Why Does My Dog Bite?

How disconcerting it is when your own dog bites you, or even more horrifying, bites someone else. All dogs have the capacity to bite, so it’s crucial you understand the common causes of dog aggression so that you can take the necessary steps to prevent future bites.

Stress Minimization

Dogs often behave aggressively when they are stressed. Some dogs can handle stressful situations much better than others, however every dog has his limit. If your dog has reached his stress threshold, he may resort to biting in an effort to release pent up energy. That is why a dog may bite you and be completely fine in the next instant. Learn to recognize when your dog is stressed or anxious and try to calm him before things escalate further.

Discourage Possessive Behavior

Dogs can be very territorial and possessive. Whether it’s food or toys, if he feels it’s his, he’ll be willing to bite to protect it. Any perceived threat to a possession can set a dog off, an example being if he thinks that you may take it away. Dogs can also feel possessive of their owners and resort to biting anyone else they perceive as a threat.

This is why you must train your dog to not exhibit such possessive behavior. If you come near his food or toys, he needs to know that you are not to be bitten or receive aggression from him in any way. Teach your dog the “leave it” and “stay” commands so that he is better trained to react to objects and people in a more passive manner.

Teach Your Dog to Overcome Fear

Fear is a main root cause of dog biting. Dogs can become fearful in unfamiliar places and especially of strangers. Train your pet while still a puppy to become accustomed to different types of people so that a minor fear of new people does not develop into a disastrous phobia.

Handle Your Dog with Care

Even the friendliest dogs may bite you if they are in pain. You may be trying to help, but you must try to look at it from his perspective. An injured dog is already in a vulnerable position, so any sudden motions or moves toward the sore area can cause him to react violently to protect himself.

You may not have even known your dog was injured in the first place. If your pet suddenly nips at you for seemingly no apparent reason, this may be an indication of an injury. Always handle your dog with care, and if you think he may be injured, visit your veterinarian immediately.

There is always an underlying reason a dog has bitten you or someone else. Now that you know the common triggers, you can further educate yourself and your family members on the proper ways to handle dog aggression as well as minimize as much stress as possible for your pup.