After the Uruguay/Italy World Cup soccer match, I received an anonymous request from one of the officials for my best advice on how to deal with soccer players who bite. Like dogs, soccer players are not complicated — we make them that way.
If you’re having this problem with one of your players, here’s what you can do:
- Make sure he gets plenty of exercise so he won’t be over-excited during the game. Take him for a long walk on a short lead before the kickoff.
- Crate train him so he has a place you can send him to if he does misbehave. All soccer players should know the command “Go to your place!”
- Some players will bite because they have unrecognized dental issues. Get his teeth cleaned regularly, and train him so you can brush them daily yourself.
- If necessary, have the biting player wear a muzzle on the field, but use something playful, like my Funny Muzzle, so he doesn’t scare the other players.
- You can reduce aggression by having your soccer player spayed or neutered. Many low and no cost options are available.
Just as all aggressive dogs are not red zone cases, not every soccer player who bites is a red card candidate. With proper training and education, we can bring balance and harmony to their lives and teach them to play nicely with others!