“When a dog bites, when the bee stings…” sings Julie Andrews in the classic movie, The Sound of Music. Well, when a dog bites, it could be an owner’s least favorite thing.
Dog biting may encompass a minor pinching feeling; this is less serious than when a dog holds onto whatever it’s biting full stop. This is scary since the dog is aware of its own strength and prowess. However, with a little insight to dog biting as the responsible owner, you can help rid this behavior from your dog.
When a pup is young, it discovers that dog biting results in pain. When a puppy is bitten and yelps, the biter, as a pup, knows to stop biting. The puppy quickly learns not to bite its own brethren. However, it’s not so simple as that. Aggressive dogs may feel rivaled and direct its aggression towards another animal or person in the result of a dog bite. The owner needs to establish the ground rules: who’s boss and who’s not. The hierarchy needs to be defined. Whether it’s competing with another dog over a bone or has a sense of ownership over an object or whatever the reason, aggressive dogs may act out in the form of a dog bite.
Plus, dog separation anxiety is another factor attributing to dog biting. When a puppy reaches puberty, the mother rejects it. So, if you bring home your puppy when it is eight weeks old you are essentially a stand-in for the pup’s mother. The rejection needs to take place: instead of coddling the pup at every waking moment, it needs to know where to sleep, it needs its own toys, blanket, and such. For instance, if an owner showers a female dog with attention, the animal does not have the emotional distance for a healthy relationship and environment.
There could be a variety of reasons for dog biting whether it’s aggression as we mentioned for hierarchy relationships, predator aggression, or even aggression of males versus females. Your dog may be fearful and the aggression may act out in the form of a dog bite. Predator aggression, for example, may be very violent. This results in something that moves like a bicyclist, a runner, a child who is playing outside. In another situation, your dog may be fearful. It doesn’t know how to react nor run away; its first inclination may be to dog bite. Experts say the dog bites in order to scare the predator away and re-establish its distance. Another example is instilling fear in your dog as the owner. This results in dog bites. If a dog had an accident and the owner goes to check on it, the dog bites the owner. Or, a dog could be scared if he has lost his sight and sense of hearing and is terrified by movement. It could be misinterpreted as aggression and result in a dog bite. Since dog bites are typically acts of aggression, if you sense this behavior in your dog, seek help immediately. While it is disconcerting as a pet owner, it’s also empowering: you have the ability to help change this behavior and get to the underlying root of the aggression.
At The Dog Bowl, nothing is more important than your pets’ health and well being. For more information about dog biting or dog behavior and training click here.