Prairie dogs have become quite popular as pets in recent times. However, unless you have a lot of time to devote to these cute animals, you may find that their behavior is at times not very pleasant. As territorial animals, prairie dogs will naturally protect their home and surroundings, so unless they are used to you, they could become aggressive. This possibly means being subjected to a bite or two. So if you had been wondering why your prairie dog has been biting you, it could very well be that your pet just hasn’t had enough time to get used to you yet.
How to Stop Prairie Dogs Biting
Even though prairie dogs can be affectionate creatures, it does take a lot of time and attention on your part to achieve this level of friendliness from your pet. A prairie dog requires plenty of interaction from you and members of your family before it will become accustomed to your presence and hence be friendly toward you as you approach.
Most experienced prairie dog owners will be aware that it is far easier to teach them to be affectionate from a young age than it is when they are older. They will also know that when it comes to protectiveness, male prairie dogs tend to be more aggressive than females.
One of the best ways to stop a prairie dog from biting is to ignore the behavior and put your pet back into its cage. Young prairie dogs that bite often do so when they are out of their cage, playing with their owners. To try to stop the biting behavior, return your pet to its cage whenever it bites. After a while, it will learn that it is getting no attention when it bites and should stop. This obviously requires patience and perseverance on your part, but if you are firm then you should see results.
A Word of Warning
It is important to remember that even if your pet prairie dog stops biting you and other family members, there is no guarantee that it will not bite other people that come into your home. As already mentioned, these animals are very territorial and although they may tolerate strangers, they might bite if approached by someone they do not know. This means that prairie dogs are not usually pets that can be easily shared with other people. It is best to make sure that your friends and extended family do not get too close to your pet, just to be on the safe side.
- Featured Image (Prairie Dog as Pet): Nazgul03 – CC BY 2.0
- Black-Tailed Prairie Dog: Joe Ravi – CC BY-SA 3.0
- A Pair of Prairie Dogs: Brocken Inaglory – CC BY-SA 3.0
- Prairie Dog in a Zoo: Twowells – CC BY-SA 3.0
- Prairie Dogs at Burrow Entrance: Curtis J. Carley – public domain
- A Prairie Dog and His Hole: Sidious1701 – public domain
- Prairie Dog – Paignton Zoo, UK: Steve Polkinghorne – CC BY 2.0
- Black-Tailed Prairie Dog Foraging: Aaron Siirila – CC BY-SA 2.5
- Prairie Dog at Burrow Entrance: Asiir – CC BY-SA 2.5
- Prairie Dog Calling: Milojacks – CC BY-SA 3.0
- Female Prairie Dog with Juvenile: Gunnar Ries – CC BY-SA 2.5
- Juvenile Prairie Dogs: Cburnett – CC BY-SA 3.0
- Prairie Dog Family: Mathae (assumed) – CC BY-SA 3.0