How to Deal with a Dog Who Bites

It’s hard to believe your sweet dog is capable of biting you. However, that is the case for the millions of Americans bitten every year by dogs, with children being the most common victims. It is very important that you realize that any dog, no matter how docile, has the capacity to bite and if you begin to understand the common reasons why, you can take steps to prevent these incidents.

A fearful dog may bite.

Many dogs bite because they are afraid and usually this fear is directed toward strangers. You should take care to never approach an unfamiliar dog and teach your children the same. Training your pet while still a puppy to feel comfortable with strangers by exposing them to many different people is a great way to prevent fear of unfamiliar people.

Your dog may also bite you or your family members if he becomes startled for some reason. It’s best to not purposely scare your dog. Teach your children that it is not ok to sneak up on dogs or bother them while they’re sleeping.

A possessive dog may bite.

Whether it’s a toy, food, territory, or even you, if a dog feels it’s his, he is willing to fight to protect it. In reality, these things may not be in any danger at all, but if your dog perceives a threat, he may react violently.

Early training is crucial to minimize possessive behavior in dogs. Training your puppy the “leave it” and “stay” commands will help your pet learn not to be so aggressive or possessive.

A dog in pain may bite.

Even the friendliest dogs may bite if you are bothering them while they are in pain. They may not realize you are trying to help or perhaps you did not realize they were injured until you touched a sore spot and they reacted. In either case, it is best to always handle your dog with the utmost care. If your dog seems aggravated and has seemingly nipped at you for no reason, consider that he may be in pain and take him to the veterinarian.

Dogs do not bite for no reason, so it’s important to understand the common triggers of dog aggression so that you can better avoid these situations. Dog bite prevention begins at home and while your pet is still young so that you can train him to handle stressful situations in a more appropriate manner. At the very least, keep your dog’s vaccinations up to date to mitigate worst case scenarios. If you have children, be sure to educate them on the best ways to behave around dogs.