We are so used to dogs being loving animals that we are scared when their attitude changes and, for some reason, they adopt aggressive behaviors . Not knowing the body language of dogs can cause many guardians to have difficulty understanding certain canine behaviors, in addition to making them unable to perceive the signals and warnings that precede a growl, marking or a bite.
When a dog becomes aggressive when you take something from it, it is because it considers that object so valuable and indispensable that it is afraid of losing it. He then resorts to aggression as a way of protecting that resource and preventing any other person or animal from depriving him of his possession.
If you have already experienced this situation with your dog, it is very likely that you wonder why: Why does a dog bite when you take something from it? In this article from Animal Expert we will analyze the main causes and explain how to work with this behavior. Keep reading!
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- Why does a dog growl or bite when you try to take something away from it?
- Why does a dog attack, growl, or bite when scolded?
- What to do if my dog bites me?
- How to prevent your dog from biting you when you take something from it?
Why does a dog growl or bite when you try to take something away from it?
The protection of resources is the main reason why some dogs aggressive growl and even bite is when someone takes away something from the mouth or attempts to do so. This behavior appears when you consider that a resource is very valuable , so you can resort to aggression to protect it.
Possessive dogs can exercise resource protection with objects, people, and spaces , and the aggressive response can target both people and animals, whether or not they are known to the dog. For example, a dog may act aggressively when someone tries to get close to its handler or when another dog comes up while playing with its toy.
Although resource protection can be seen in many species as an instinctive mechanism for survival, it is very dangerous when we talk about a companion animal, especially if we live with young children or other animals, since the probabilities of aggression are very high.
Why does a dog attack, growl, or bite when scolded?
Before explaining to you why a dog attacks, growls or bites when punished, we must clarify that it is not correct to scold dogs when they show resource protection. Why? By scolding a dog, we are not only weakening the bond with its handlers and exposing it to fear, stress and anxiety, but we are also communicating that warning is bad, therefore, it can stop growling and start biting .
Likewise, faced with excessive punishment, the dog may feel vulnerable, scared and threatened. While some dogs adopt a defensive posture, freeze, and even try to flee, those who experience resource protection are more likely to bite to defend themselves . For all these reasons, punishment is not a recommended or recommended method when teaching a dog the rules of the home or when trying to work out a behavior problem related to aggressiveness.
What to do if my dog bites me?
If your dog has growled, marked or bitten you, you should not scold, punish or lock him up, as all this will only make the situation worse by further increasing the levels of stress and anxiety . Likewise, if you respond to the attack with another attack, the attack could be repeated even more seriously.
It is important that you act calmly and balanced after aggressive behavior. Maintain a neutral position, without staring at the dog or making any gesture that may be threatening to him. Once he looks away, then you can walk away quietly, without turning your back on him.
When we talk about an uncomplicated case, it can be positive to spread prizes on the floor to distract the dog, take him to another room and, only then, remove the object causing the protection of resources. However, as we have already anticipated, this behavior is especially serious, so you will need to seek professional help from a canine handler, educator or veterinarian specializing in ethology.
The professional will help you to conduct behavior modification sessions and will explain the guidelines to follow taking into account the specific case. It is very important that you never apply techniques if you are not a specialist or the guidelines are not directly recommended by a professional, as you could make the picture worse .
How to prevent your dog from biting you when you take something from it?
If we want to prevent aggressive behaviors related to protecting resources in our dogs, the best we can do is invest in their early education . While your dog is still a puppy, you will need to teach him to drop objects , always offering him a prize in exchange for his decision to share his resources with you and with other individuals in his environment.
It will also be essential to properly socialize your puppy to teach him to relate in a positive way with other individuals (people and animals), with his environment, the objects and stimuli that compose him. Furthermore, we must also encourage him to ignore some stimuli and not overreact to any noise or other unknown stimulus. In this way, you will get your partner to build his self-confidence and gain self-control, avoiding impulsive reactions when someone approaches his resources or tries to take something from his mouth.
However, if your dog already demonstrates possessive attitudes towards you, with his food or with his objects, the ideal is that you immediately seek help from a professional licensed to handle these behaviors, such as a canine educator or an ethologist.