Decoding Your Dog: Understanding Dog Behavior to End Biting

We love our dogs, but sometimes they can drive us crazy with bad behavior, stubbornness or incessant barking. By trying to obtain a better understanding of what our dog’s behavior means, we can build a better relationship with them.

One of those key behaviors that need to be reeled in is the canine tendency to bite. Keep reading to learn the underlying reasons behind why your dog is biting and how to prevent it.

Why Dogs Bite

Canines go into biting mode from several causes. They may be experiencing pain from an injury or internal discomfort; they could be excessively provoke from something they see, frightened, or even simply standing guard over an object they love. Any of those promptings can motivate a biting pattern, and sometimes in a manner that might be dangerous to anyone nearby.

When actively engaged in enjoyable activities, dogs might nip at a person because their mouths are their means of holding onto items. Though leaving a sense of attack is unintended by your furry friend, it’s necessary to train him that though biting the an object of play is no problem, sinking his teeth into you is not.

Consistency is key. When a pet is permitted to playfully bite sometimes but is scolded for it at others, this will confuse rather than appropriately train him. So if your dog bites you during play, put a halt to play time right away and step out of the room.

Do this for every instance of biting. It won’t take long until your dog understands that any type of biting people is unacceptable.

Invading Their Territory

Dogs can be extremely possessive and if they’re trying to protect a favorite toy, person or a piece of food, they will sometimes bite. Therefore, if you need to take something away from a dog, do it slowly but firmly. You must let your dog know that you are in charge – especially if he begins to growl or threatens to bite – but not in a way that will frighten him.

Your dog will also sometimes bite if startled or afraid. As with people, dogs can become afraid, so avoid unnecessarily startling your animal by silently walking up behind him. If you have children, teach them to respect your dog, make a little noise when approaching, and refrain from aggravating or upsetting the animal.

Identifying Discomfort

Finally, dogs can often become aggravated and aggressive when they’re in pain. If your dog is injured or hurt, always be as gentle and careful as possible. Don’t make the mistake of assuming your beloved pet is a TV dog that will simply lie still as you assess or patch an injury. When hurt and you’re the one (in his mind) causing the hurt, be prepared for a snap at your hands.

Soothe your dog and let it know that you’re there to help. Whether you’re pulling out porcupine needles, applying salve to a cat scratch, or extracting a splinter from his paw, assure the pet that you’re there to help.

Just like us, dogs have feelings and emotions. Unlike us though, dogs can’t express those feelings through words or clear body language signals. The next time your dog bites, try to think about the reasons behind that behavior and how you can work with your pet to fix it.

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