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How to react to a dog biting?

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Posted on November 18 2018

Each dog may bite, but it is not systematic. It does not matter what kind of race, sex, age or past. Several factors explain a passage to the act of your dog. Why does he come here? Does it become dangerous? How should we react? So many questions to which we bring answers.

Because a dog that shows fangs, it's never reassuring and a bite , even very brief, can be very serious , it is never obvious to know the right attitude to adopt when such incident occurs. However, it is essential to ensure that this does not happen again, first to avoid other injuries, but also and especially for the good of the dog himself . What did you do to make your companion get there? Is it your only fault ? This obviously disturbing behavior alerts you. You do not really know how to react.

Let's get rid of the puppy right away. When your puppy is having fun, playing , it can happen to chew on you . Just as he can bite other dogs. He does not regard this as malice. It will be important not to punish him in return. You must raise a little cry to make him understand that he exceeds the limits. To hit him will only have the effect of developing a feeling of aggression at home. It could, then, become dangerous growing up.

Understanding the bite

Biting is part of the dog's instinctive and natural movements . In a pack, only the leader has the right to bite other dogs. This act is not abnormal; it is only the expression of a malaise at a given moment. We must, in fact, try to better understand the bite of dogs to be able to ensure that it does not happen again .

A biting dog is not necessarily meaner or more aggressive than others. The bite is, in fact, only his last resort in a situation of danger or discomfort. Our 4-legged friends often prefer to avoid what threatens or embarrasses them. Only when they have no other way to get rid of them they act.

It can sometimes be reflex bites . They occur following an awkward gesture : trampling his tail, pulling on his ear, etc. Often, it is children who commit these blunders and are bitten accordingly.

Deciphering the body language of a dog that will bite

Biting is not necessarily synonymous with malice . A dog gets to bite another dog or a human for many reasons . Biting results from aggressive behavior that breaks down into several stages:

  • The simple threat . Your dog grunts. His lips curl up. The hairs stand up. The situation does not please him and he makes it understand. His goal is to be scared enough not to go to the act of biting in himself.
  • The passage to the act . Your dog considers that the simple threat was not enough. To make himself understood and strengthen his authority, he manages to bite.
  • The sign of appeasement . Your dog comes to see his injured "opponent" to let him know that things are over.

This delicate situation emanates from multiple causes.

The bite can be longer or shorter. In fact, it depends on the reaction of the opponent. Often, if it recoils, the dog quickly withdraws its hold and goes in turn. If it resists, the animal can maintain its grip, but it is not a generality. Many factors are taken into account in the nature of the bite: situation, education of the dog, past traumas ...

The consequences of the bite are also very variable. Wounds can be superficial and require only basic care, as they can be extremely painful and deep, requiring emergency surgery.

Factors favoring the passage to the act

  • Your dog just wants to play . This is the least serious case and the easiest to treat. He is excited and manifests it in his own way. The tail moves, it jumps everywhere and gets to bite you. We get closer to the behavior of a puppy when he chews. Here, you must immediately stop any game, show him that you have pain even if it is not the case and then ignore your dog for a few minutes.
  • Your dog is getting old and starts having some joint pains . A bad gesture of a child against it can wake up this pain and generate a bite. A passage on the painful area during grooming can also cause this natural reaction in your dog, who seeks above all to show you where he is suffering .
  • Your dog feels aggrieved . He will answer with the attack . You must not look for it. Your dog suffers and the best is to leave him on his side while he calms down. Then, go and reassure him.
  • Your dog is biting by fear . It becomes uncontrollable and can be very dangerous for the individual or dog in front of him. This is the most common aggression but perhaps the least easy to stop. You must try to draw your dog towards you and not to pick him up. You have to put some distance between the object of his fear and him.
  • A lack of socialization . A dog is usually a social animal. An upheaval in his life leading to the absence of a clarification on his place in it can lead to a kind of fear. To show his presence, he will not hesitate to bite if he has the opportunity. The social factor is also found when your dog comes to bite a moving cyclist, or a jogger. Linked to his education, it is also the instinct of predation of your dog, which takes over.
  • Redirected aggression . Your dog can not bite the cause, the source of his discomfort. He will attack a third party who is nearby.
  • The instrumentalized aggression . This is a special case because we are dealing with a dog that evolves in a perpetually stressful environment. He was trained to bite in order to be heard. He does not take the trouble to threaten anymore. He acts directly.

What to do when it occurs?

Since prevention is always better than cure, it is recommended that actions be taken to prevent bites from occurring or recurring.

It is not uncommon for a bite to be the expression of the questioning of the hierarchical status of the dog in his pack that is the family. It is therefore appropriate to reposition yourself as a leader , not by violating the animal, but by imposing your leadership by orders such as "seated" or "lying down", accompanied by rewards (treats, caresses ...) when are executed. The positive reinforcement always works best. It is a long-term job that requires a lot of time for the dog to regain his status and be comforted by the positioning of his master.

On the other hand, one has a better chance of avoiding the next bites by respecting more the dog when it emits the signals mentioned above. If he becomes aggressive when touching his bowl, pushes him into a corner, strokes him on the head or pulls him from his sleep, he must simply refrain from doing so again. Every situation likely to bother him is to be avoided.

When bites become repetitive and the attitude of the dog always aggressive, the help of a dog trainer / behaviorist is needed. He will then carry out a reeducation . A dog biting is not condemned, as many may think. On the contrary, the biting dog can be re-educated. It will then decipher the behavior of your dog and will seek to target the origin of his aggressiveness . He will apply the most appropriate method to the problem to restore him confidence.

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