Why Do Dogs Bite?

Why Do Dogs Bite?

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It is not safe to be around a dog that bites. Not only for the human race, but also for the dog. Although it is impossible to determine how many dogs are put down only because they have bitten a person, the fact that they have done so places them in a high-risk category for euthanasia.


The first thing to understand is that all dog bites are provoked, unless the dog is ill or in pain. So, the first step is to take your pet to the vet for a comprehensive examination. Dogs may bite in response to something. The dog may bite to defend itself or its territory if it encounters a stressful environment. When a dog gets agitated, it may suddenly growl, show teeth, snap, or bite. Dogs may bite if they feel threatened, terrified, startled, or any of these emotions. They have the ability to bite to defend anything that is precious to them, such as their puppies, food, or a toy. During play, dogs may also nip and bite. Although nibbling during play may be entertaining for the dog, it can be harmful to humans. These kinds of activities may cause your dog to become overexcited and nip or bite you.





Smart, a German Shepherd dog that is known for been playful, active and at the same time can change his mood to be the protector of the compound. The only 2 reasons I have seen my precious smart bite is firstly, Smart is a very playful dog aside from jumping over you all day and seeking for more fun and attention, Smart also nips at lot which is as good as a bite to me, but for him it is called fun. The second reason why Smart bites is when he values something so preciously like his toys and my little sister is literally guided by Smart, no one can touch my little sister, Lizzy if Smart is in the scene, He will literally charge at such person and bite especially a strange, he has done this twice. Smart has bitten two strangers who carried my sister and we have to provide swift first aid attention and quick wash off the bite site with a warm soapy water, all things to the completed anti-rabies vaccine and serious concerned we showed, my Smart might have sued. But gradually now, after lot of discipline and trainings, Smart is balancing strongly. 


So, what actually leads to dog bites? There are a variety of reasons why dogs’ bites as below:


The majority of canine aggression has some element of fear at its core. A dog could be afraid of anything or someone encroaching on their territory. Dogs can become overpowered or "over threshold" and retaliate by biting when whatever they are terrified of approaches too closely. When a dog bites out of fear, they are typically attempting to get away from anything or anyone they are afraid of.


Dogs, particularly those that have been sleeping, can bite if awakened. A shocked dog may become disoriented and uncertain of their surroundings and what is happening, which could make them aggressive. These bites could surprise both people and the dog. This is especially prevalent in senior dogs, who may have diminished hearing and/or sight and may be especially perplexed if jolted awake. Teach kids not to climb into dog beds or disturb sleeping dogs, and always be considerate while handling canines.


Dogs may bite out of anxiety that something valuable may be taken away if they have toys, food, or chews that they don't want to share. Biting can be a form of resource guarding behaviour used to defend expensive objects. No of the breed, some dogs may exhibit strong guarding behaviours and may bite if they feel like their house is being trespassed upon or if they think a member of their family is in danger (regardless of if that danger is real.)


Another circumstance that could cause biting behaviour in dogs is when they are overstimulated. Dogs who feel stuck in an uncomfortable or unpleasant environment may bite out of frustration. Dogs may experience frustration if they are restrained by their owner or a leash and unable to get what they desire. Dogs may turn and bite at whatever or whoever is holding them back. This behaviour is referred to as redirection or a redirected bite.


For dogs, getting sick or hurt can be incredibly stressful, frightening, and overwhelming. Even the most patient dogs have been known to bite when they are hurt or uncomfortable. If your dog is hurt, you should be especially careful if you need to lift or transport them since they might bite when handled. Make an appointment with your veterinarian and a nearby positive reinforcement trainer if your dog's behaviour changes unexpectedly.


People frequently mouth or bite when playing, which is a common sort of biting that isn't always thought about. Dogs frequently investigate their environment by lightly biting or mouthing, and they also do this while they are having fun. Although it is typically not very nice for us, it is a normal aspect of how dogs interact with one another and, of course, their toys. It's worrisome to see dogs playing fully mouth each other. A visit with a trainer can be useful to help determine whether or not your dog's play style is appropriate if you are worried about how mouthy it is when playing with you or other dogs.


  • At the very least, give your dog some basic training, and keep up the training routine for the rest of its life to help it remember the lessons you've taught it.
  • Make your dog social. Give your dog the opportunity to connect and meet a variety of individuals, including children, persons with disabilities, and senior citizens, in a peaceful, encouraging environment.
  • Regularly expose your dog to a variety of circumstances, including other dogs, loud noises, big machines, bicycles, and other things that can make them nervous. Keep the encounters positive when you begin this training with your dog at the earliest age possible.
  • Pay attention to your dog and be aware of any potential hostility. Before things get out of hand, you might have to get rid of your dog if you can't control the circumstance or your dog's behaviour.
  • Avoid punishing your dog physically, violently, or aggressively. Prior to using aversive, such as shock collars and loud noises, to correct bad behaviour, choose positive reinforcement
  • Always keep your dog in a fenced-in area or on a leash. Before allowing your dog run free in certain places, get to know it well. If you know or think that your dog has afraid or aggressive tendencies, make sure to alert others at all times. Unless the environment is strictly supervised, don't let your dog approach people or other animals. If required, use a muzzle.
  • Ensure that your dog is up to date on all vaccines, including the rabies shot, and schedule routine examinations with your veterinarian.


It's crucial to act swiftly if your dog bites someone. Confine the dog first, then help the victim right away. If at all feasible, the victim should thoroughly wash the bitten with soap and warm water before seeking immediate medical assistance. 

Concluding words

Unless they feel threatened, their pack, or their territory, dogs are not predisposed to biting humans with no reason. It is important to train your dogs and hence minimise the risk of getting sued or paying continual hospital bills to innocently bitten people and also it is important to certify your dog anti-rabies vaccination.

Dr Marvelous Ibiniyi, DVM

A pet enthusiast and young veterinarian in the making, who loves writing and giving educative information about pets especially dogs and cats. Dr Marvelous has a German Shepherd dog named Smart and likewise a Persian cat named Rolex.

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