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Why Do Dogs Bite?Posted Tuesday, November 6, 2012, at 1:39 PM
This is Charlie. He was adopted by a great family and loves to play with his toys.
Dogs bite too, but they don't bite out of anger. I don't believe that is an emotion a dog has. There are various reasons why your dog would bite a human. One such reason is dominance aggression. Due to the lack of leadership by the owner, the dog believes he's in charge. You've never shown him that you are in charge and he knows that someone has to be the leader. Showing a dog you are in charge is quite simple. If the dog wants something, for example his food, you ask the dog to sit, and once he does, he gets his food. This is called, "Nothing In Life Is Free" and it is something every owner should do with their dog.
Another reason for a dog to bite would be his protection of valuables. For a dog, those things would be food, toys, territory, etc. Teaching your dog to trade with you can help overcome this issue. When your dog has something that is valuable to him, offer him something of even greater value. Kind of like you are trading with him and he's getting the better deal. It takes practice. If this is a huge issue with your dog, you may want to only allow him to have that special item when he is in his crate or not have it at all. Don't set your dog up to bite, just remove the trigger.
Fear aggression is probably the most common, yet misunderstood type. Many times people see a snarling, growling dog and think, he hates me and wants to kill me, when in fact, he's actually scared of you. Dogs quickly learn that if they growl and snap at the object that is making them uncomfortable, that object will get away from him, resulting in exactly what they want. Pretty smart huh?
Make sure that you are teaching your children to stay away from any animal that is a new mom as well as her babies. Mommies are very protective of their young and will not hesitate to give you a signal that they want you to stay away. Just respect that and watch from afar.
One of the hardest things to do as a human is to not try and break up a dog fight. It is just our natural reaction to get our hands and bodies between them in order to stop the battle. Many people are bitten because of this. The best way to break up a fight is to throw water on the dogs, make a loud sound, or even throw a blanket over them. Anything to break their concentration long enough to separate them.
As your dog becomes older, watch for signs that he is hurting. One of these signs could be a snap or bite as you attempt to touch him. Take him to the vet to find out what is wrong and what options you have. Humans don't care to be messed with when they don't feel well either.
They last form of aggression is being pestered beyond their limits. Even dogs have a limit to how much they can take. Don't hug a sleeping dog, don't blow puffs of air in a dogs face, don't let children ride your dog as if it was a pony, and don't poke, prod, or tickle a dog. These actions would be the same as teasing a dog. No one likes to be teased, and when pushed to the limit, there will be retaliation.
In order to prevent your dog from biting, pay attention to your dog and watch the signals he is giving you. They don't just bite out of the blue.
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My name is Stephanie O'Brien. I'm an animal lover and enjoy volunteering. I have combined those passions into providing a temporary home to animals that would otherwise be sitting in a shelter or worse, euthanized due to lack of room in a shelter. For the past two years I've fostered pit bull type dogs for a rescue in South Dakota. I've also had the opportunity to do some presentations on responsible pet ownership and have been involved in fighting breed specific legislation in SD and IA. I'm looking forward to providing the readers with animal related topics and possibly answer any questions you may have. Enjoy! Stephanie Sioux Empire Pit Rescue Volunteer