Prevent Dogs from Biting

prevent dogs from bitingA dog that bites out of panic should not be confused with one that bites out of dominance-aggression. He isn’t necessarily a vicious dog. He usually expresses his feelings of panic or fear by relaying the message to his owner that he is not comfortable in his current situation. If your dog has this problem, here are some useful tips on how to prevent dogs from biting.

Prevent dogs from biting caused by fear or shyness

The main cause of fear-biting is the result of a dog owner’s actions when their dog is afraid or anxious. A dog owner’s natural instinct is to comfort their dog. This will often push the dog over the edge. Mostly, they prefer being alone when frightened. Because they are unable to express that feeling to you, their reaction is to bite. Shyness among dogs is quite common if they are in new circumstances. This doesn’t mean they will turn out to be fear-biters. Only if their shyness is interfering with their daily life will it become a problem. If they can’t be reliable with strangers or it’s affecting their owner’s life, it will then need to be addressed.

Prevent dogs from biting – warning signs

First, you need to know the warning signs of a scared dog. If you don’t know the signs, it is more likely fear-biting will occur. Generally, submissive dogs are more prone to bite. When facing strange circumstances or people, they don’t have the confidence needed to confront this new situation. They may feel nervous and may not feel like socializing. Their posture will become submissive and they will show unusual behaviours. Fear-biting can also be caused by abuse or neglect in a dog’s past and needs to be treated properly.

Posture

  • ears will flatten against head
  • tail will be tucked
  • lowered back is hunched
  • elbows bend slightly

Behaviors

  • no eye contact
  • panting
  • yawning (to relieve stress)
  • if really fearful, urination or defecation may occur
Coping with dogs that biting

You must realize that fear-biting can’t be changed overnight. By getting angry and frustrated, it will cause your dog to become more anxious and frightened, and in the end worsen the problem. He needs to be carefully trained to become less sensitive. Some, but not all, dogs will respond to your tolerance and perseverance. A few dogs may retain this disposition permanently. The main reasons for their fear come from instinct and panic. These are two strong attributes to overcome and there may be no amount of training that can help.

Two things you can do initially to assure your dog that he has nothing to fear are: (1) decrease his levels of stress and nervousness, and (2) monitor him to see the cause of his anxiety. Your dog knows the distinction from a reward he has deserved, and one that he hasn’t, so keep the rewards for his obedience. Basic training classes are best to begin with, using the commands between just five and ten minutes a day.

Rushing your dog, or forcing him to face his fears, will only increase his anxiety. Watch his movements and try to pick up on how he is feeling as you progress through the reconditioning. Be patient and don’t rush him. It will benefit you both in the long run.

Further reading 

To increase your knowledge on how to prevent dogs from biting, you will definitely benefit greatly by reading  Secrets to Dog Training. This is a step-by-step, indepth guide that covers a whole range of topics concerning your dog’s behavior problems. Check it out and learn the best way to train him.

Secrets to Dog Training