Why Dogs Bite. Understand Biting Dogs.

Dog biting can be a minor pinching that owners usually ignore. When the dogs bite and lets go right away, the owners consider that this is less serious than if the dog holds on to the prey. The dog is conscious of its strength and dominating position, and thinks that it is strong enough to give a warning. This is the most dangerous animal of all.

The Inhibition of Dog Biting: During the fourth or fifth weeks, the puppy discovers that biting causes pain. The bitten puppy howls and the biter stops biting. That is how the puppy rapidly learns not to bite its kind.


  • The questioning of the hierarchical relationships: the dog's attitudes of dominion are evident. Aggressiveness can be directed toward another animal or man. It is manifested in situations of rivalry over an object, the sofa, etc. The owner has not made it clear that he is the boss and that these hierarchical definitions are definitive.
  • The importance of the separation from the mother: when the puppy reaches puberty the mother rejects it. When we get a puppy that is 8 weeks old, the owner is a substitute for the mother and must make this rejection effective. If the owner doesn't then the adult dog will be in rivalry with the owner. If an owner spoils the female dog excessively, which has become an adult sexually; the animal will not have the necessary distance with regard to the owner, which allows it to be a balanced individual. Therefore, if the owner wants to correct this situation by taking away these privileges, the dog doesn't understand the change and bites.

Different Types of Aggressiveness

  • Aggression for a reconsideration of the hierarchical relations
  • Predator aggression
  • Aggression between males and females
  • Aggression due to fear
  • Aggression because of irritation
  • Territorial aggression
  • Maternal aggression

Aggression for a reconsideration of the hierarchical relations: The animal adopts attitudes of dominion toward its surroundings. The most dangerous dog is the one that bites, let's go and then shows that it is sure of itself. The fact that it lets go of the prey does not mean that it feels any type of remorse; on the contrary they think that they are the owners. If the dog does not let go of the prey, the lesion is serious, but that means that the dog is less confident. Nevertheless, it will not be long until the dog feels secure about itself when it proves that its conduct produces fear to those who surround it. The child is the main victim in this case, since it represents a rival in the affective plan. The dog does not occupy a dominated place in the family; it will enter in conflict with the child. Therefore, putting it in the position of dominated is fundamental.
Predator aggression: it is usually very violent. The leading cause is something that moves, like a bicycle, a runner or a child who is playing.
The threat phase is not produced in many occasions.
The aggression between males and females: It has a sexual origin. It comes from an instinctive dispute over territories. This behavior decreases with castration because it depends on the hormones.
Fear aggression: The dog is afraid, but it is also in a situation where it cannot run away. Therefore its only defense is to bite. The dog, just like all the other animals, has a critical distance from which it doesn't have the security to run away or to escape from danger. The animal bites in order to reestablish the distance and to scare the predator away. In this context the bites are usually very hard. The aggressions to children who are playing around are perfect examples, other examples are when the dog is under the table or it's tied up with a chain and has gotten all excited because someone is going back and forth in front of it.

Aggression by irritation: This is usually caused by pain.
An example of this is when a dog has just had an accident and when the owner goes to check on it, it bites him. Another example would be of the animal that hears and sees little and it is surprised by a movement that it considers an aggression.

Territorial aggressions: This is provoked by a feeling of guarding a place or the protection of a person. In this case the origin is also a problem with the dog's hierarchical structure. The dog considers itself as the dominating individual and imposes its law of defense. The animal has not gotten yelled at severely in the moment of the first aggression, which can happen approximately when the dog is six months old.

Maternal aggression: It is a defense reaction in order to protect the nest and the herd. The mother bites anyone who gets near the puppies. This behavior has a hormonal dependency. The dog can also adopt this conduct with a toy. Nervous gestation is a delicate period, in which the female can show this kind of aggressiveness even if she hasn't had puppies.


The attitude the owner must adopt

Lack of the inhibition of biting during the period of socialization

The owner has to socialize the dog and must not tolerate the dog biting his/her hand, even if it doesn't hurt.

Lack of hierarchical structuring

The owner must impose itself as the dominator


Accustom the dog to have a new rhythm of life, this must be done progressively


Manipulate the animals softly if a wound has been produced and if it is necessary put a muzzle on the dog.


Never leave the children alone with the dog


Think about the possibilities of castration.

seeFIDOPuppy's DevelopmentDog Primary SocializationDog OwnersDog Normal BehaviorBehavior UpheavalsPuppy Separation SyndromeDog DepressionDog BitingDog Sexual BehaviorDog Feeding Behavior