10 Reasons Your Dog Might Bite You - Pet Hub USA

10 Reasons Your Dog Might Bite You

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Even if your dog loves you more than anything in the world, there are certain situations where a dog’s survival instincts could cause it to bite you. Becoming aware of these 10 behaviors that trigger dogs will keep you safe.

10. Pain or Injury

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Photo by Alexas_Fotos on Pixabay

A dog suffering from pain or an injury may react in survival mode to any stimulus it views as threatening. Likewise, inspecting or touching a painful area, or lifting an injured dog, could result in an aggressive reaction. Seek veterinary care immediately. During healing, limit or keep children away from pets.

9. Disease or Malnourishment

Photo of a Black and Brown Dog Barking
Photo by Plato Terentev on Pexels

Dogs suffering from disease can make them psychologically unstable, aggressive, and capable of an unprovoked attack. For this reason, dogs afflicted with rabies are extremely dangerous. Dogs suffering from malnourishment and hunger can also be aggressive in extreme cases. For all of these reasons, one should be extra cautious around stray dogs.

8. Possessiveness

A Dog Barking Near a Metal Fence
Photo by Manel Vazquez on Pexels

All dogs have some level of possessiveness for things they consider theirs. This can include food, toys, or their human. They may defend against an action to take away their “belonging” by biting. Look for signs of stress in the dog such as staring, showing teeth, growling, and hackles raised. If so, give the dog some space.

7. Mental or Emotional Instability

white and brown short coat small dog
Photo by Isabel Vittrup-Pallier on Unsplash

Dogs who’ve been poorly socialized or have had abusive past treatment, or damage from disease, are more prone to anxiety, fear, and aggression issues. These factors make such dogs more likely to bite. Dogs with a history of aggression may not be safe in environments with children, older people, or the mentally challenged.

6. Feeling Threatened

brown and white short coated dog
Photo by David Kemptner-Rauscher on Unsplash

Any dog who feels threatened may respond aggressively. Some may growl or bark first, but others defend themselves by biting without warning. Be cautious not to corner or make threatening gestures toward a dog. Such moves may trigger a fear or stress response. Avoid direct eye contact, which can be perceived as a challenge. Remain still. 

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5. Detecting Negative Energy

Selective Focus Photo of Adult Black and White French Bulldog
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Dogs are highly perceptive of the emotions of humans and animals. With their supercharged sense of smell, they can pick up changes in hormones and pheromones, detecting moods and intentions. If you’re feeling angry, aggressive, or fearful this negative energy may trigger the dog. If the dog views this energy as a threat, you could get bitten.

4. Maternal Instinct

A Group of Siberian Husky
Photo by Павел Гавриков on Pexels

Dogs aren’t any different than other animals — or humans — when it comes to maternal instincts. Dogs are just as protective of their young as any other living thing. If a nursing, or even expectant mother feels threatened, even by their most beloved humans, the dog may engage in defensive behavior. Keep a safe distance between nursing dogs and other people.

3. Being Teased

Portrait of a Funny Pug with Its Mouth Open
Photo by Ivan Babydov on Pexels

Teasing, especially vigorous taunting, can frustrate or overly excite a dog. This can provoke a natural aggressive reaction that can make the dog bite. Look for warning signs such as teeth bared, ears back, and fur standing on end. Back off and give the dog some space. Allow the dog a moment to calm down.

Read More: 10 Things Your Dog Can Sense Before You Do

2. Presence of Other Dogs or a Dogfight

two short-coated brown and black dogs playing
Photo by David Taffet on Unsplash

Sometimes a group of dogs can get stirred up by a passerby they view as a threat, and go off on one another. The most frequent instance when people are bitten occurs when someone attempts to break up a dogfight. Try creating a loud sound to startle the animals. Water can also be highly effective and safe.

Read More: The 10 Most Protective Dog Breeds

1. Received Dog Protection Training

Dog Biting Person Hand during Training
Photo by Anton Kudryashov on Pexels

If you have enrolled your dog in protection training or it previously had such training, a certain stimulus could cause your dog to go into attack mode. Protection dogs are trained to attack intruders or other attackers. If for some reason you engage in behavior that triggers an ingrained response, such as surprising your dog, it could mistake you for an intruder or attacker and bite.

Read More: 10 Dog Breeds Most Likely to Bite Humans

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