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What to Do with a Dog that Bites Their Owner

Aggression By Erin Jones 9 min read May 24, 2021 89 Comments

dog bites owner

One of the most difficult and heartbreaking issues dog owners may face is a bite from their beloved pup.

Once that trust is broken, it can be incredibly difficult to regain.

There are many reasons your dog may bite you. She could be guarding her resources, she may be feeling anxious or stressed, or maybe she is redirecting her aggressive behavior toward you.

But the question remains: What do you do if your dog has bitten you?

Below, we’ll explain exactly what to do after a bite occurs.

This not only includes the things you’ll want to do in the immediate aftermath, but we’ll discuss some of the reasons your dog may have bitten you, and what steps you’ll want to take to address the problem. 

We’ll even talk about the most horrifying question an owner may ever be compelled to ask: Do I have to put my dog down?

Immediate Action: What Do You Do Right After Your Dog Bites You?

Bites are not only concerning, but they can also be unexpected and frightening. You’ll likely be feeling a range of emotions, on top of any physical pain the bite has caused.

Just take a deep breath and take one step at a time. 

Secure Your Canine After a Dog Bite

The first thing you will need to do is secure your dog to prevent any further problems. 

You can put her into a crate, confine her in a separate room or tether her using a leash. 

Depending on the situation, she may still be reacting aggressively, she may be frightened, or she may be worried about your emotional reaction. She could also remain highly aroused by the situation that caused her to bite in the first place. 

But no matter the reason for the bite, securing her will ensure that you (and everyone else in the vicinity) remains safe.

dog bite first aid

Provide First Aid Following the Dog Bite

After ensuring that your pooch is put away or otherwise sequestered in a safe manner, you’ll need to assess the wound. 

Did she break your skin? Is there a puncture? If so, you’ll need to clean it with soap and water and wrap it in a clean bandage. 

But if the wound is significant, if you suspect you may need stitches, if you are overdue for a tetanus shot, or if your dog’s rabies vaccines aren’t up-to-date, you’ll want to head to the hospital or an urgent care center and obtain professional medical treatment. 

Despite popular belief, dog’s mouths are not completely sterile nor free of bacteria. Accordingly, your doctor may also prescribe antibiotics to prevent an infection from developing.

If the broken skin is more of a scratch than a serious wound, you can usually just clean it with soap and warm water, apply an antiseptic cream, and cover it with a bandage.

But obviously seek medical assistance if any bite wound doesn’t heal quickly or it starts to look red, inflamed, or infected. 

Reapproaching Your Dog

Even if the bite you suffered was mild, your adrenaline will still be running high. So, take some time to calm yourself down and be sure your dog has chilled out a bit before you re-approach her.

The first thing we want to do is to assess how she is communicating. I suggest doing so by carefully approaching your dog using a calm voice, averting your gaze, and turning your body away from her.

Try to avoid doing anything confrontational, such as staring her in the eye, standing over her or invading her space. Allow her to come to you if she isn’t tied or in a kennel.

Watch her body language. If she is feeling stressed, anxious, or frightened, her tolerance level may be low so proceed with caution.

Conversely, she may even seem overly excited. But excitement is easy to confuse with anxiety; hyper-arousal and hyper-excitability often go hand-in-hand with feeling nervous.

She may want space, but she may also want to seek you out for comfort. This is totally OK, provided that you feel safe.

She may be just as taken aback by the whole ordeal as you are and may need some comforting and reassurance.

Try to get her out of the confined space and allow her to decompress. Toss some treats for her out in the yard or give her something to chew on her favorite spot.

The next thing we need to do is to figure out the cause of her agression.

my dog bit me

Why Do Dogs Bite? Seeking Answers in the Aftermath

Once the immediate chaos of the bite has passed, it’s time to start figuring out why your dog bit you and what you should do about it. 

Try to Determine the Reason Your Dog Bit You

Begin your investigation by replaying the event in your head. 

Because our memories often fail us, you may want to write down the incident in as much detail as possible.

Think about:

  • What was happening in the environment at the time of the bite?
  • What was your dog was doing at the time?
  • Did she give you any warnings such as growling, freezing, or air snapping?
  • Was she suddenly startled? 
  • Was she fighting with another dog? 
  • Did you touch her near her sore paw?

Also, think about your behavior. What were you doing right before the bite occurred? How did you react? And how did your dog respond to your reaction?

Determining why your dog bit you will help you decide if you need to seek professional help.

When Do You Need to Seek Professional Assistance?

A professional can help you not only figure out what caused your dog to bite you but it can also help you to manage and modify the underlying behavior that caused your dog to bite.

Professional help may not always be necessary, but there are some cases in which it should be considered mandatory. 

In general, you’ll want to see seek professional help if:

  • She breaks the skin. A severe bite is a cause for concern. Most dogs who are just giving a warning nip will not break the skin when they connect. If your dog bites you and draws blood, it’s a big issue.
  • She bites more than one time. This might be more than once in a row or it might be multiple times within the week or month.
  • You don’t know what caused her to bite. Once you have ruled out any underlying medical issues that may have caused her to bite, a behavior consultant can help you uncover the root cause.
  • You know why she bit you, and you want help with the underlying behavior. This might be fear-based, reactivity towards strangers or dogs, resource guarding, or a plethora of other reasons.
  • You are afraid of her. A behavior consultant can help you to understand why your dog bit you, and what you can do to help her. They can give you a plan that will help to keep you and your dog safe.
  • There are small children in the house. Children are much more vulnerable to bites than adults. Part of this is the way kids tend to interact with dogs. Also, they’re less likely than adults to be able to read more subtle warning signs.
  • You are concerned it will happen again. If you’re worried that this wasn’t a one-off situation, a behavior consultant can help you work on creating a treatment plan to prevent future incidents.

This list is not all-encompassing, and all owners must make the best decisions they can on behalf of their pets. But there is never harm in seeking professional help for your dog’s behavior.

My Dog Bit Me – Should I Put Him Down?

Euthanasia is a last resort and should only be considered for severe behavior problems. And even then, the topic remains quite controversial.

It is also a completely personal decision and one not to be taken lightly. I have never recommended this course of action to a client, though I have supported a few families through this difficult decision.

I believe that there are certain cases where it is the humane decision. If a dog is so dangerous that she has to live in complete isolation, thereby ruining her quality of life, there may be no better option. 

How do we know if euthanasia should be considered for an aggressive dog? When dogs exhibit a behavior that makes it dangerous to work with them safely, consider the following:

  • Severity. If the behavior is overt, lunging, snapping and biting, and if bites are severe in nature (breaking skin, holding, shaking). Severity might also include multiple and often unpredictable triggers and a history of multiple bites.
  • No clear warnings. Most dogs will warn of an impending bite – growling, snapping, or even more subtle signs like averting her gaze or freezing. However, a dog who may have been punished for these warning signals in the past may skip those steps altogether and go directly for the bite. This is particularly dangerous.
  • Predictability. If you have done your homework – journal taking and note taking – and you still can’t pinpoint her triggers, this can make it extremely challenging to manage her environment.
  • Size of the dog. We know that larger dogs with larger jaws and teeth can do much more damage than a Chihuahua or Maltese. This can make certain dogs more dangerous to work with.
  • Compliance. How likely will you be able to follow through with a behavior plan? This is a reality of human lifestyles. This might include things such as your financial resources and time allocation.

There is a misconception that love fixes everything. All you need is love. I have seen people who love their dogs dearly, who have done everything right, have worked hard to help their dog overcome her demons, but sometimes it just doesn’t work.

You have not failed, you have tried your best.  

Should I Use a Muzzle on a Dog That Bit Me?

I am a strong believer than every dog should be conditioned to wear a muzzle.

This just means getting them used to wearing a muzzle before it might ever be needed. This is especially true for any dog who has bitten or is fearful in certain situations and may be inclined to bite during highly stressful situations.

Check out some of the best muzzles on the market and then learn some muzzle training tips at the Muzzle Up! Project.

A muzzle could make your training safer for everyone. Muzzles can be a useful tool to assure your safety and the safety of others if your dog has bitten in the past.

Once a Dog Bites, Will He Bite Again?

Whether a dog who has already bitten you is more likely to bite in the future is dependent on the situation that caused the first bite. If the underlying behavior issues are not addressed accordingly, there is always the potential for additional bites to occur.

As with any dog, no matter how tolerant our furbaby may be, there is always the potential to bite, or bite again.

***

Dog bites can be emotional, for both you and your dog. Do you have a dog that has bitten you in the past? Did you figure out her triggers? We would love to hear from you. Sharing stories are a great way to learn from one another!

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Erin Jones

Erin is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer and a Certified Dog Behavior Consultant. After completing her MSc in Anthrozoology, Erin moved to New Zealand early in 2019 to complete her PhD at the University of Canterbury – New Zealand Centre for Human-Animal Studies. Her research focuses on the ethics and social constructs of the human-dog relationship and humane training practices. She lives in Christchurch, New Zealand with her husband and their dog, Juno.

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Ellen

My rescue dog bit my on July 4, broke the skin. I am pretty sure I startled him and that was his reaction.

Recently he did it again. However I think I know the reason. By boyfriend was horsing around with me and my dog did not like that. The next morning my boyfriend tried to give me a kiss and my dog jumped up. Then my dog wrinkled his nose and I told them both ‘that’s naughty’. I walked out of the room but I am afraid my boyfriend popped the dog on the nose. I don’t condone hitting a dog. My boyfriend will be confronted but I was the one who got the consequences, I guess my dog feels I didn’t protect him.

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Roxanne Hernandez

I rescued a Pug mix and he has attacked me several times and drawn blood from me. I’m so torn and don’t know if I should return him back to the shelter but I wouldn’t want him to be euthanized, he’s a good boy I just don’t know what happened to him in his past. I spoil him and love him to pieces. He obviously needs behavioral training, which I cannot afford at the moment? Any recommendations or suggestions?

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Ben Team

Hey there, Roxanne.
Sorry to hear about the problems with your pooch. It can certainly be difficult to decide what to do in these kinds of situations.
Ultimately, if you can’t address the issue nor afford the help of a canine behaviorist, you may have no other choice but to find the pooch a new home or return him to the shelter.

Have you implemented the tips and thought about the questions Erin recommends, yet?
Start there — you may find that a solution is easier than you think!

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Lisa Bentley

Hi I am enquiring regarding an american akita that has recently attacked a member of its household,not his owner outright but his owners father.The dog is 2 years old his name is diesal he is living with a family and attacked out of the blue viciously.The vets have advised he be out down but they are trying to avoid this happening but cannot keep him as there are children who stay there.I wonder if you have any advice I have tried lots of organisations some would have been perfect but are full capacity and some have a no bite policy so wont take him,I am still awaiting replays from others,appreciate your feedback thankyou.lisa
I believe he has lacked in socialisation due to lockdown which has made him worse and also lack of training and understanding of the breed

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AdminLogin

Hey Lisa, Akitas can definitely be challenging. Has there been a consult yet with a Certified Dog Behavior Expert? Keep in mind that vets are not usually knowledgable about training or behavior, so you really don’t want to take you vet’s word on these things (unless the dog has a medical issue affecting his behavior, or if you’re working with a Veterinary Behaviorist). It also might be helpful to brush up on dog body language, since dogs rarely attach “out of the blue” – usually, there are signs the dog is uncomfortable, but they are subtle body language signals us humans don’t always recognize easily! Good luck.

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Lucy A Cali

On forth of July he hates them fireworks..so I dropped all the carming treats on the floor..instead of removing him in another room. I tryed to pick them all up like 100 fell and didn’t want him to od..he gets really nasty when you try to take food from him..so he bit me because I was taking the treats away..in front of him while he was eating alot like eight already..he really bit me bad..first time drawing blood….,now tonight he was sleeping and has a lump underneath his arm pit..so I tryed feeling it to make sure its not growing..he caught my finger and not bad as the forth I don’t know if it hurt him..plus he was sleeping..I don’t understand how he even can bit me..He’s a jack Russell that thinks he’s the boss ..but I still love hime..I really want to figure out why me..nobody else..

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Ben Team

Hey there, Lucy. Sorry to hear about the troubles with your pooch!

The first bite you describe sounds like it may be related to resource guarding. This is a pretty common issue, but you’ll want to make sure you give him plenty of space while he’s eating (treats or meals).

It sounds like the second bite was either triggered by you touching the lump or startling him while he was asleep. You should be able to avoid startling him while he’s sleeping easily enough, but we’d recommend having that lump checked out by your vet. Not only may the lump be a serious health problem, but it may be part of the reason he’s so grumpy.

Best of luck!

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Jody Ann Noland

My dog just attacked me on July 16th 2021 he caused severe damage to my left hand and wrist also next to my elbow, resulting in 14 stitches around my wrist and 6 next to my elbow… he is a pittbull, I’ve had him since the day of birth he is now almost 3 years old… heroes that like new animals and my daughter came to stay for awhile and brought a new puppy home, fattyboy stays outside and sleeps on our back enclosed porch, he smelled the puppy on me and also could hear her whines from inside thehouse.. I went out to sit with him he started sniffing me and i told him no and jerked away, he then went into heavy attack mode, biting me on my handand shaking his head I got loose he then grabbed my upper arm shaking then back to my hand then when I got my door open he then grabbed the back of my hip area… I got 20 stitches total and my daughter called animal control while I was at the hospital and they came and took him, she won’t let him back here. I live with my youngest daughter, my middle daughter is the one that brought the puppy. I don’t know what to do. I know he is scared they won’t release him until the 26th.

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AdminLogin

Hey Jody – I’m so sorry, that sounds terrifying. You’ll likely want to seek help from a Certified Dog Behavior Expert to get some guidance moving forward. In the meantime, I’d definitely recommend muzzle training and keeping away from other dogs, since it sounds like that was some kind of triggering aspect. Again, so sorry you have to go through this.

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Emilio

On his first day with us, a 3 year old cross between Spanish Mastin and Labrador we had taken home for an adoption trial, bit me. He had come to me while I was sitting on the coach, very gently pushing his head in my hands, like asking for some caresses which I gave him softly. He then gently lay down on my feet and when I caressed him again very softly over the head he totally unexpectedly bit me in the right hand which started bleeding. Of course I was shocked but remained calm while he immediately showed some kind of guilty discomfort bowing his head slightly down, like telling himself oh my god what have I done and fearing an immediate physical punishment, which of course I had no intention to give. Although I have cared for 4 big dogs in my lifetime, 2 Bouviers, a Bernese Mountain dog and a Great Dane, I must admit I was surprised and disturbed because this never happened before. The only plausible reason I could come up with was that he acted out of of some hidden fear, without showing any external signs. Like if for a moment he had suddenly fallen in a kind of deep relaxing mode and the touch of my hand had woken him up in distress in a completely new and unfamiliar environment. As he had a similar, but less severe, reaction somewhat earlier with my wife, we now both lost confidence because his reaction appears to be unpredictable and without any apparent reason. At the same time we feel really heartbroken because overall he seems to be a good boy, intelligent and eager to learn, and we don’t want to cut his future short by reporting what happened. But living in constant fear and apprehension of a next unforeseeable bite doesn’t look like an option either. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

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Ben Team

Hey there, Emilio. Sorry to hear about the bite!

It does sound like you may have startled him, but also note that most dogs don’t like being petted on the top of their head (though many do tolerate it). Simply touching the top of his head probably didn’t cause him to bite, but it probably didn’t help, either.

All that aside, we wouldn’t necessarily write him off completely yet. Your best course of action would be to reach out to a canine behavioral consultant and have him assessed. He may only be suffering from some minor issues, which a bit of time, patience, and understanding may fix. But be sure to stay safe while waiting for professional help.

Best of luck!

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JT

Our Aussiedoodle has bitten out teen snapped at our teen daughters several times and most recently not one of them. The incidents always seem to occur late evening around bedtime when everyone tells him goodnight nothing but loves and praises and he just snaps out of nowhere and without warning. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

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Ben Team

Hey there, JT.
Not sure I completely followed your comment, but it’d probably be wise to reach out to a canine behaviorist. He or she would likely be able to determine what the issue is and provide some advice for addressing it.
Best of luck!

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Rose Terk

We have a 12 year old miniature Aussie. She has been a great family pet up until the last 1.5 years. During lockdown she started having aggressive behavior toward the whole family. She had the entire house to herself all day until we were all forced to stay home. We thought that she was stressed with us all there. She has bitten my hand and leg and drawn blood when I was removing her collar. Her attacks are unprovoked. She will fly off of her bed and attack the nearest person if she hears any movement in the house. I am unsure if her behavior can be modified at this point. She only listens to my husband so the rest of us walk around on guard all of the time.

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Ben Team

Hey, Rose.
You know, a lot of dogs have experienced stress over the last year or so, and unfortunately, your tale isn’t that uncommon.
We’d recommend speaking with a canine behaviorist to see where you stand.
Best of luck!

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Patrick Green

My dog just bit me again and it’s been a long journey. He is a cross between mastiff/lab, rescue dog and I have had him for 4 years. Not so much rescue any longer. He growls when I feed him so I started hand feeding him when I first put the bowl down. This has reassured him and is much more trusting. Today, I gave a chew bone and he came to lay with me at feet. With bone in mouth he was showing me the bone and growling. I understood this was telling me don’t grab it. I pet his head and reassured him. He put bone down, sat up and looked for reassurance. I started petting his head and he started growling. I noticed signs and retreated with hands open reassuring. This was a very closed area as I was sitting on couch and he was in front of me. Nike is a large dog about 130lbs. He lunged at my open hand and bit me pretty good to break the skin. He did not use his full mouth but the front only. Totally caught off guard but not surprised which alarms me because I am conditioning myself for this loved pet. I know it’s mostly items that are being protected and I think he does trust me. He will roll on his back so I can submit him and minds very well but in these situations it’s a very dangerous one. Any suggestions would be helpful.

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Ben Team

Hey, Patrick. Sorry to hear about the issues with your pup.

It’s tough to know from afar, but it sounds like he’s exhibiting resource guarding. Check out our resource-guarding article to learn some tips for dealing with the issue, but understand that you may need to reach out to a canine behaviorist for help, as this can be a difficult nut to crack.

Generally though, it’d probably be best to give Nike plenty of space when he’s eating (food or treats) — try to just ignore him as much as is possible so he’ll feel secure. Also (and this is a pretty minor side point), know that most dogs don’t like being petted on the top of their heads. Many will tolerate it, but it’s generally better to pet them on the haunches or under the chin (but again, not while he’s eating).

Best of luck!

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Sumita Chadha

My golden retriever became agressive when I told him not to put garbage plastic in his mouth. He suddenly attacked and bitten my wrist and leg badly multiple times. He is six years old and never had such agressive behaviour earlier. We contacted the professional vet and he opined that it’s because he never mated. Is it safe to keep him with us?

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Ben Team

Hey there, Sumita.

We’d hesitate to disagree with a veterinarian, but we doubt his lack of breeding opportunities led to the bite. At any rate, we’d recommend speaking with a canine behaviorist, as we do anytime aggression is involved.

We can’t tell from afar if it is safe to keep him, you’ll just have to discuss that with the behaviorist. If that’s not possible, it’s best to err on the side of caution and listen to your instincts.
Best of luck!

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Melissa

I have a pit-boxer mix. He has attacked 2 of my children in the last month for no reason. He gives no signs. He jumps for there face and has drawled blood. I don’t have the money for a trainer I’m worried I will have to put him down. He was attacked by another dog about 2 1/2 years ago and he’s never been the same. He has grown up with my 5 year old almost same birthdays but he growls at him and I’m scared to even have him around.

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Ben Team

Hey, Melissa.
That’s horrifying! We’d recommend soliciting professional help immediately and keeping the dog away from your kids until and unless you’re able to completely resolve the issue.
Please do not take this lightly.

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Jim valentine

Daughter gave me her dog 2 years ago , but didn’t tell me she was about to put her down , while here has killed a number of possums in back yard , a kitten for approaching her food and bitten a number of small dogs while on walks and just bite me pretty bad for trying to get her to go outside today , should I get her put down, what’s your opinion, thanks

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Ben Team

Hey, Jim. Sorry about the problems with your pooch.

The attacks on the opossums could be related to prey drive, as could the attacks on the small dogs during walks. However, those should be fairly simple to prevent via management techniques (accompany her outside, keep your distance from other dogs during walks, etc.). The kitten attack may be the same thing, or it could be more of a resource-guarding situation, which is a bit more serious. Biting you is pretty concerning, but we’d have to know much more about the event to provide advice.

At the end of the day, it sounds like you need a professional to assess the dog. A little work and training may help alleviate these problems, as may a different living situation.
Check out our article on canine behavior consultants to learn how to find one in your area, and just take things from there.

Best of luck!

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Fay

I’m so glad I found this page- I’m in tears and have been obsessively looking for articles about biting dogs. I’m now afraid of my mums new puppy (how stupid is that!)

She’s a rescue street pup from Romania, about 7-8 months old and arrived at my mums on Friday after being fostered for a little while (not sure exactly how long) in a house with a few other dogs.

She’s been very, very sweet- clever, quick to learn, affectionate and cuddly etc etc and she’s really bonded with my mum. I’m not so good at dog language and am a cat person but she seemed to like me too. I moved too quickly around her on Sunday (the day I met her), wearing a dangling chain and she jumped- really startled. Then a bit later I bent to charge my phone and she growled (she was on the sofa a couple of feet away.)
I tied up my hair and removed my jewellery in case it was something dangling.
She seems quick to startle so has growled at a friend of my mums and snapped at another. I wasn’t there but the ‘snap’ friend acknowledged it was his fault for moving her food.

She and I were getting on great- wagging tail, bounding up to me, really excited to see me and be stroked, licking my hands etc etc. Taking treats gently. We’re training her out of separation anxiety so I think this was a stressful day (left her twice for 10 minutes each time- watching on camera and returning when she calmed down a bit) but I came to sit by her and stroked her with both hands- at her level instead of looming over her, and without warning (as far as I could see- no growling, snarling or whale eyes) she bit me in the face.

The lower teeth hit my teeth I think, and the upper two hit my nose, drawing blood (not massively- the bite scale says “3a”). Now, other than staying clear of her and not being as close as before, is there anything else I can do?
I’m scared to be in the same room in case she suddenly attacks with no warning. (Please no making fun of me- I’m very used to cats but am not generally 100% comfy around dogs and now I’m even more nervous- especially as she and I were getting on so well).

Any advice is appreciated. Thankyou in advance

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Ben Team

Hey there, Fay.

We’re glad you found the article helpful, but we’re sorry to hear about the issues with your mom’s dog.
And we’d never make fun of you for being afraid of getting bitten by a dog! Bites are scary and no fun at all.

Honestly, it’d probably be a good idea to have a canine behaviorist assess the little gal. She does sound a bit nervous, which is something that you can try to work around, but the bite to your face sounds pretty unpredictable (based on your description), which is concerning — particularly if she’s big at all.

She has been through a lot lately, so it is completely possible that these issues will disappear as she gets more comfortable, but it is also possible that her biting issue will remain. And if that’s the case, you’ll want to know sooner than later.

Sorry we can’t be of more help from afar, but the behaviorist should be able to point you in the right direction.
Best of luck!

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Wayne

Our young (20-something) daughter and her roommate adopted a mid-size, terrier mx from an Austin, Texas area no-kill shelter about 18 months ago. The dog had a history of biting previous owners (usually on the face or arms) but I guess everyone figured it was based on various non-optimal variables or situations.

Fast-forward about 10 months. One day the dog is on their sofa, our daughter walks by and the dog comes up off the sofa and bites her in the face. They decided that after multiple, unpredicted, unwarned, face bites, that putting the dog down was the wisest decision.

They loved the dog and intended to have it done in their home, have it cremated and keep the ashes. But due to local ordinances, the dog would have to be quarantined for 10 days before that could happen in the way they wished.

The girls had lost trust in the animal, so quarantining for that time in their home wasnt a possibility. We agreed to bring the dog to our house. As we had a room for him, and plenty of property for him to get out and “be a dog.” I was a little uneasy, but quickly gained fondness and trust in him. I told everyone that i wouldnt take part in putting it down and would be happy to work with it.

Things were going mostly well. He’d nipped at my face once. But in his defense, i was putting my face too near him, AND he gave me clear warning. no skin was broken. So I gave him a pass.

Several months went by and all was fine. Great in fact. Until one day, about a week ago, he attacked one of our cats. He and the cat had coexisted, often very near each other without incident previously. Didn’t draw blood, but it was sudden, unwarned and somewhat aggressive. We sort of blew that off as a fluke and moved along.

Yesterday in what we perceive as an unprovoked attack, the dog aggressively bit our small older dachshund in the face, leaving a bloody gash just millimeters below her eye.

Due to the unpredictability of the bites, AND the fact that most of them are face bites, we have decided that the only responsible option is to put the dog down before he causes more serious damage to another pet or a person.

I’ve been present euthanizing several old, or injured pets before. But i’ve never been part of euthanizing a perfectly healthy animal. This sucks, my stomach is in nots. But I feel it’s the wisest option for all.

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Ben Team

Hey there, Wayne.

So sorry you’re going through what sounds like an absolutely terrible situation. For what it’s worth, it definitely sounds like you, your daughter, and her roommate have all taken the reasonable steps and tried your best to give the pooch a good life. But unfortunately, that doesn’t always result in a happy ending.

At this point, euthanasia may be the best choice — only you guys can decide for sure. But — and not to make this any more difficult for you — you may want to at least consider having a canine behaviorist assess the dog.

But given that the dog sounds like quite a safety hazard, the behaviorist very well may agree with your decision.
We wish you the best of luck, no matter what you decide.

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Nishant

I have an adopted Indian street dog. He was sleeping in compound and it was a rainy day. I went to him and he was so happy, we played together for a while and then he sat down at the place where he sleeps. At some distance there was his toy lying in rain. I tried to take it and suddenly he attacked my hand removing my thumb nail completely. Still he didn’t stop and attacked my stomach. And this was not the first time he did this. I don’t know the cause exactly but he knew we played with that toy and.. I mean why should he guard it? Previously this happened when he was 7 months old and I was trying to feed him with my hand (he used to eat before that time). At that time too his bite was too powerful. Now my family feels insecure about children at home. He’s so unpredictable when would he bite or not. He is 10 months older now and after growing up he would be more intimidating. Can I do anything about this or I need to leave him?

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Ben Team

Hey there, Nishant.
Sorry to hear about the troubles with your pooch — that sounds pretty frightening!

First of all, you should check out our article on resource guarding — a phenomenon in which a dog becomes possessive over a resource like food or toys. That can be a tricky problem to address at times, but some dogs do get over the problem.

Given the dog’s unpredictable nature, we do think it’d be wise to prevent him from interacting with children while unsupervised, and honestly, it sounds like you may need professional help. Check out our article on finding a canine behavior consultant to learn more.

Best of luck!

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Scott

Our dog has drawn blood twice on me, both times in the face. He is a small breed. The first time I was laying on the couch he was positioned above my head my head and bite me on my lip. No provocation, second time he was laying on the bed eyes open, went to kiss him and bite my nose. I was raised that if a dog bites his owner…he should be put down. He is a service dog. What should I do?

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AdminLogin

Hey Scott – remember that bending over a dog is a very intimidating stance for them, and it can be very scary. I’d suggest not leaning over and kissing your dog – he should feel safe and be able to maintain space when he wants it. Instead, let your dog approach you for affection and stick with petting, as your dog doesn’t seem to like being kissed. In cases where dogs bite, there are often many warning signs that go unnoticed – I’d suggest reading up on our dog body language guide to better keep an eye out for signs of anxiety before your dog bites.

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Cas

Hey, so I have a 9 month old rescue dog. She’s a jack russell lab mix, and everyday when I take her outside, she’ll be running around, eating and using the bathroom like normal, then randomly she’ll come up and start to bite my hand and my arm hard, not enough to puncture the skin, but enough that it leaves marks on my arms for hours to a day or so. She’ll sometimes nibble, as if she’s trying to get fleas off of me, but other times, it’s just really hard. She doesn’t do it to anyone else in my family, just me. I worry that because of this slight aggression towards me, it might cause her to snap at our other dogs in the house (They go outside and play together, but she’ll pin them on the ground and bite at their necks and arms) Is there anything you think could help it? We don’t want to have to take her to a shelter, but she’s been doing this since we rescued her back in April of this year and we’re getting worried.

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Ben Team

Hey there, Cas.
Sorry about the issues with your pooch, though we’re glad you haven’t been bitten hard so far.
It’s hard for us to provide much specific advice from afar, as descriptions are open to multiple interpretations.

For example, there’s a big difference in a dog who playfully pins her doggie roommates to the ground in a harmless, positive way, and one who does so in a manner the other dogs find unpleasant. Same thing with the mouthing of your hands and arms.

Ultimately, we’d recommend reaching out to a canine behaviorist for an assessment. Yes, it will cost you a little bit of money, but it may help you to avoid having to rehome her in the long run.
Best of luck!

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John watson

When my dog bit me he drew blood and it hurt.
You will not find what I did in any reference book but it worked.
We gained instant respect for each other.
My dog was well trained in obedience and we won a few obedience competitions to prove it.
He was a head strong dog and when he decided not to follow a command he would ignore me and become difficult to handle much to the amusement of spectators.
So who runs the show you or the dog.
Dogs must not be allowed to run the show. I trained my dog in a firm, gentle and understanding way we worked well together.
When he turned on me I turned on him.
All went well after the event.

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Ben Team

Hey, John.
We’re not sure what you mean by “I turned on him,” but that doesn’t sound very productive.
But we’re glad he stopped biting you.

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Chris Stover

I’m bout to have a heart attack or stroke, just thinking bout giving my dog a bath and cutting his nails.

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Marija Drlja

My dog bit me today and broke skin on my nose. This is his eighth instance of biting people that I know of. I am a young female and I feel helpless with him. I try to tell people not to get close to his face but he’ll jumps their faces. I was only petting him while he was on my chest today. I never thought he’d bite me. All my trust for him is gone and I can’t trust for me to be able to build a family with a dog biting me. I’m so disappointed. I’m thinking about giving him up to somebody as I don’t have the resources to hire a trainer to help.

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AdminLogin

That’s very stressful Marija! Honestly, with a dog that bites, it’s pretty important to consult with a dog behaviorist who is experienced in aggression. While it can be pricey, many behaviorists do online consultations now, which can be more affordable. In the meantime, I’d suggest muzzle training when visitors are over to prevent bites, and consider brushing up on dog body language to see if you can notice signs of distress before biting incidents. What is happening before the bites? Dogs usually bite out of fear, so I imagine there is something that is being done that’s making him uncomfortable (many dogs don’t like kissing, hugging, etc).

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Chris Stover

Please Help He’s Always Been Like This. But he did survive parvo, was in the hospital for seven days. I need help, laying here crying my eyes out

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Ben Team

Hey there, Chris. So sorry to hear about the struggles with your dog.
Have you tried reaching out to a canine behaviorist for help? That’d be our first-line recommendation.
But, you may also want to consider having your vet trim his nails. You could also talk to a professional groomer — you may be able to find one who is comfortable working with difficult dogs (especially since he is kind of small).
Best of luck!

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Chris Stover

I’ve had my j. Russell since 2011,and I’m still scared of him I can’t bathe him , cut his nails, nothing. I’m losing my mind I’m getting mad now, enough is enough. I’m tired of living like this

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R

My dog just attacked me after I attempted to gently move him off of my blanket to go to bed I’m not quite sure what to do he drew blood and as of late he’s been more agressive than usual

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Ben Team

Hey there, R.
If the tips and recommendations above haven’t been helpful, you should probably reach out to a canine behaviorist — especially given that it sounds like the bite was somewhat serious.
Best of luck!

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Maureen

I rescued a 5 year old Pekingese /Schitzu neitered male smart, loving, happy beautiful dog about 6 weeks ago. This dog has been so much fun. I was warned not to startle him or try to wake him as he is a deep sleeper.he had nipped at me twice without breakibg the skin when I had to move him from my lap. He sleeps “deep” and is slow to wake up. He sleeps in bed with me by my feet, and I got up during the night and he appeared to be awake with his head up and eyes open and without thinking I went to give him a hug…which triggered him. This time, the skin on my chin was broken and bled. Its obvious this is some sort of a startle response. Is this something that can be worked with? It freaked my out because he is a very lovable dog that wants to be cuddled every chance he gets…Ive just never had a dog that was triggered like this! There was one other time he nipped without breaking the skin and that was over some food that dropped on the floor that he went after. Any advice ?

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Ben Team

Hey, Maureen.

As long as you don’t live with young children, it seems possible to just work around your little guy’s sleeping issues. You’d just need to be aware of the fact that he startles easily when snoozing, and just go out of your way to avoid spooking him.

But it also sounds like he’s biting at other times (such as the dropped food incident you reference). Given that, it’d probably be wise to discuss the issue with a canine behaviorist.
This does not sound like an unworkable situation to us, though. It just may take some work.

Best of luck!

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Marcel

Thank you for posting this.

My 2-yr old male attacked me completely out of the blue the other day. We’ve been best friends (I had WFH until recently) and have had no negative interactions with him up until this point. He’s a giant breed mix, newfoundland and pyr, so the attack was quite frightening and the bites were pretty bad.

Since the attack I’ve had no real interaction with him. I toss him a treat and tell him I love him but I’ve stayed far away. Everyone else in the house is with him so he’s not alone.

Sadly, finding advice on how to reintroduce yourself to your dog after they attack you is difficult. This article was on the 3rd page of search results. (Everything else is dog vs. dog.)

Anyway, this gives me some direction. Thank you.

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Ben Team

Hey, Marcel. Sorry to hear about the attack, but we’re glad you found this article helpful.
Just make sure to keep safety in mind and don’t hesitate to work with a canine behaviorist if you think it’s appropriate.
Best of luck!

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Laura Parsons

I’m sick about my dog biting the shit out of me. I’m angry, I’m sad, I’m not knowing how to help him and me. I’ve had him for over 10years…. the situation when he bit me, is something I didn’t pay attention to. Now it’s just weird between us… how do I help him. I’ve all he’s got. I can’t give him to anyone, he’s a jack Russell and high strung. Plzzz help, I love him but I’m scared of him. Thanks

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Ben Team

Hey, Laura. So sorry to hear about your pooch biting. It’s not only physically painful, but it’s obviously emotionally painful too! It’s often confusing too, and you can even feel betrayed.
We’d need to know more about the incident to help, so share some details about the event if you can.

Aside from that, the only thing you could likely do is speak with a canine behaviorist.

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Kirstie Rossman

My dog just bit me. I’m located in california and trying to seek out professional help but I don’t know where to go to have my dog evaluated by professionals other then animal control. Please if anyone can help. Please help me. I want to understand and try to save my dog. He is a wonderful dog and I love him so much

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Ben Team

Oh, no! Sorry to hear that Kirstie.
You can search for a certified dog trainer or behavioral consultant here.

Our fingers are crossed for you and your pooch!

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Anna and Robert Fleming

We have an older Shih Tzu Mix that showed up at our door over six years ago. She was in rough shape so we took her to the vet, he said that she was about four to five years old at the time, so she would be about ten or eleven years old. Back in September while my husband was taking her on her evening walk, a large dog came running out of a neighbors house and attacked her by grabbing her by the head. She had some puncture wounds and ripped ear. We took her to an emergency vet right after it happened. Recently she has shown some aggression while we are petting her. She has bitten me once and tonight she bit my husband a couple of time while she was on his lap and he was petting her. I know that it is some PTSD from being attacked but it is very unsettling since she sleeps with me. I am afraid that I may bump her in the night and she bites me.

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Ben Team

Hey, Anna.

Sorry to hear about the issues with your pooch (especially the encounter with the other dog)!
You can search this site for a trainer of behavioral consultant in your area.

We wish you the very best of luck!

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E

I have an old dog who’s been abused and became extremely aggressive after that, he keeps biting me although I’ve never been aggressive towards him. I cant tell him anything, when I try to tell him not to do something he attacks me hes absolutely wild and uncontrollable. When I’m about to leave the house he sneaks out and i cant stop him my neighbours told me they’ll sue me if he keeps being on the street but Idk how to explain to them that I cant say anything to that dog he will attack me… I live in constant fear of what he may do I’m tired emotionally and mentally sometimes I just want to put him in a car somehow and leave him in some village so he cant come back but then I feel sorry and guilty especially bc I still love that dog I had him since I was a little kid I’m just so exausted

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Ben Team

Hey there, E.
So sorry to hear about the problems with your pooch — it definitely sounds like an exhausting situation.

But you probably need to figure out some solution or someone is going to get hurt.
Minimally, you should probably install a dog gate near the door to prevent him from getting outside. That’s a pretty simple way to at least solve one of the issues and help diffuse the situation with your neighbors.

Additionally, we’d strongly encourage you to consult a behaviorist or a force-free trainer. It’s obviously terrible that he was abused, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make some progress and address some of his behavioral concerns. If you don’t have a trainer in your area you can work with, you may want to try reaching out to Journey Dog Training. They offer long-distance training solutions that may be helpful.

Again, we really sympathize with your situation and wish you good luck.

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Ginny

Thanks for responding Ben. What would be some of the reasons why a dog would keep picking up stuff on the street? Or is it just a natural dog thing to scavenge? I’m planning to walk with a shorter leash and to practice ‘leave it’ outdoors so he gets used to doing this command during walks. I was also thinking of doing a trade too, carrying premium treats with me during walks so if he does pick something up, trade him for it so he’ll drop it eventually.

For post biting, what do you recommend as a way to discipline the dog? I want to make make sure he knows what he did was wrong. Do you have any tips on rebuilding trust?

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Ginny

I recently adopted a 2 – 3 year old pomeranian that was found on the street. He’s already house trained. I’m not sure what his story is, he may have been abandoned in the past. He’s bitten me on 4 instance and each time it was over food scraps he found outside on our walks. The first time, he found pita bread, I tried to get it out of his mouth. He growled and snapped when I grabbed it. The bite wasn’t too bad, no blood just a scratch and some skin peeled. The 2nd time, we were in the car and he found a bag of salmon doggy treats from the grocery store. I pulled him away from him and as I was holding him he was growling and snapped and bit my nose. I felt his teeth on my nose bone, it was a scratch again but there was a little bit of blood this time. The third time he bit, my partner was walking him and he found a massive short rib bone with meat on it and picked it up and carried it with him during the entire walk.. My partner tried to get him to leave it, drop it but to no avail. When he got home, my partner picked him up and I tried to pry the bone out of his mouth, he lodged it pretty deep and he was covered in drool because he was holding on to the bone for so long…(about 30 mins) luckily I managed to get the bone to fall out while he was being held but I saw some meat still stuck to his mouth on the side so I tried to grab it. He snapped and bit my finger. My skin punctured and there was blood leaking out. The last and most recent incident happened the next day, he found a bagel on the street. I tried to get it out of his mouth. I manage to break off a piece of it that was sticking out but there was still some in his mouth. He was gripping on to it for dear life and I noticed his gums started bleeding from gripping so hard since the bread was probably hard. I held him up so my partner could try to get it out his mouth. Luckily it fell out, but he seemed really upset about it and started flinching. He saw my hands on the side and reached over and begin to bite me multiple times… each time harder and deeper than last. It was about 4 snaps on my finger. There’s multiple punctures on my finger and swelling and blood clot forming under the skin and even a puncture on my nail.

I’m not sure what to do about this and how to face him. Clearly he has a food aggression problem and issues with resource guarding. Again I don’t know his past since he was found on the streets and may have been abandoned. I have tried training him on the ‘leave it’ at home but he doesn’t quite follow this outside and once the food is in his mouth it’s nearly impossible to get it out.

Is there still hope for my dog? Is our bond completely broken? I don’t even know how to face him anymore after this incident and the last 2 happened within 24 hours of each other..

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Ben Team

Hey, Ginny.
It definitely sounds like your pooch has some resource-guarding issues. We have some tips here on how to work on resource guarding issues, but it would probably also be wise to work with a force-free trainer at this point — you don’t want these kinds of problems to persist.
In the meantime, we’d encourage you to implement some management strategies to prevent him from picking up anything unsafe. If you can’t prevent him from grabbing things off the street (etc.), then you may need to fit him with a basket muzzle. Letting him grab these things and then having to wrestle them out of his mouth is only going to exacerbate the issues.
We wish you the very best of luck!

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Mary M. Hutchison

I have a ten month old dachshund that just bit me, drawing blood, for the fourth time. The first time was when he picked up a bone on the street and I took it from him. I could forgive that – he was four months old, is hyper nervous. We found out after we got him he was separated from his mom at 4 months when she was ill. The puppies were out of control, could smell their mom – not a good situation. Since then , he’s bit trying to put a vest on or a leash, now trying to put a coat on. He had serious food aggression issues we worked through. We are working with a trainer, but this behavior hasn’t changed. I’m ready to put him down. We have grand kids and an active lifestyle I don’t feel like we can trust him in. Help!

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Meg Marrs

Hey Mary – first, it sounds like he has some resource guarding issues, which you can learn more about here in our article about resource guarding. As far as the other occasions you mention – dogs don’t bite without reason. It sounds like your guy is very nervous and frightened of the vest and being leashed up. I’d suggest taking things back to step one and simply place the leash on the ground and give your pup treats just for sniffing and checking it out. Practice going through your leash up routine (without leashing him) while giving him goodies. You need to make the association positive, but it’s very negative at the moment. We have a guide to desensitization here too you can check out. Ultimately though, I would suggest working with a force-free trainer or certified behavior consultant since it sounds like you need help ASAP.

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Jeanette

I have a dorkie that I am madly in love with but he has bitten me once and just this evening my husband was taking an empty bowl away from him and he literally attacked him he did break the skin. I am so mad hurt and upset. I locked him in the bedroom alone I don’t know what to do

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Ben Team

Hey there, Jeanette.
Sorry about the problems with your pooch. Because your doggo is actually biting (and now, breaking the skin), it’d probably be wise to work directly with a private trainer. Check out Journey Dog Training if you don’t already have a trainer you work with (they offer long-distance training solutions).
In the meantime, you may also want to check out our article on resource guarding.
Best of luck!

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Karissa

I have a 2 year old yorkie, chihuahua, shih tzu mix that is 7-8 lbs. Overall, she is a well behaved sweet dog. My boyfriend and I have had her since she was 10 weeks old but she is extremely overprotective of me. If my boyfriend comes to bed (after the dog and I are already laying down) she will jump up and growl at him but when he lays down, she will lick and cuddle with him. Tonight, my boyfriend gave her a treat and when she was done, he moved her to lay down on the couch and she ran up his chest towards his face and nipped his nose. She didn’t break skin but my boyfriend and I were completely shocked she did this. She became aggressive for no reason and we put her in the crate to calm down. Any advice would be extremely appreciated.

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Ben Team

Hey, Karissa. Sorry about the trouble with your pooch.
Even though your little lady is pretty small, we typically recommend that owners work with a trainer anytime actual biting is involved.
It may not have been a big problem this time, but your boyfriend may not be so lucky next time.
Best of luck!

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Mariah

My dog is a german shepherd boxer mix and is 4 years old. When we go on walks and there are no dogs around he’s great, may pull a little but overall he does very well. The issue I’ve been having is every time he sees another dog or we walk by one he starts barking, growling, whining, jumping, doing everything he can to get to the other dog. Since he can’t get the other dog he turns his aggression onto me and bites/nips me. I don’t know what to do and I really need help. Are there any suggestions on what I should do?
I use a choke chain but it hasn’t been working. Should I use an E-collar or a different leash?

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Ben Team

Hey, Mariah.
Any time a dog is actually biting, we recommend working with a professional. And this is especially true anytime you’re dealing with a big dog.
In the meantime, you may want to check out our article about leash reactivity, but we’d strongly urge you to reach out to a trainer.
Best of luck!

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Matt

We have a 10 month old lab. He has shown some possession aggression in the past, specifically with treats, but we have tried to teach him to drop and reward him when he does, he has been fairly good with it. Today, we got back from a walk on my lunch break, we usually reward him for going into his crate with with chew before I head back to work (we do this almost every day). I noticed him panting a little extra and I couldn’t remember if he had some water when we got back. I felt he he may need a few gulps. Keep in mind he is in his crate, door open chew is in front of him. I offer him his bowl of water, he starts growling. I tell him no, the louder I get the more aggressive he gets. I reach in to try and calm him down (has worked before) he bites me, hard enough to draw blood, but not severe. He basically bites and let’s go. This is a first. Any suggestions??

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Ben Team

Hey, Matt.
Our go-to advice for any dog that bites (or attempts to) is to work with a trainer. The potential risks are just too serious to take lightly.
One quick thing though: It is always important to avoid “punishing the growl.” Doing so eliminates the only way (besides biting) that your dog can communicate that he’s upset/his boundaries are being pushed/etc.

I’m not saying you’re necessarily “punishing” him by saying no, just pointing out the issue.
Best of luck with the trainer — let us know how he progresses.

(And take care of that wound — doggo bites can become infected very easily.)

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Ravi Rajan

My dog is a male Morkie about 6 months old and while we were out on a walk he grabbed a small chicken bone . I didn’t want him to swallow it so I tried to force it out of his mouth. He growled and when I tried purtting my fingers in his mouth to take it out he bit me and drew blood . It wasn’t a deep cut but I was upset because it was the first time he had done something like that . He has had all his rabies shots. Should I see a Doctor and most importantly how do I prevent this behaviour in the future?

Thanks

Ravi

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Ben Team

Hey, Ravi.
It is a good idea to have your doctor take a look at the wound — especially if you noticed any redness, swelling, or discharge. Even if your dog doesn’t have rabies, he (like all dogs) has tons of bacteria in his mouth, so the wound could become infected.
As for preventing these types of issues in the future, we generally recommend working with a private trainer anytime a dog bites hard or draws blood. If you don’t have a trainer in your area you can work with, consider reaching out to Journey Dog Training — they provide a variety of long-distance training solutions.
Best of luck!

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Tracey Dickinson

I have been bitten by my new adopted dog … first time was feeding the hedgehog and he bit trying to get food … think he was hungry it was his first night in my house… second time was I caught hold of his collar and he bit …he was very scared of it .. so now I’m making a game of getting his collar and not being aggressive when getting the collar and it’s working … he’s been in 3 different homes so I don’t know what happened to him before I had him but he’s coming on great

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Jen

My 5-year-old disabled mini-doxie nipped me pretty badly the other day. The only time he has ever even “toothed” me was when he was in pain. He is very loving and snugly and dependent upon me, so this was shock. He sleeps in a little gated off area in my room. We did his nighttime ritual and I put him in there and pulled the blankets over him. After a bit, I went back over and saw the blankets moved off of him. I reached down to readjust the covers (and I do this almost daily), and my thumb nail, which was a little long, poked him. He was awake and saw me reaching down, but must’ve been very startled by the accidental poke. He screeched and I jumped and panicked. He got me prettygood, but only bruised and a slight scratch. It hurt though and we both were upset. He was shaking after and looked concerned. My roommate evaluated him for any injury or pain and he seemed fine. After maybe 20 minutes, I pet him and he licked my arm. I am nervous of this happening again sometime, or that it wasn’t a fluke, even though it seems it could’ve been. I am not sure what might’ve caused this, except that I accidentally startled him at a time that maybe he felt vulnerable. He has not acted any different since, but I have been iffy. It wasn’t a huge deal, but I am more just sad that our relationship may have changed and I don’t want that.

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Sandra

My 20 month old Eskie began resource guarding and barking excessively a few months ago. She has been nervous and afraid of other dogs and wary of strangers since she was a year old. She will snarl at me and grab at my clothes with her front teeth, often resulting in bitten, bleeding skin. I have consulted a private trainer and my vet about my dog’s anxiety. I try not to react in fear when my dog snarls, but I find this difficult, and I find it hard to trust her. What can I do?

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Ben Team

Hey, Sandra.
I know it’s frustrating, but just keep working with the trainer and be patient — some behavioral issues take a while to correct.
Best of luck!

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Derek

my mini goldendoodle (about a year old) shows aggression towards family members, not frequently though. He is a loving and affectionate dog, always excited to meet new people, yet sometimes he bites family members. Yet, he has bitten only members in our family, most likely out of fear and possesiveness. I am at a loss for words and do not know what to do, as he is very affectionate with us most of the time

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Ben Team

Hey, Derek. Given that your pooch is biting, it’d probably be a good idea to work with a professional trainer.
If you can’t find one in your area, you may want to reach out to Journey Dog Training — they provide a variety of long-distance training solutions.
Best of luck!

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CK

My 4 years old Rottweiler is quite unpredictable, at times it can be very obedient, commands like, sit, stay, come, cage and shake hand are no problem at all for him. However it is very jealous of my other dog a mongrel about 6 years old. It gets very jealous when we play or call the other dogs name.

It has bitten our family members twice, one time when going back from a vet when we tried to get him in the car and it wanted to walk around that area.
The other time was when it saw my kid playing with the other dog, it suddenly changed from being playful ( i was petting it on the lower stomach and it is lying on the ground with legs up) suddenly it turns around growling and bite my arm. It shows remose after that.

Another 3 times were near miss, when my wife was taking bath for him and suddenly my daughter calls the dog, it suddenly growls hard and tries to bite my wife. In two occasions when i was petting it, it can be seen enjoying it, when i stops it growls hard and tries to bite.

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Ben Team

Hey, CK.
We’d encourage you to work with a trainer ASAP. While a bite from any dog can be serious, this is especially true of such a large, powerful breed (and I say that without any negative connotations — I am a Rottie owner).
You don’t want to let these kinds of behaviors continue — there’s no guarantee they won’t escalate.

If you don’t have a good trainer in your area, you may want to consider Journey Dog Training. They offer a variety of long-distance solutions.
Best of luck!

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Cindi Lambert

We rescue Great Danes and have done so for years. Most are Mello even as rescues. We have a Harlequin Dane right now who has had 3 other homes. He was 3 when we got him and he is 5-1/2 now. My husband is his person. I believe the first two owners were women who did him no good. He likes me fine but he bites me frequently. He’s spiteful, smart and has a temper. He can be very loving but if I try and correct him he doesn’t like it. I’ve gotten bit twice in the last week. Once before that I picked up the gate that we put up while we eat and then went to wipe him after drinking. He’s a Euro so big jowls. He sunk a canine into the fat part of my hand, deep. I have never had a behavior problem like this guy. He’s extremely strong and it’s getting so I do not really want to deal with him but I’m the one who is home the most. This will be our last rescue and I’m hoping I survive it.

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Meg Marrs

Hey Cindi – that sounds rough! Have you considered working with a force-free trainer? It sounds like your guy has some fear issues with being physically corrected in the past. A more positive reward-based training practice might produce better results. Good luck!

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Geoffrey Smith

I was recently bitten by my 2.5 year old pit staffoshire, in a complete accident. I recently got 2 puppies cause I wanted him to have friends, my friend brought a female over and he loved her so I figured it would be the best option I ended up with 2 pit bulls that have an amazing bloodline. The problem being Tyson my oldest has been aggressive for a while although he’s never bitten me or anyone for that matter. It seems as if it’s getting worse and worse and uncontrollable. I NEED HELP, he had gotten his leg stuck between my puppies collar that happened to be a slip collar and it was choking her and hurting his leg badly as they laid there and attacked I tried my best to get them apart, only to be bitten 3 different times pretty severely, I made sure the dogs were taken care of a land free before anything, eventually cops showed up and animal control they had bolt cutters and got it off of them. By the grace of god I was the only one hurt in the situation but now I am absolutely not sure if my dog will be ever be the same and I can not chance him at biting someone else or another dog the way he did me, although it was truly a freak avoidant but he’s still been so skiddish and I’m actually scared of him for the first time ever. Keep in mind he’s never bitten anyone but has recently gotten worse, he has always barked at everyone aggressively and acts just like my ex girlfriends 2 small dogs he chases people out of the house so I stopped having people over, and then this happens. I need some professional help immediately please.

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Ben Team

That sounds horrifying, Geoffery. So sorry that you had to go through that.

It definitely sounds like you need professional help immediately. Ideally, you should just try to find a good trainer in your area, but if that’s not possible, you may want to consider reaching out to Journey Dog Training. It is run by K9 of Mine contributor Kayla Fratt, and she offers a variety of long-distance training options. K9 of Mine Readers can receive a 10% discount on her services too!

Also, it seems like you may want to read Kayla’s advice for breaking up a dog fight without getting bitten.

Best of luck, Geoffery. Our fingers are crossed for you and your pooches!

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david

good evening!
we have an english bulldog six years old. she has flybiting seizures from time to time.
recently on a quiet restful moment on my lap she attacked me and bit my face as well as my hands.
as much as i love the dog i cannot love her the same way anymore I am at a total loss as to what to do.
thanks for listening
david

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Ben Team

Hey there, David.
That sounds terrible! We’d recommend starting with a veterinary examination and then soliciting the help of a canine behaviorist.
Sorry we can’t provide more specific advice, but that’s definitely not the kind of thing you want to ignore.
Best of luck — let us know how it goes.

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Bill haswell

I’m afraid my dog will attack me again, last time it lasted an hour, and I’m terrified.

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Ben Team

An hour-long attack definitely sounds terrifying, Bill!
That’s an entirely different issue that getting a minor nip or a one-off bite. We’d recommend you start working with a professional trainer immediately!
Keep us updated!

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Mari

My dog recently has been getting more aggressive with both strangers and well known people. He’s begun snapping and has bitten me and son in random instances. People tell me that it’s because he’s reacting to another male dog in our home ( his 5 month old son) , our female is in heat or that he needs to be neutered. I don’t know what to think and it’s breaking my heart. He was loving and mild mannered and now so unpredictable. Help!

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Meg Marrs

Hi Mari – we’d suggest getting in contact with a certified behaviorist ASAP (https://www.ccpdt.org/dog-owners/certified-dog-trainer-directory/). Certified behaviorists often have experience with dogs who have shown aggressive behaviors and can help you figure out how to manage this situation. I have heard that neutering can help with some of these issues, it’s certainly worth asking your vet about. Good luck!

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Madeleine Hattingh

My daughter’s dog starting snapping at people and dogs and I want to help her

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