The act of biting is part of the body language that dogs . They use the bite, more or less strong, to communicate with each other, with their guardians and also with other individuals in their environment. However, a dog that marks or bites is often a cause for concern for its guardian, as it can cause serious incidents both inside the home and on the streets, even if it is unintentional.
For this reason, it is essential to teach our furry to manage their own bite so that they can fully enjoy a social life, interacting positively with animals, people and the stimuli they meet throughout their lives. Thinking about it, in this new article from the Animal Expert, we share some key tips to explain how to make a dog not bite .
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- Why do dogs bite?
- How to prevent a dog from biting while playing?
- How to make one dog not bite another?
- How to make a dog not bite people?
- What to do when a dog bites a person?
Why do dogs bite?
The first step to know how to make a dog not bite is to understand why dogs bite, only in this way can we prevent the most frequent causes of this behavior from occurring in the daily lives of our best friends. Although we usually associate bites with a symptom of aggressiveness in dogs, the truth is that dogs can bite for different reasons . So, to know why a dog bites, it is essential to pay attention to its environment, its behavior and its routine to identify what may be causing it to bite.
1. Relief in puppies
If you’ve just adopted a puppy, you’re probably wondering why puppy dogs bite . In this first phase of their physical and cognitive development , puppies tend to bite everything , mainly because they experience many changes in their dentition and try, through the bite, to alleviate the discomfort caused by the growth of baby teeth and the subsequent irruption of the permanent pieces.
2. Discovery of the environment
Furthermore, bites are also a means through which puppy dogs explore their environment and discover the different stimuli that make up their environment. However, as we will see below, it is essential to start teaching your furry to manage his bite from his third week of life to avoid assimilating this behavior as something positive and transferring it to adulthood.
3. Poor socialization
Already in adult dogs, the act of biting may have been assimilated as a way of interacting with other dogs and people, due to poor socialization. In other words, the dog has understood that this behavior can be part of its social life and communication, because it has not learned to relate positively to other individuals and stimuli. For this reason, dog socialization is a key aspect of your education to allow your best friend to understand the basics of positive social behavior.
4. Defense against a negative situation
Now, bites can really appear as part of dogs’ natural defense mechanism , which is generally “activated” when the dog is in a negative context that puts their physical or emotional integrity at risk. However, if the dog bites or growls when someone tries to take something away from you or gets close to its objects, this possessive behavior is probably related to the protection of resources .
Likewise, it is worth noting that it is very strange for a dog to bite “out of the blue”, that is, without giving prior warnings that it feels threatened or uncomfortable in a certain situation. Bites usually appear as a last resort that the dog uses in a moment of extreme tension. Before biting, this dog emits several calm signals to communicate to its interlocutor that it must stop with some behavior that generates or increases the tension of this context.
What usually happens is that the ignorance about the positions and facial expressions of the dogs makes it difficult for a person to recognize the body language of an angry dog or a frightened dog that adopts a defensive attitude. In the most serious cases, when the dog has been repeatedly ignored showing signs of calm, dogs may stop showing them and start biting in response.
In any case, there are many other causes that can cause a dog to bite and only the professional can help us come up with an accurate diagnosis. We will start by ruling out health problems by visiting a veterinarian, preferably one specialized in ethology. Some diseases, like hypothyroidism , can cause negative reactions in our best friend.
Once the organic cause has been ruled out, we will go to an ethologist or, again, the ethologist, who will help us discover why our dog bites and will offer us personalized guidelines taking into account the case.
How to prevent a dog from biting while playing?
Bites during games are especially common in puppy dogs , as this is a way to discover and experience smells, tastes and other stimuli that are part of their environment. Although this is a natural behavior that is part of the physical and cognitive development of puppies, it is essential that you teach your dog to manage its bite during its first months of life. In addition, you should always respect the age of weaning before separating it from its parent, allowing it to assimilate the bases of its social behavior with its siblings.
When you work on bite inhibition early with your puppy, you prevent him from assimilating the act of biting as a positive behavior during games and in other situations that arise in his daily life. If a puppy does not have a chance to go through this training, he will not learn to control his own strength and will probably assimilate the habit of biting while playing and will reproduce it in adulthood. And what might have seemed harmless behavior before turns into potentially dangerous behavior, especially when it comes to large, powerful-jawed dogs or furry dogs who share their homes with children or older adults.
So if you’re wondering how to keep a dog from biting when playing , the key is to properly work on bite inhibition, preferably while your furry is still a puppy. It will also be essential to teach him to drop objects to avoid the assimilation of possessive behaviors in relation to his objects and to prevent any accident during games. Also, here at AnimalExpert, we share other key tips for teaching a puppy not to bite .
How to make one dog not bite another?
As we have mentioned, dogs can erroneously assimilate the act of biting as part of their social behavior, mainly when they do not experience a positive socialization process. If a dog is not socialized correctly, it will be difficult for him to learn to relate properly with other individuals and may present behavior problems in adulthood, such as separation anxiety or protection of resources .
Socialization is the answer you are looking for if you are wondering how to keep a dog from biting a cat or another dog. And ideally, you can begin to socialize your puppy from its third week of life, introducing it to other dogs, cats, people and stimuli, always guaranteeing that these interactions take place in a safe environment with dewormed, vaccinated and good health. However, you should know that it is also possible to socialize an adult dog , always applying positive reinforcement to stimulate his learning and reward him for his effort.
Likewise, before deciding to adopt a new dog or cat to share the house with your dog, be sure to properly condition the home and correctly introduce your dog to his new companion. Here at Expert Animal, we teach you how to present your dog to a cat correctly and we also tell you how to promote the coexistence of an adult dog and a puppy . Do not miss these tips!
How to make a dog not bite people?
First of all, we must emphasize again that socialization is key to prevent a dog from biting people and adopting possessive behavior in relation to its objects, its food or its guardians. But to properly educate your furry, it will also be essential to teach him to answer the call and to walk correctly , in addition to introducing him to basic dog training orders . This will allow you to stimulate the mind of your best friend and enjoy the company of an obedient dog, avoiding accidents or unpleasant moments during his walks or when receiving visits in your home.
On the other hand, it is equally important that people who share the environment with a dog learn to respect the canine nature and the personality of each dog. For example, many furry ones do not like hugs and kisses and this does not mean that they do not know how to live together or show affection, but that their way of interacting and showing affection towards other individuals does not include this type of behavior. And if we hug a dog that is not used to receiving this type of demonstration, we will cause a high level of stress and it is very likely that it will react negatively to free itself from this unpleasant sensation.
So, as rational adults, we must be aware when interacting with a dog and letting a child do it, especially if it is an unknown or stray dog. In addition, we recommend you know our tips to prevent a dog from biting you .
What to do when a dog bites a person?
The first thing you need to know is that you should not scold a dog that is angry or has bitten a person. Punishment is one of the counterproductive methods that we should never use in the education of a dog, since it subjects the animal to negative emotions and can lead to negative reactions. If you scold a dog that is angry or has bitten a person, you will only be increasing the tension of this context even more and you will be able to make the dog react defensively again, being able to hurt you or the other individuals that are in its environment .
In this situation, the best thing you can do is to maintain a neutral position and act calmly , without staring at the dog, making sudden movements or any gesture that may be threatening to him. Once the dog has looked away, then you can walk away quietly, without turning away.
If it is your own dog, we recommend consulting a professional expert in dog ethology or a dog educator. These professionals will help you conduct behavior modification sessions and will explain the guidelines to follow taking into account the specific case of your furry. Remember that you should not apply techniques or methods if you are not a specialist or if the guidelines are not directly advised by a trained professional.
If the dog belongs to someone else, you can encourage them to consult such professionals to help their furry. But if it is a stray or abandoned dog , the ideal is to contact an animal protector or the competent authorities in your country to carry out the rescue of the dog in safe conditions.