Why Does My Dog Bite?
Has your dog bitten you or someone else? In addition to injuries, this behavior also carries legal consequences such as compensation for pain and suffering. Before it gets to that point, you can help your dog stop misbehaving with the help of this article.
Biting is only a natural instinct of the dog.
It is not primarily about attack or aggression. It is primarily about self-defense.
Dogs only bite when they feel threatened and they have no other way out.
Unfortunately, some dogs will feel this way and snap whenever a strange person comes too close to them.
This is a big problem because the dog will become a danger to others and be under constant stress. This can also be very stressful for the owner.
That is why it’s important to train him to stop biting as soon as possible.
Show your furry friend that his fear is unfounded in most cases and there are other ways to handle these situations.
In this article, you'll learn some training approaches and what to look for when your dog is quick to bite.
Causes of Aggressive Behavior
Biting is an important defense method for dogs to deal with danger.
The biting reflex developed during evolution in the ancestors of our domestic animals; it determined survival.
Dogs usually bite for only two reasons:
- They are attacked and defend themselves
- They are defending something very important to them
Dogs show aggressive behavior when their food is threatened or their owner is attacked. Biting is, therefore, intended to attack the threat directly and drive it away.
However, some furry noses also bite when no obvious danger is apparent to humans. Often, owners do not even recognize what exactly is scaring their dog.
You must remember that a dog never bites without a reason. There is always a cause, even if you do not see it at first glance.
You usually don't understand why your dog bites, especially if you just hold out your hand to him. You don't want to hurt him, you just want to calm him down or pet him.
But it could be that he has had a bad experience. Maybe he associates something negative with holding out your hand.
For this reason, the goal of the dog trainingis to show your protégé that their fear is unfounded. The biting reflex itself should not be trained away.
In certain situations, biting can be very important for your dog. It is much more important to familiarize him with the circumstances in which biting is appropriate.
Show your darling other strategies for dealing with perceived threats so he no longer has to resort to biting.
Attention. Breed list / List dog
Unfortunately, there are also dogs that are considered or suspected to be dangerous because of their breed.
These are also called fighting dogs. They are often bred, trained, and used explicitly for combat.
The import of these breeds into Germany is prohibited. Nevertheless, they are still smuggled into Germany through various illegal ways.
There are legal restrictions for keeping these dogs. However, the requirements differ depending on the state.
These breeds include:
- American Bulldog
- (American) Pit Bull Terrier
- American Staffordshire Terrier
- Bull Terrier
- Cane Corso/Cane Corso Italiano
- Dogo Argentino
- Dogue de Bordeaux
- Fila Brasileiro
- Caucasian Owtscharka
- Mastín Español
- Mastino Napoletano
- Perro de Presa Canario
- Perro de Presa Canario (Dogo Canario)
- Perro de Presa Mallorquin
- Staffordshire bull terrier
- Tosa Inu
We would like to draw attention to the fact:
When purchasing a dog, only contact reputable dog dealers. Carefully decide which breed is suitable for you and your family.
Please do not forget, you don't just "buy" a dog. "You enter into a lifelong agreement with this dog. The well-being of the four-legged friend and your fellow human beings is entirely your responsibility.
Everyone knows that a dog is irritated when it growls, snaps, and bites. But by then it is usually already too late.
By noticing beforehand that your four-legged friend is tense, you can prevent biting.
Your pet does not just become aggressive from one second to the next. He gets more and more irritated by different factors. If he is then in a threatening situation, he also bites.
But even before that, his body language will show he is uncomfortable.
Observe your dog carefully so you learn to recognize budding aggression very early. The signals that he then shows occur due to stress.
If your dog is stressed, his pulse will speed up. Of course, you can't see this from the outside. Instead, pay attention to his breathing. If it is fast and flat, your dog is irritated.
What is often not noticed by many dog owners is the stare. The dog’s eyes will be wide open and fixed on one point. Your dog will seem frozen and show no movement.
Also the entire body is is tense. They will hardly move and will appear rigid. In extreme cases, even their back hair erected.
Fear or insecurity can also lead to aggression. If your dog has his tail clamped between his legs or lowered, then he is afraid.
Is he not coping with the situation? Or is he unconsciously put under even more pressure? This can have undesirable consequences.
If you notice these signals in your four-legged friend, you should be careful, he is now under a lot of stress and is irritable.
If he now gets into a situation that is unpleasant for him, he may bite.
If you then come too close to him and want to help him, he might misunderstand. This will only make him more irritated.
That's why you should keep your distance! Wait until your dog has calmed down again.
Your dog is more likely to bite if he is already irritated. Therefore, there are some factors that reinforce aggressive behavior. We have summarized the most important ones below:
If your dog is stressed, he will react very strongly to even small threats. This also means he will bite more quickly. There are many causes for stress in your dog.
Make sure he is exposed to as little stress as possible to help him remain calmer. Even in situations where he was previously aggressive.
Is another four-legged friend in the vicinity? Then your dog will be more attentive. After all, he has to pay attention.
The competitor will want to mark his territoryas well. This can be very exhausting and irritating for your dog.
3. Problem Solving and Decisions
It's a lot of stress for your dog, when he doesn’t know what to do. Does your dog need to solve a particular problem? Then he may be under a lot of stress. If he also gets into an unpleasant situation, he will quickly react aggressively.
Pain means constant stress for your dog. The problem is, many dogs hide their pain and we can't see it at all. Is your dog showing aggressive behavior more often than usual lately? Think about whether this could be a medical condition
5. Wishes and Needs Aren’t Satisfied
Your dog often has his own ideas and wants to do things he is not allowed to do.
Is his food taken away from him, for example? Is he not allowed to play with the dog on the opposite side of the street? Or does he want to run faster than you when you go for a walk?
This can be very frustrating for him.
A healthy and relaxed four-legged friend is less likely to show aggressive behavior than stressed dogs. With this knowledge, you can easily avoid aggression in your dog.
Prevent Aggression from Arising
Are you in the training phase and want to break your dog's biting habit? Then your dog should not be placed into difficult situations. Then your darling should not get into difficult situations.
If he feels uncomfortable and bites, the danger usually disappears. So he realizes that it works and does it again and again.
But if he has not had to bite for a long time, he is much more likely to get involved in the training. This gives him the opportunity to learn alternatives that also make the threat disappear.
Therefore, observe what irritates your dog and in which situations he behaves aggressively. These situations should be avoided in the next few weeks.
For example, does your dog get aggressive when strangers are around?
Then he should be confronted with other people only in exceptional cases in the near future. This way, he will not be stressed and he will not attack anyone.
If, however, a situation arises that irritates him, leave with him immediately and keep your distance. You should also leave him alone for the time being.
It is also very helpful if he has a retreat at home. This may be, for example, a dog bed or his own room.
Your dog then knows he will be undisturbed there and can go there when he is stressed and wants to be left alone. In this way, he learns it is much better to avoid difficult situations.
When you go for a walk you should use a leash and then keep the line short. This way, you can control where you go. In an emergency, you can quickly get him away from things that make him aggressive. leash and Keep the line short. This way you can control where you go. In an emergency, you can quickly get him away from the things that make him aggressive.
A muzzle When you go for a walk you should use a leash and then keep the line short. This way, you can control where you go. In an emergency, you can quickly get him away from things that make him aggressive.
If your dog is already a little irritable, try not to startle him. Approach him gently .
You can also distract him by asking him to do familiar things. This could be, for example, commands that he has mastered.
Your dog will also calm down much faster if you trigger positive feelings in him. Then stroke him or rustle the food bag.
Tips for Training
Above all, show your dog that his aggressive behavior is not productive. He should use other strategies. The best of which is to walk away.
Furthermore, you should make it clear to him, that some situations are not a threat to him at all.
So reward him when he stays calm in certain situations. .
Does he usually perceive people as a threat? Is he near a stranger and has not yet shown aggressive behavior? Then he has earned a treat.
Walk with him a few steps away from the "threat" and reward him there.
This way, he realizes at the same time that he can leave the situation at any time. If he leaves on his own the next time, you should also reward him.
Never overload your dog with this training. If he feels threatened and becomes aggressive, you will have to start all over again.
Therefore, do not bring him together with people who react hecticly. If your dog notices tension in others, he himself will become irritated.
Your dog must gradually get used to the new method. Therefore, practice with him only slowly, even if it takes a while.
It can be helpful if you also perform these exercises in everyday life. After all, these are potential situations that can occur any time and he should learn to react correctly.
Nevertheless, your dog should not be exposed to any distractions at the beginning. Look for quieter places that do not overwhelm him.
Many owners try to get their dogs used to dealing with people by having others lure him with food. But this exercise can lead to exactly the opposite.
Because now your dog has the conflict of whether to put himself in a threatening situation for a treat.
This stresses him even more. He should be shown that he can simply leave if he feels uncomfortable.
So if someone wants to give him food, they should throw it a few meters away from him. Then your dog will realize that he is rewarded even when keeping his distance.
Apply these tips consistently and practice again and again with your four-legged friend. This way he will quickly learn an alternative to biting.
The next time he sees a situation as threatening, he won’t get aggressive. He will simply move away.
If he does get too irritated and starts to growl, you should never scold him. Your dog has done nothing wrong. On the contrary, he has only shown that he feels threatened and is giving a warning signal. in no case scold him. Your dog has done nothing wrong. On the contrary, he shows that he feels threatened and gives a warning signal.
Scolding would stress him too much, as would punishment. In the worst case, he will skip the growl next time and bite right away.
It's better to make sure that such situations don't occur in the first place.
If your dog is irritated, then just walk a few steps away with him. He learns quickly that distance brings more than attack.
Biting is a natural behavior of dogs. They do it solely to protect themselves from a threat.
Unfortunately, many dogs see even harmless situations as threatening and they become aggressive. This happens especially when they are stressed from the start.
Quickly recognize the symptoms of stress in your dog. This way you can prevent aggressive behavior.
Pay attention to these 3 points:
- Your dog is tense and rigid
- He breathes fast and shallow
- He fixes a certain point with wide eyes
Be careful. Then get him out of the situation as quickly as possible and let him do familiar things. Avoid stressful situations.
This way there will be fewer setbacks. Your dog will learn much faster the new strategies to solve the conflicts.
Show your pet that he can just back off as soon as he feels threatened.
Reward him when he takes a few steps back from the "danger" and does not become aggressive. After a while, he will do this more and more often and not bite anymore.