What To Do With A Dog That Bites Their Owner

Mar 2, 2023 | Ruff Tips

Are you wondering what to do with a dog that bites their owner? Every pet parent’s worst nightmare is when their beloved dog acts out of character and bites them. It can be a scary experience, and it’s important to know what steps to take. While biting behavior in dogs can stem from fear or aggression, it’s essential that steps are taken immediately to ensure the safety of both the dog and their owner. Let’s go over what you should do if your pup bites you.

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Why do Dogs Bite?

The first step in addressing a biting dog is understanding why they are doing it in the first place. In some cases, puppies may nip due to teething or curiosity, while older dogs may bite out of fear or aggression. It’s also possible that your pet is trying to assert their dominance or protect something they consider theirs, such as a toy or a bone. This is a reason that Ryan suggests never leaving toys or anything that the dog can be led to believe is theirs, is left out. Most dogs are protective of their surrounding when they have an injury. Understanding what triggers your pet’s biting behavior is key in resolving this issue.

Dogs and Kids

One of the most scary events is having a dog bite a child. Dogs can see many infants and smaller children as another dog and play with them as such. The high pitched voice of children and the excessive movement can give the idea that they are prey and cause the dog to chase and bite at the dog. Along with that, children are not familiar with the signs from the dog, which indicate the dog is uncomfortable in the situation. Dogs behavior with children vary greatly depending on the dogs mental state and overall demeanor.

Please be careful when it comes to children and dogs. If a bite occurs and it results in drawing blood, that could scare the child’s view on dogs for the rest of their lives. If the child does something to make the dog feel threatened, the dog will respond by either fleeing or biting. Consider that the dog will bite. It’s not a matter of “if”.

Dealing with a Biting Dog

Once you have identified the cause of the biting behavior, there are several steps you can take to change it. First, be sure not to punish your pup—this could make things worse by increasing their fear or aggression towards humans. Instead, focus on positive reinforcement training techniques like offering rewards for good behavior and redirecting them away from bad habits both verbally and physically when necessary. It is important however, to understand that a good balance in training is key.

Additionally, look into professional help from an experienced behaviorist who can provide additional advice and guidance tailored specifically for your pup’s needs. Lastly, be sure that all family members follow consistent rules when interacting with the dog — if someone breaks those rules and gets bitten as a result, don’t blame the dog; instead look at what could have been done differently by everyone involved to prevent the situation from escalating in the first place.

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Has Your Dog Bit You? Your First Steps After the Bite

If your dog has bitten you, the first thing you need to do is make sure that you are safe and secure. If the bite is severe enough that medical attention is required, seek help right away, especially if your dog doesn’t have a rabies vaccination. You may need a tetanus shot.

Once you have done this, it’s time to evaluate why your pup bit you in the first place. Was there something that startled them? Were they feeling threatened? Identifying why they may have bitten you is key when attempting to correct this behavior in the future.

The next step is speaking with a professional animal behaviorist who specializes in canine behavior modification techniques. A certified animal behaviorist will be able to give you insight on how to modify your pup’s behaviors so that biting does not become a habit or a repetitive action for them. They may also give you tips on how to better give and receive communicate with your pup so that they don’t feel threatened by certain situations or people.

Finally, it is important to determine if any changes need to be made at home such as providing more exercise for your pup or avoiding certain activities with strangers that may cause them anxiety or stress. Making small changes like these could mean all the difference between struggling with aggressive behaviors and having a healthy relationship with your pup!

One of the most difficult decisions that may need to be made is to rehome the dog. If this is advised, be sure to think with your the facts more than your emotion. Many times, when Ryan has advised this, it was in a home with multiple dogs. Your safety is the number one priority. If you, the owner does not feel comfortable in your home anymore with the dogs, it may be time for one to go. There will be many warning signs that the dog may not be comfortable under current conditions or even you. Listen to that feeling and prepare yourself to potentially having to make the ultimate decision to rehome the dog.

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Identify & Adjust The Dog’s Behavior Problem

The first step in dealing with a biting dog is to identify the cause of the aggression. There are several potential causes, such as an emotional reaction like fear, anxiety, territoriality, possessiveness, or health problems that cause pain. Once you have identified the cause of the aggression, you can start working on ways to address it. Here are some strategies for doing so:

Minimizing Options

Most times in a home with multiple dogs, if there is something to fight over, there will be a fight. This could be toys, food, and even the dog owners. Be sure to minimize the things that dogs can be jealous of. Minimizing options is the most effective way to prevent bites in Ryan’s opinion.

Balanced Training

Balanced training is another way to reduce aggressive behavior in dogs. This type of training involves rewarding desired behaviors with treats or praise and giving feedback for undesired behaviors. With consistency and patience, balanced training can help your dog learn that certain behaviors will result in rewards and others will not be tolerated.

Training Classes

Enrolling in a canine obedience class or hiring a professional dog trainer can also help you address aggression issues. A trained professional will be able to assess your dog’s behavior and provide customized advice on how best to deal with it. They will know the correct training strategies to help your dog remain calm. Additionally, attending classes will allow your pup to socialize with other animals and people while learning proper behavior in different environments.

Medical Assistance

In some cases, medical intervention may be necessary if an underlying problem is causing aggressive behavior in your pup. If you suspect that there may be an underlying medical issue causing your pet’s aggression, it’s important to take them for an examination by a veterinarian as soon as possible. The vet may prescribe medication or suggest a treatment plan depending on the condition being treated. You want to prevent further problems, so make sure to get your dog check out immediately.

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Signs Of Aggression

Dogs have aggressive tendencies, just like humans. Just like with humans, there are usually shown signs of aggression. It is important to be aware of aggressive dog behavior in order to know when it is time to step in and prevent further issues from arising. Warning signs of aggression in a dog may include growling, snapping, or baring their teeth. If you see any of these signs, it is best to call for help from a professional who can help create measures to address aggressive tendencies and intervene if needed.

Most dogs that are aggressive may also display stiff muscles and their ears may be flat against their head. You should be aware of any aggressive behavior to ensure that your dog is not feeling threatened or anxious. They may also be resource guarding. When faced with aggressive behavior from an unfamiliar dog, a common warning sign is when your pet pulls back its tail or holds it low close to its body, as it’s their natural instinct.

It is essential to remember that aggressive behavior in dogs needs to be addressed immediately and accurately. Proper training and socialization are essential for managing aggressive tendencies in dogs. Ensuring your dog’s physical and mental health through routine vet visits, regular exercise, and proper nutrition will help maintain normal behavior in your pet and prevent aggressive outbursts.

What Is A Veterinary Behaviorist?

A veterinary behaviorist is a medical professional who specializes in dog behavior and dog’s history. They study dog’s life and their relationship to humans and other animals. This means that veterinary behaviorists are unique, as they are knowledgeable about the factors affecting domesticated dogs and how to help many dogs live happy, balanced lives alongside their owners. They work with dog owners to understand demeanor, interpret behavioral issues, create individualized treatment plans and suggest lifestyle modifications. Essentially, these professionals employ evidence-based techniques to help facilitate better relationships between dogs and people!

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What To Do If Your Dog Bites Someone Else?

If your dog bites someone, it’s important to inform local authorities as soon as possible when a dog bite occurs, for your own safety. You may be held legally responsible if the bite wound is severe enough and if you failed to take proper precautions to ensure no one gets bitten. It’s important to be vigilant and aware of your dog’s body language so that if a bite does occur, you can inform local authorities and seek medical help for the injured individual right away.

If your dog bites young children, it is important to address the situation quickly and appropriately. Immediately take your dog away from the area where the incident occurred and put them in a separate room. Beware that the parent of small children may file a civil suit or legal action if necessary, depending on the severity of the bite or multiple bites. A dog bite victim has that right. Young children should get emergency medical care right away because their smaller bodies can be easily hurt when a dog bites hard, especially if the dog drew blood.

The doctor may also recommend a tetanus shot in addition to any other necessary medical treatments. Be sure to apologize and show empathy towards whoever was injured in the immediate aftermath, then talk with your veterinarian about modifying your dog’s behavior with appropriate training techniques. You may also be liable for the emergency medicine from the dog bite. It is essential that you as the pet owner take responsibility for your animal’s actions and provide comfort and support to the injured person in order to ensure the safety of all who are involved.

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Ruff House Dog Training

While it may take a lot of patience and dedication, properly training an aggressive dog can be done with the help of a professional and experienced dog trainer. Training will not only help your pup, but other members in your family as well. Improperly trained dogs can put you and those around you at risk, so taking the steps necessary to solve this problem is very important. You and your pup have nothing to lose by reaching out to Ruff House Dog Training today; that way you can work towards establishing better behavior and peace in the household.

After all, proper training is key in maintaining order in any group – animal or human! As a dog owner, it’s your responsibility to make sure your animal can be around other dogs and people. So take the proactive route for both yourself and your pup by becoming more knowledgeable about reading each other’s cues and needs. That way, you can cultivate a stronger relationship with your canine companion that’s rooted in mutual understanding. The end goal is to have a happy dog!

Ryan does not believe in medications for behavior modification. The dog owner should address what is causing the dog to bite. This often requires a big change in the engagement with the dog and the freedoms they may or may not have. The dog’s size has no bearing on whether the dog should have balanced training. A dog is a dog and needs to be treated as such. Your own safety needs to be taken into consideration.

So, What To Do With A Dog That Bites Their Owner?

When dealing with your own dog biting, it is important to take swift action and address the situation immediately by seeking medical attention if necessary and consulting with an experienced animal behaviorist who can provide advice on how best to proceed. Taking action right away can help prevent further problems down the line while ensuring both the safety of yourself and your beloved pup! With proper communication, training, understanding and love for one another, experiencing any type of biting behavior should never have to happen again, and your dog will be the good boy you know he is!

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