
  3. Redirect energy with a chew toy.
  4. Teach impulse control with these dog commands: Sit, Stay, and Down.
  5. Frequently socialize your bulldog with other pets and people outside of your home.
  6. Praise your bulldog for good behavior.
Your bulldog can control its tendency to bite as your patiently train it in good behavior.

Best Chew Toys for Bulldogs

Your bulldog wants to bite your feet and maybe more. To protect your feet and furnishings during teething or while training your bulldog impulse control I recommend the following Chew Toy on Amazon.
This 5 Pack from Otterly Pets Puppy Dog Pet Rope Toys is a highly rated and recommended chew toy for your bulldog. Each chew toy is created with durable, high quality ropes for medium to large dogs. Its been battle tested for dogs that are in the biting and chewing phase. It really won’t disappoint at its price either.

Related Questions

Why do French bulldogs bite? A french bulldog can bite while in its teething stage as a puppy, out of fear, excitement or during separation anxiety. By building confidence in your Frenchie through training, you can control these common reactions.
Why do French bulldogs bite their paws? French bulldogs can bite their paws due to burrs (wood slivers, grass seeds, and small rocks) being imbedded in their tiny paws and even infections or other irritations. Some French bulldogs just like to bite and lick their paws for the fun of it.
If this is an ongoing habit that is leading to sores, bleeding, and infection from your Frenchie biting the paw, I would quickly seek the assistance of a veterinarian.
Why do English bulldogs bite feet? English bulldogs bite feet primarily in their adolescence when teething. But English bulldogs can also have a tendency to bite in adulthood if there is a lack of affection in its home and if there was never training given to correct this habit.
If your English bulldog bites feet, practice the key takeaways listed in this article to provide impulse training and redirect your English bulldogs energy. Show love and praise when your bulldog shows obedience to affirm a job well done.
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