What to do if your dog bites other dogs
Bites are almost always a last resort after growling and ignoring.
What if one dog bites another? Are there ways to stop a dog from being aggressive towards others?
There is no universal way to wean a dog from biting. Such incidents are best considered individually with specialists – the veterinarian will refer you to a specialist for training aggressive dogs or to a behavioral veterinarian. They will assess the situation and circumstances that have contributed to aggressive behavior, identify the causes, and explain how to avoid recurrence.
It is important to understand why such a situation occurred, as well as how to determine which dog is potentially ready to bite.
The sociability of dogs is influenced by a number of different factors, including heredity, education and experience with other dogs. Your pet can be friendly and kind to all family members, but at the same time provoke conflicts with other dogs.
The ideal time for socializing a puppy is between 6 and 14 weeks old. It is important that during this period the puppy plays and socially interacts in various ways with other dogs. This will teach him to interpret and use body language to communicate with relatives. Dogs that were rarely surrounded by their own when they were puppies are less likely to perceive other dogs as “friends,” are more likely to react aggressively to harmless attempts to meet each other. These early interactions also allow you to teach your dog, if there is aggression, to bite easily, slightly clenching your teeth.
Limited experience with other dogs during the period of socialization or communication with only certain individuals can make your pet more selective in relation to its environment. In addition, negative experiences may be postponed as an established belief that dogs, or certain types of dogs, are dangerous. This can trigger fear-based aggression.
Why do dogs bite?
There are several reasons why a dog may bite another, but most often this happens in a situation that is considered a threat. In this case, a bite is a defensive reaction designed to mark the boundaries of personal space and avoid the perceived threat. Bites are an extreme measure after all other warning signals have been ignored.
Before biting, most dogs will first try to indicate their personal space in other ways, starting with small signals, such as avoiding eye contact or moving away, and ending with louder ones – barking, growling, hard look. Most dogs try to avoid bites to the last, realizing that such aggression can be fraught with injuries for themselves.
Certain circumstances can lead to more aggressive behavior. Some dogs are friendly with friends and are aggressive towards strangers, especially if they appear in their permanent place for walking. Others may be aggressive even to acquaintances. Most often, the reason for this is the possession of some valuable resource for the dog – a bowl of food or a favorite toy. In this case, anger and aggression are a sign of protective behavior.
In rare cases, a dog can instinctively react to another (usually much smaller), like prey.
Almost every dog, feeling threatened, can bite. Most often, the owners describe that the bite occurred “for no reason.” However, the pet first reports that the situation gives him discomfort. Therefore, it is important for dog owners to be able to recognize signs of fear and anxiety.
What to do if the dog is aggressive?
You need to consult with a specialist to determine if this was a one-time case of self-defense or a sign of excessive aggressiveness, and choose the appropriate training option. It is also necessary to exclude medical problems, since a dog experiencing pain or malaise is prone to aggression.
If there are no problems on the part of health, and aggressive behavior is a character trait, it is necessary to conduct special training. Those dogs that give multiple warning signals before biting respond more favorably to behavioral intervention than those that are easily guided by provocation.
The risk of a re-incident increases if the dog exerts significant force on the bite. In this case, it is necessary to constantly avoid situations that can lead to aggression, and conduct regular training. It is worth doing this throughout the life of the dog in order to minimize the risk of a recurring traumatic episode.
During training, the dog should be taught to leave or go to a place in conflict situations. You can direct aggression in a positive direction by showing your pet that a large congestion of dogs is fun, you can run and play with them.
In some cases, a prescription may require medication. Therefore, before starting training a dog, consult with a specialist.