What to Do with a Dog that Bites Their Owner



Erin Jones


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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) remain 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 After a Bite

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 dog 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 aggression.

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.

dog biting owner

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 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 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 (and in fact, statistics show that children are the most common victims of dog bites). Part of this is the way kids tend to interact with dogs. If your dog has snapped at a child, there’s a decent chase the child was invading the dogs space, being inappropriatly rough, or irritating the dog. On top of that, kids are less likely than adults to be able to read more subtle warning signs. Consider keeping a younger child and dog seperate, and for older children, consider educating them about dog body language through Dog Smart Card Game designed to prevent biting incidents for kids.
  • 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.

If you’ve decided you need professional help, reach out to a certified dog behavior consultant in your area – not a dog trainer! Dog trainers are not qualified to work with aggression cases and can even make matters worse in some cases. Only consult with a qualified, certified professional who specialized in canine behavior.

My Dog Bit Me – Should I Put Him Down?

This is a very difficult question. But to start out, your dog should not be put down simply for biting someone once, without examining the context of the bite.

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.

There’s often a ton of guilt associated with behavioral euthanasia for a dog. But sometimes, it’s the only safe and humane option.

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 that 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. Utilizing muzzles is one of our favorite aggressive dog training tips!

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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Written by

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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  1. Penny Avatar

    My sister loves the pomeranian she took from an abusive man. (He was married to her best friend and she died suddenly) Ahe is great most of the time,but she bites – a lot!! Everyone in our family has been bitten, most to the blood. Her owner, my sister has been bitten too many times to count in just over a year. She won’t wear a collar, leash or muzzle, she’ll bite you if you try! We have tried BarkBusters and learned to control the barking and aggressive behavior IF she is not right by you. But if she is startled by ANYTHING, and skin is nearby, she bites. Hard and hangs on. My sister will be at the ER tomorrow with the latest bite, will need antibiotics. Yes, we’ve tried trazadone, Prozac and CBD. It does relax her, but if she is startled even slightly – it just doesn’t matter, she will bite. My sister already has mental issues and has little to no money. Do we try to find someone to take her? (She is NOT safe) or do we euthanize her and live with the guilt? And what will the VET say? One vet has been bitten and won’t treat her. The other thinks we should keep trying drugs! Helps please.

  2. Leah Avatar

    My dog has bitten me and drawn blood several times, with a variety of triggers (and once or twice, no discernible triggers at all). She’s had a lot of training, she’s on doggy prozac which seemed to help for a while, but she still displays unpredictable aggressive behavior and I’m reaching the end of my rope. So I guess my question is, how do I even go about finding a behaviorist I can trust? I’ve had a lot of bad advice from assorted non-behaviorist vets and trainers and I don’t know what to do.

    1. Ben Team Avatar

      Hey there, Leah. We’re so sorry to hear about the struggles with your pup. Being bitten is obviously no fun, and when it happens in non-predictable fashion, it only makes things more maddening.

      We have an entire article that lays out how to find a certified dog behavior consultant. Give it a look.

      Best of luck!

  3. Loroli Avatar

    Hello, I have just witness an owner abuse his pet to the extreme that the pet bit him and drew blood. As a member of the household the dogs lives in, I watched the dog grow from a pup to 4 years of age. The most problem we have with, her/the dog, is scavenging for food and she will gobble it up. The same human that was bit would be the one to punish her and he is very aggressive with it. The dog would run in frantic. This was the case when the incident occurred and I happen to be there witnessing the whole thing.

    The dog ran in my room to find a place to hide as if she knew what she did wrong. The owner came in over aggressive, grabbed the dog by the collar but the dog was resistant. The owner kept pulling the dog by the collar to the point that it was causing the dog to choke. I could tell the dog was frighten. It made yipping, growling, and whining sounds to excruciating measures. At this point, I couldn’t take it no more and yelled “Why are you abusing the dog?” At some point the dog bit the owner; the owner let go of the collar, the dog calmed down and eventually the owner was able to gently lead the dog into its cage. What disturbs me is the owner doesn’t take any accountability for his actions to cause the dogs reaction. Now the dog is being treated like a vicious dog. I can’t get how it all went down out of my head and I won’t dare express my perception to the owner. He is very aggressive and controlling towards me (his mother). After all that I have expressed, I can’t wrap my head around the dog being a vicious dog. Is she vicious? in other words, is she dangerous?

    I am one of the major caretakers for the dog. I feed her, take her to the doggie park and when the mother of the household is not here, the dog spends most of its time in my room. It was greeting every member of the family when they return for an outing. It never showed any signs of aggression towards any of us— unless she was being annoyed—. Right now, she’s not allowed in the kitchen, or allowed to go to the park or be around other dogs “because she might bite them”. In my opinion, the dog was trying to survive which provoked the bite. I want to judge this rightfully and I’m rooting in favor of the owner but I can’t help think that the dogs reaction was justifiable. She has always been submissive but when annoyed she will snap as a warning. I have no say so in this matter but it does bother me because I am the one that has to keep her out of trouble.

    1. Ben Team Avatar

      Hey there, Loroli.
      We’re so sorry to hear about the situation you and this poor dog find yourselves in.

      You’d need to have an assessment performed by a certified dog behavior consultant to know how much of a risk the dog poses, but it certainly sounds like the dog was biting in self defense.

      Lots of dogs gobble up food they find — the best thing you can do is to feed her well and simply avoid leaving food out where she can find it.

      More importantly, your son needs to stop abusing her immediately. If he can’t control his anger, then the dog needs to be removed and placed with an owner who will treat her with love and kindness.

      We wish you and the dog the best of luck.

  4. Cat Avatar

    I have 2 mutts both adopted from the kennel. Our first dog we got as a puppy and has been with us for 4 years now. The second one we found abandoned in a car park at the age of 1 and then adopted him through the kennel, he has only been with us for 3 months.

    Our first dog has become very attached to the cuddles and kisses since she was introduced to them from the age of 3 months. The newest dog I believe was an outdoor pet with no experience of that side of human/pet interactions. (which i know generally most dogs aren’t). It is also uncertain how long he was wandering the streets before we found him. Though over the 2 months he has been with us he has fit right in and become very close with our first dog. He did’nt appear to have any trauma or fear around humans and was always extremely playful and trusting giving his back to us even from day one.

    Two days ago i went to give him a kiss goodnight on the head, he gave a light warning growl but I guess I wasn’t thinking… I went to give him a second kiss on the head and he snapped his head around and bit my face. Thankfully it was not as bad as it could have been as my eye was unscratched though i had to get 2 stitches in my eyelid where he broke skin.

    He seems to be just as startled by the incident and has been following me around the house the last two days like a lost puppy. But I am now feeling very uncertain about how to interact and do feel myself getting fearful when he tries to jump up or lick me as he used to. I plan to find a professional trainer to help me but nobody is available in my area for the next few weeks.

    Would you have any advice on how to interact with him in the meantime? I find myself avoiding him but still cuddling my first dog and I don’t want to make him feel isolated and unsure of his position in the house as it could lead to more issues

    1. Ben Team Avatar

      Hey there, Cat. We’re so sorry to hear about the incident with your pooch.

      Soliciting some professional help is definitely a good idea at this point (it always is when you have a pup who’s actually bitten anyone). A certified dog behavior consultant would be the best option, but a trainer is better than nothing.

      But in the meantime, it sounds like you need to learn a little about dog body language so you can understand when your pooch is feeling frightened or needs space. It’s also important that you understand the importance of “respecting the growl.” Our dogs only have a few ways to communicate with us, and growling is one of the most important.

      We wish you the very best of luck while recovering from your injury and repairing the relationship with your dog. Let us know how it goes!

  5. Jonathan Avatar

    Me and my wife have a 4 year old male Boston terrier. He is our world we love him just like u would love a a kid. He has caused us to isolate he can’t be around anyone he will attack them. Worse than that there are times he bites us. He has bitten us both around 5 times piece since this started when he was about 18 months old. They are bad viscous bites. That take weeks to heal. Extremely physically painful. Not to mention it hurts the heart. It hurts him also. You can tell after it’s over within mins he wants to make it better. He sad. And just wants to love on you and attempt to lick and lay on u. Can see the sadness in his eyes. I would never put him down no matter what I can’t, I blame us. He seems to bite because of the reasons every time. He bites my wife when she tries to leave. Use to me but I trained him not to bite me for this. I got him to associate me leaving with him getting a new toy and I would buy him a dollar toy or have some extra put away and give him one every time I came home. We have spouts where we argue he seems really on guard at these times and it’s me that better watch out. My voice gets loud my hands move a lot and I am quick moving. When he is in deal sleep and I come marching in the room really excited acting. Those are the worse bites I have received. Two worse bites I got he was in deep sleep under cover with his momma. I came marching in bed room excited acting. Loud and anxious. He gives
    No warning at these times and he bits to hurt and always goes for wrist. Do u think if I’m cautious and stay vigilant we can avoid the bites when he is asleep, or we stop arguing as much he will stop being so nervous. I blame us for these issues. The one that needs broke is attacking my wife when she is trying to leave. He on top her from the moment she starts to get ready. If she grabs her purse and goes to walk out bed room it’s on. Are we just bad doggy parents? Should we not own dogs? He is little over 4 years. Got him when he was about 5 weeks. I don’t work on disability. He is rarely alone. I would say less than 1 percent of his entire life has he been completely alone. But when either of us leave he act so anxious. Paces the floor. Whines. Sits and stares out the window just waiting.

    1. Ben Team Avatar

      Hey there, Jonathan. It doesn’t seem likely that you are bad dog parents, but it does sound like you’ll need some professional help.
      A calmer living environment may very well help him calm down (it’s unlikely to hurt), but it sounds like he has some pretty serious issues.

      We’d strongly recommend reaching out to a certified dog behavior consultant.

      Best of luck!

  6. Monica Relaford Avatar
    Monica Relaford

    My daughter 23, has a German Shepard named chonk, he is just over a year old. He started showing aggression towards me in the past few months. Usually when I was in her room. I would quickly walk out as she held him. Well it got to the point where he attacked me while in the backyard. I was walking to the backyard where chonk was freely about. He bit me on my chest and arm. Which is very deep and painful. I don’t know what to suggest. Since I’m the victim I want him gone never to see the dog again. She feels terrible yet lacks the tools , and training to get chonk on track. We are just now dealing with this and need advice.

    1. Ben Team Avatar

      Hey there, Monica. We’re so sorry to hear about the incident with Chonk.
      The best solution would probably be to reach out to a certified dog behavior consultant, who can assess Chonk. He or she should be able to offer some specific advice for your daughter’s specific pooch.

      In the meantime, just try to ensure she keeps everyone safe. She may even want to consider muzzle training him if Chonk has to be around other people.

      Best of luck!

  7. Sam Avatar

    My dog has bitten every member of my family which include my granny, dad, mom, sis and even me.
    Couple days ago he bite my granny again for I can’t even count how many times. This time it is kinda serious.
    What would be the best option? Should I put him down or give to a shelter?

    1. Megan Marrs Avatar
      Megan Marrs

      Hey Sam – have you read the article? We take you through a lot of options to consider. Context is key – how severe were the bites? Did they break skin? Did they require hospitalization? Was your dog being approached when it clearly was afraid and did not want to be touched? There’s a lot to keep in mind. Before you even consider behavioral euthanasia or surrendering to a shelter, you owe it to your pet to meet with a certified behavior consultant and get a better understanding of why these bites are happening and explore ways to prevent them.

  8. Robin Lennon Avatar
    Robin Lennon

    probably most importantly – Jax took some seizures are Christmas . I brought him to the vet and they put him on Keppra and said there was nothing really wrong with him that they could pin point. They ran some tests and could find no reason for the seizures. This bite happened a month.

    1. Ben Team Avatar

      Huh. That may be worth pursuing further, Robin. You may even want to try another vet — just because one vet failed to identify a specific issue doesn’t mean another won’t find something helpful.

  9. Robin Lennon Avatar
    Robin Lennon

    my 10yr old pit chow mix bit my lips off —literally . I had to have emergency plastic surgery. Jax has always been a bit aggressive just growling and normally he will give you a heads up to leave him alone but I never ever thought my baby who I have had since he was 6 wks old (a rescue) would ever bite me. It’s a level 4 and it was pretty bad.

    I love him – I don’t have the heart to put him down but I am afraid of him… I don’t know what to do.

    I blame myself because I may have invaded his space but I never thought this could happen. I am just devastated. I will require more medical care , laser treatments, lip fillers and some therapy.

    1. Ben Team Avatar

      That sounds horrible, Robin! We’re so sorry to hear about your injuries.

      We’d recommend reaching out to a certified dog behavior consultant and having an assessment performed. That can help to give you an idea on the direction you should go.

      We wish you the best in your recovery.

      1. Lucy Avatar

        My 8 Yr old dog has been a liability since he turned 2. He is neutered but that didn’t help my life has been hell for the last 6 years. Most of the time he is fine, he has only ever bitten me I probably get bitten 4 times a week by him at least he has drawn blood so many times. I know his triggers you can’t walk out the back door without him so I put him in his crate if I need to. If someone comes to the door as soon as I stand he bites my ankles and lower legs he’s already bitten me so I just answer the door and ignore him he knows on your bed but doesn’t listen once the door goes so I can’t stop this one. When people come round I put him in his crate to calm down before letting him in on his lead and they are told don’t speak or touch him until he settles as he can go from excited to biting in a blink of an eye. The worst thing is he is the sweetest dog most of the time but I can’t trust him. He wears a muzzle when we leave the house as I can’t risk him biting someone else. I have become unsteady on my feet and he has learnt how to trip me up so I fall I am scared he will get my face when I am on the floor. He’s only 10kilos but I have scars on my legs from him and the older he gets the more he is drawing blood it’s only nips but he is breaking the skin. I don’t know what to do. My adult son and his partner are concerned for my safety but I don’t think I can give up on him, they say how bad does it have to be before you do. I am at a loss I love him to pieces despite his biting but I am afraid of him.

        1. Ben Team Avatar

          Hey there, Lucy. That’s such a heartbreaking story!

          We certainly understand not wanting to give up on a pooch with some behavioral issues. But you do need to keep your safety in mind.

          Honestly, it sounds like your little wagger has pretty serious issues, so you’re probably going to need some professional help. Check out our article about finding a certified dog behavior consultant (rather than a typical trainer) to get started.

          Best of luck!

          1. Lucy Avatar

            Thanks for the reply, I got someone in a few years ago when it 1st started that was recommended by the vet (but couldn’t afford to keep them on more than a few sessions the good ones arent cheap) they suggested we reintroduce the crate to him which he loves. And using the crate and lead when people come over. I should have mentioned that we use treats along with this. And I always have a bowl with some treats in next to me for when someone knocks on the door which I throw a few on the floor before even attempting to stand up. Problem is he has never been food oriented despite hand feeding him for weeks another one of their suggestions. And he has no interest in toys or balls he is incredibly lazy we go to the secure field so he can have a good run and he just wonders around for 10 mins then just sits there watching the world go by hes always been the same. The door knock is something we have never been able to break him of and it’s his worst trigger everything else I can control but random door knocks he ignores all commands and treats I have learned to live with it I dread the knock on the door because I know what will happen. I put cameras up so I could get there before the knock but he learned the noise the alert made I switched it to vibrate but he learned that as well, I have always said he isn’t wired quite right. I know he is getting worse as he did try to nip my son the other day as he was leaving. That’s what prompted me to post on here, I sort of accept the biting of me but not my son. After owning dogs all my life and never experiencing this I will never get another dog after him I’d be to worried.

          2. Ben Team Avatar

            That all sounds really trying, Lucy. And we hate to hear that he may have “ruined” dogs for you in the future.

            You have taken him to the vet for an evaluation, right? There are times in which behavioral problems have a biological cause.
            Just may be worth trying.

    2. Val Avatar

      Put him down. He had a long good life. That is absolutely horrible and I’m so sorry for your injuries.

      1. Agree Avatar

        I’m so sorry but I agree, move on and get on with your life. My heart is also breaking. I have tried for 2 yrs to get my JR to stop biting. This is my 8th dog, had him since 10mths. Training has taken all my time and energy. So I’ve just contacted JR rescue to re home him. Just like you said, he is lovely and sweet.
        But ….. I have to draw a line and get on with my life. I’ve done so much crying it has to stop. All the best be strong.

  10. Christine Vreeswyk Avatar
    Christine Vreeswyk

    I have a dog that has bitten me, yesterday was the worst one it was a bit deep and drew blood, he stayed away from me.He came and got on my bed this morning and the afternoon when I payed down not making any contact. He is staying away from me do I aproch him or wait for him to come to me, it happened round 11 am Tuesday 4-4-23 now it’s the 5-4 23 at 8 pm. Can you please help me Thankyou

    1. Ben Team Avatar

      Hey there, Christine. Sorry to hear about he issues with your dog!

      Honestly, it sounds like you need the help of a certified dog behavior consultant at this point. All bites should be taken seriously, especially when they’ve occurred repeatedly and one of them has caused a significant injury.

      It’s hard for us to tell you what to do from afar, without having seen the interactions or knowing more about the situation.
      So, in the meantime, your goal should just be to keep yourself safe, prevent further bites, and ensure your dog still gets proper care.

      Best of luck!

  11. susan maack Avatar
    susan maack

    My doberman bit me multiple times when he grabs something on the street that he should not eat. No warning sign just bites . draws blood . I do not trust him anymore . He does not guard his food or bones or toys just things he picks up off street,will use muzzle now when walking

    1. Ben Team Avatar

      Yikes, Susan! That sounds frightening.
      A muzzle is definitely a good idea, but we’d also recommend reaching out to a certified dog behavior consultant.
      Best of luck!

  12. JOR Avatar

    My 2 year old male, intact Newfoundland has attacked me twice in the past six weeks. Both full-on maulings with multiple bites which resulted in trips to the ER and stitches. I am absolutely devastated as he is extremely friendly to everyone and has not shown this aggression to my wife or teenage children. On the 1st occasion he attacked while my wife was in the process of feeding him and On the 2nd I was home alone with him and walked into the room and began to rub his damp chest with a towel when he went for me. After sustaining several bites, I ran out of the back door and he suddenly ‘came to’ and immediately went back to normal even nuzzling me and licking my bleeding arm. I am taking him to the vet tomorrow for advice and feel utterly wretched. On both occasions he was looking at me intently but there was no growling or barking as a warning and was therefore caught by surprise.

    1. Ben Team Avatar

      Yikes, Justin! That sounds horrible!
      Seeing a vet is always a good idea when you notice drastic behavioral changes, but you may also want to reach out to a certified dog behavior consultant for an assessment.

      We wish you the best of luck at the vet and with your recovery.

  13. Vidhi Avatar

    Add on: He did not warn me or stop when I shouted and commanded him to sit. He went off for a few seconds but both times he bit me he seemed remorseful like he laid his whole body on the floor and whined very quietly and made puppy eyes as if he was trying to say I am sorry I didnt know what happened.

    1. Ben Team Avatar

      One more thing, Vidhi: You should probably reach out to a certified dog behavior consultant if your vet isn’t able to determine a medical cause for the aggression.

  14. Vidhi Avatar

    Wow I dont usually comment on these things but this article is way to good not to comment and the comment section is also putting me at ease that I am not the only one. I live with my brother and my sister in law and they have an 11 month old beagle (Male).
    He bit me twice on the same day once in the morning while I was training him with his kibbles and once at night while I was moving the sofa for him so he could get his kibble from underneath the sofa. I did not touch his kibble at night after morning’s incidents when it went under the sofa but simply moved the sofa for him. I was sitting right next to him; while I was trying to move the sofa he took a step back from the sofa and I instantly knew he would charge again so I got up and he charged again.
    He could have gotten my face if I didn’t use my natural instinct to use my hands as a shield but unfortunately he got most of my fingers and both my wrists and drew blood.
    He has never ever done this before, he would let us touch his food no matter what but that day was different.
    The only change in his environment is that his dad is not around and Leo looks upto his dad for guidance, love and affection and its pretty visible he is sad to not see his dad.
    Leo used to spend all his day with his dad at home but now I have been taking him with me to the daycare and I have been taking care of him.
    I had to send him to a friends place where they lots of people and a dog knowing Leo loves people around him to give him a break. When he bit me I shouted and tried to stop him but he didn’t and I kept stepping backwards both times until he stopped. I spoke to his vet and they said they would want to put him on anxiety medication. The biting incident happened on a sunday and he threw up three times the next day.
    Any suggestions for me?

    1. Ben Team Avatar

      Hey there, Vidhi. Sorry to hear about the problems with your dog!

      The vomiting is concerning, and we’d recommend speaking with your vet about that immediately. Health problems can sometimes manifest in aggression — especially sudden aggression.

      The anxiety medication may help him over the long run, but we’d urge great caution — especially when handing him over to other people to care for. It sounds like you’re in a really hard situation, so we sympathize, but it will only get worse if he bites more people.

      Best of luck!

  15. Dana Tieman Avatar
    Dana Tieman

    For the most part our neutered French Bulldog Gus is a happy, excitable love bug. He’s standard color, comes from extremely reputable breeder who shows and is judges the French Bulldogs. When picking up Gus, we also took his littermate (Tyler) with severe pulmonary stenosis to give him his best life.
    From the start, Gus has always been a bit skittish when it comes to touching his rear end, especially if he’s startled and lord help you if you push when he’s napping or resting. I thought he may have a back issue or a pocket tail and I consulted our veterinarian; it did not.
    By the time Gus was 1 yr, he’d randomly lunge at me while petting him on the couch and our bed, to the point I’d have to jump up and move, finally that stopped. Then he’d randomly attack his brother for no reason at all to the point I’d had to break up fights. Sadly Tyler passed over a year ago and my husband selfishly wanted another pup so we reached out to our breeder and he had a 4 month old pup he was going to keep for show but didn’t fit the composition.
    From day one, Gus literally attacked the puppy out of jealously, dominance and resource guarding.
    I recognize Gus’s tells use treats and the command enough when I feel Gus is in a mood which seems to be working with the both of them thus far.
    My husband is in denial that Gus is aggressive, nor does he heed my warnings and how to handle him when he’s in a mood by bribing him with treats.
    Last month my husband learned the hard way and pushed Gus out of the way while resting in our bed. Without warning Gus lunged and severely bit his hand and sadly, my husband has diabetes and didn’t take the bite seriously ending up with a major infection, hospitalized on IV antibiotics and had his index finger partially amputated due osteomyelitis.
    Last night my husband didn’t learn he shouldn’t poke the bear and again pushed Gus on our bed to move him and again, severely bitten in the hand. I
    I’m a firm believer dogs should NEVER bite anyone, especially its owner. In 40 years of having dogs, I’ve never had a dog try to bite me or anyone. In all fairness, I do feel my husband is partially blame because he should’ve known better than to poke the bear. Bottom line is, even though Gus is a love bug most times, he’s the worst kind of aggressive dog because he attacks without warning. As much as I love him, I truly don’t think he can fully be trusted even with training and don’t what to do. Is it right to re-home a dog with known bite issues or do I euthanizing him?

    1. Dana Tieman Avatar
      Dana Tieman

      Post Note: I forgot to mention, Gus literally tries to attack you if you wash his face or try to clip his nails as well

    2. Ben Team Avatar

      Hey there, Dana. We’re sorry to hear about the problems with Gus.
      We can’t tell you what the best decision would be — only you can make the final determination.

      That said, it certainly sounds like Gus has some issues. Rehoming would still be an option, as different owners are willing to tolerate different problem behaviors than others. You may find someone who’s willing to give Gus the space he needs and accept the risk of a bite. Just be sure that you’re crystal clear with any potential adoptees about his issues.

      We would encourage you to at least reach out to a certified dog behavior consultant (not a trainer) before opting for euthanasia though. He or she may very well be able to shed some light on the issue.

      Also, simply from a “low-hanging fruit” perspective, it’d be wise to completely avoid pushing Gus’s boundaries. Don’t push him off the bed or try to wash his face, if you know those are triggering for him.

      Best of luck!

  16. Nichole Avatar

    We have a 2yr old lab mastiff mix. My husband woke up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, and our dog attacked him. Our dog has never shown signs of aggression before. My husband had a hole in the shape of a bite in his hand and a bruise on the other. It has been 3weeks since that incident, and I was getting the dog out of the cat litter box and went to reach for his collar and same thing, bit my hand. Not as bad, but he still bit my hand. My husband wants to put him down because we have two teenagers. It makes me sad but a part of me thinks it is for the best.

    1. Ben Team Avatar

      Hey there, Nichole.
      We’re so sorry to hear about the bite incidences with your dog.

      You must do whatever is necessary to keep your family safe, but it’d likely be a good idea to visit the vet first — sometimes medical conditions can cause an abrupt change in behavior. After that, it would be a good idea to at least speak with a certified dog behavior consultant before opting for euthanasia.

      We wish you the very best of luck!

  17. Lenda Avatar

    I recently got my dog lobo a few months ago, but he hasn’t shown me any signs or aggresion or anything. A matter a fact we hang out often, he even lets me pet his belly. And waits for me outside my door while im working, but sometimes he randomly bites me then I have to remove him from the room. And hes a much larger sized dog so it hurts more. I really need training tips or advice on what to do from here.

    1. Ben Team Avatar

      Hey there, Lenda.
      It doesn’t sound like those bites are random, and it actually does sound like he’s showing signs of defensive/aggressive/reactive behavior.
      Have you tried any of the tips Erin provided in the article?

  18. Teresa Avatar

    I forgot to mention that we took him to the vet today to get his nails cut and I wanted them to put his harness on because we can’t. He won’t let us. Then I mentioned that he bit me while trying to put medicine in his ears, so they tool that “ this dog bites “, so that tried to put a muzzle on him and he went nuts!!! They were holding him down so hard he tried to bite them !!! They said they wouldn’t cut his nails without knocking him out. We said no, and left. Our dog gets his nails cut there every month and as never bitten any of them. Now I’m afraid our dog will never want to go to the vet again!!

  19. Teresa Avatar

    We have a 9 month old Corgi. The vet gave him some medicine for an ear infection, and he bit me while trying to put it in his ear ears. He bit into my fingers. If you do anything he doesn’t like , ( example ) try to put a harness on him , he will bite you!! I have NEVER had any of my dogs bite me!! I want to take care of him like I’m supposed to and he makes it very very hard!! Now I’m afraid of trying to do certain things for him like , give him medicine when he gets sick, or trim the hair by his toes, etc., because I know if he doesn’t want me to do it , he will bite me again. I’m not sure what to do?!

    1. Ben Team Avatar

      Hey there, Teresa. Sorry to hear about your bite!
      Have you considered using a muzzle on him? Not all the time — just when you need to medicate him, etc.

      As for the harness issue, you may want to just opt for a collar or experiment with different types of harnesses. Give special consideration to “step-in” models, as some dogs seem to like them more.
      Best of luck!

  20. Edwin Avatar

    I have a GSD Amstaff mix 2 year old, I have a situation wehre I can take him for walks and he will be nice and playfull with people in the street. But it seems as though when we get home he become very protective, he will bark at anyone that comes near the house. Situatuions have been where he nearly bite one of my relative for no reason. I have thought about putting a muzzle and work with him with it on until he feels okay having people in the house an property. Would it be that he is being dominant or on guard/protection mode. Any advice would be greate.

    1. Ben Team Avatar

      Hey there, Edwin. Sorry to hear about the challenges with your pooch.

      Given your dog’s size and the signs he’s already displayed, it’d be wise to take this seriously. We’d recommend reaching out to a certified dog behavior consultant and going from there. He could be exhibiting territorial aggression, but it’s impossible for us to know from afar.

      In the meantime, it would probably be a good idea to muzzle-train him as an additional safety measure.

  21. Sunshine brown Avatar
    Sunshine brown

    I have a rat terrier that I’ve had since she was about a year old she was severely abused by her first owner now she has bit me several times all the way down to the bone and continues to do so I do not know what to doa bout this she is savory loving dog and loves everyone that she just completely goes off the deep end for no reason whatsoever now

    1. Ben Team Avatar

      Hey there, Sunshine. Sorry to hear about the problems with your dog!
      You could try some of the tips in the article, but given the severity of the bites, you would probably be better off enlisting the help of a certified dog behavior consultant.
      Best of luck!

  22. Maria Avatar

    I been having lot of troubles With my 6 months old dog. He is very happy dog and social but it happens thta he gets stressed easily or i think so. He starts barking AT me and when i approch him to see whats wrong he runs from me and hide and barks i get overwhelmd so i now my screeming just makes it worse he can also start biting he has this habit that he want my hand NO matter what i give him he doesnt break my skin still Hurt tho. I really dont know what to do.

    1. Ben Team Avatar

      Hey there, Maria.
      It’s hard to tell what’s going on from afar, so it’d probably be a good idea to reach out to a certified dog behavior consultant for an assessment.

      However, it is possible that he’s either fearfulor overly excited. Both of those things can be addressed though, so check out those articles and see if any of the tips help.
      Best of luck!

  23. Joaquin Avatar


    My girlfriend and I have dog for 3 months. He si very cute in general, also loves other people. But he gets very possessive with food. Yesterday, he was eating from a trashcan, he had plastic in his mouth. I started screaming at him to leave it, with a treat in my hand. He left if on the ground. And i gave him the treat. But when I reached to take the bag, he got very aggressive, and then, probably my worse mistake, i grabbed him from the neck. He jumped to me, bitting me deeply several times in the forearm. I was bleeding all over. He drove me to the ground and after 10 seconds he stopped. I took him home and we went to the hospital. They threat the wounds and gave me antibiotics and pain killers. I hurts quite a lot, and my arm is swallowed. I can barely use it for now.

    We can pinpoint exactly what triggered it. And it is true he warned with growling before. But i never thought he could do this to me.
    It is hard for me to trust the dog again. Mostly if we have a child.

    1. Ben Team Avatar

      Yikes, Joaquin! That sounds horrible!

      Even though you may have made a mistake in this situation, him knocking you to the ground and delivering a series of serious bites is very troubling.
      We’d recommend immediately contacting a certified dog behavior consultant and having him or her assess your dog.

      It sounds like he is exhibiting some resource guarding, which can be a challenging issue to tackle without professional help.

      Best of luck!

  24. Kirsty Avatar

    Hello, I recently took up dog walking and took on a 19month labardor, the owner told me the dog had been attacked previously before he was neutered however had no problems with the dog since but didn’t alow him off lead as she feared him being attacked, when walking him a dog approached, and I distracted him with treats, the other dog left with no problem, then the lab attacked me arm ripping my jumper and bruising me badly, I got him off by throwing treats on the floor. What could I have done differently in this senerio, I fear the dog is getting treated for bad behaviour and although I had no alternative at the time, he’s learned to attack to get what he wants.

    1. Ben Team Avatar

      Hey, Kirsty.
      Huh. That’s a weird situation, and it’s tough to say why the dog bit you without seeing the event happen.
      Given that, it is difficult to explain what you could have done differently, except for maybe learning a little more about dog body language, in case there were signs that the pooch was nervous or frightened.
      (And obviously, the owner needs to seek the help of a canine behavior consultant.)
      Best of luck!

  25. Tracy Avatar

    Hello! I have a 2 year old male Rottweiler. He is a good boy at home, but really hates the vet. He is muzzled while there because he lunged at a technician and tried biting them. Today, my boyfriend and I were playing around. I was pushing him around and out of nowhere, my dog bit my behind. I think he was riled up from us playing with him shortly beforehand, but it took me by surprise. He isn’t aggressive towards us, but has some issues with strangers and other dogs.
    I’m not sure what to do about it. He did break skin a little when he bit me, and it really scared me, but I want to give him the benefit of doubt. What do you think I should do?

    1. Ben Team Avatar

      Hey there, Tracy.

      It’s almost always a good idea to reach out to a certified dog behavior consultant for an assessment anytime you see potential signs of aggression in a pooch — and this is especially important with large breeds.

      So, we’d recommend starting there, as it is impossible for us to know exactly what is going on from afar.

      That said, Rotties do get “riled up” pretty easily (mine certainly does), so it is entirely possible that your poocherino was just overexcited/stimulated, and this caused him chomp on you.

      Sorry we can’t give a more concrete answer, but we wish you the best of luck!

  26. Carol Sciple Avatar
    Carol Sciple

    I have a little yorkiepoo who is in love with me and vice versa. He loves my husband and prefers to sleep beside my husband. He becomes aggressive toward my husband. My dog is usually sitting in my lap at the end of the day. My husband walks by me to go to bed and tries to lean down to give me a kiss or to hand me the remote. My dog barks and attacks my husband every time. How can we stop this behavior. My husband is getting aggravated and threatening to euthanize him if he doesn’t stop.

    1. AdminLogin Avatar

      Hi Carol – it sounds like your dog is likely resource-guarding you. This is not an unusual issue, but because it does involve aggression, your safest option would be to consult with a certified behavior consultant. That being said, if you read our article on resource guarding, there are steps you can take to prevent this from happening, involving a decent amount of management.

  27. Ashley Avatar

    I have a 4 year old pitfall/mutt dog. He has never been aggressive to no one in his life, if he doesn’t feel comfortable with someone petting him or getting near him he will move himself away from the situation or person. With other dogs I now know his behavior and to avoid problems I don’t ever let him off leash in parks, and when we are walking together I put him closest to the sidewalk or path, or avoid a path getting near another owner with a dog. Earlier this week he was in a deep sleep in the middle of the night, I got off my bed and did not see him on the ground and ended up stepping on him, he let out the most horrifying cry that I’ve never heard from him. I don’t blame him for acting this way, in the pain he ended up biting my knee which resulted in me getting stitches Now my fear is that as he’s being quarantined and as they come to “check” on him they may think he’s aggressive and want to put him down, this is his first ever bite and like I’ve said he’s never aggressive with anyone. What can I do in the moment or expect when they come to my house to check on him and I?

    1. Ben Team Avatar

      Hey there, Ashley.
      We’re so sorry to hear about the issue with your pooch. It certainly has to be tough on both of you, and we wish you well in your recovery.

      We don’t really know what to tell you to expect, as the procedures and rules about dogs who’ve bitten people vary from one place to the next. For example, where I live, you wouldn’t have had to quarantine the dog at all (assuming you have proof he’d been vaccinated against rabies).

      So, I guess the general advice we’d provide is to speak with the parties involved — including the staff at the facility holding him and the person performing the assessment — about your pup and explain the situation. You may also want to check out some local forums or social media channels to speak with others in your area who have experience with the same agency you’re having to work with.

      Best of luck! We hope everything turns out OK.

  28. Steve Avatar

    I have a 12 weeks old golden retriever puppy, he is very sweet and loving most of the times, but he found a stick in a park the other day, that he really liked. When I tried to take it away from him he was growling and showing teeth, and when I tried to go back and reached for the stick he bit my finger. (It was partially my fault as I ignored his warning signs, and kept pushing)
    He hasn’t shown a behaviour like that in any other cases (only that stick), and I’ve been working with him going back to the same place, and getting him to come to me with treats instead of focusing on the stick, which he is very good at now, and does it without any issues, or showing signs of resource guarding.
    What else can I do to make sure it doesn’t happen again?

    1. Ben Team Avatar

      Hey there, Steve. Hope your finger is doing OK.
      It sounds like he may be exhibiting some resource guarding. Try some of the tips in that article, but if you don’t feel like things are going well, you may want to reach out to a certified dog behavior consultant.
      Resource guarding isn’t something to take lightly.
      Best of luck!

  29. Terri Homer Avatar
    Terri Homer

    My 1 year old pit bull attacked me and tore my face to pieces. There was no provocation, no warning signs, he just climbed in my lap, and within 2-3 minutes of being there he lunged at my face leaving my bottom lip torn completely away from the gums, a huge chunk of meat taken from my chin, and a wound in my neck a half inch from where it would have hit my carotid arterie. He had nipped at people before, and he did bite a child in our home but she was pulling his tail and poking him while he was eating. Her mother was sitting right there the entire time. I don’t want to put him down! But everyone is recommending this. They are all afraid for our family. He could have killed me. I’m so conflicted and while I would be sad to see him leave our home, I just don’t feel safe anymore. And I don’t want to take his life… there has to be another way! Please help me!

    1. Ben Team Avatar

      Hey there, Terri. We’re so sorry to hear about your injuries and the problems with your pooch!

      Honestly, it is hard for us to provide concrete, specific advice from afar. But it really seems like you only have two options:

      1) Have him euthanized.
      2) Have a behaviorist assess the pooch to see if he or she thinks that the dog can be safe around people at all. If so, you may be able to find a rehoming organization or shelter in your area who’d take him and try to find him a suitable home.

      One thing you cannot do at this point is ignore the issue — that isn’t safe for anyone.

      We wish you all the best in your recovery and hope that you find a good solution for all parties involved.

  30. Lisa Avatar

    Our 60 lb. lab/shepherd rescue mix has been a wonderful family dog for 4 years. Was a rescue puppy that we raised from 8 weeks. Been attacked by other dogs 3 separate times while we have been on walks and that’s why we think he is very nervous and afraid of other dogs and strangers. His first bite was a new landscaper who reached for a hose and he bit his hand, his second bite was another stranger reaching out his hand, a third bite was the dog trainer we hired who reached out his hand, a fourth bite was a friend at th front door who reached out to pet him. We tell people not to reach out and pet him and he’d been good for a couple of years, but in the last month he bit my hand when I was brushing him, and now a neighbor child who reached out to pet him and he had to get stitches. He seems to be getting more aggressive, without warning. We tried the dog trainer years ago and he’s pretty obedient and responsive to me and all in our family, but this recent biting is making me nervous. What to do? I don’t think we can afford a special behaviorist. Please help.

    1. Ben Team Avatar

      Hey, Lisa.
      We’re so sorry to hear about the challenges with your pooch, but six bites (if I counted correctly) is really concerning.

      We’d strongly recommend at least speaking with a certified dog behavior consultant if you can. I know they aren’t exactly cheap, but you’re dealing with a pretty big dog who has a pretty significant bite history at this point.

      The only other alternatives would be to keep him completely separated from visitor (and then just be extremely careful with him yourself), or fit him with a muzzle anytime he’s around other people.

      Regardless of which approach you choose, we’d encourage you to implement it ASAP — his next bite could end up being very severe, which would have terrible ramifications for you and him.

      Best of luck!

  31. Jill Avatar

    Last night my 2 1/2 yr old male dog (1/2 Rott, 1/2 Presa Canario, rest mutt) who I have had since he was 2 months old was lying down on the bed and I went over to him and got in his face to give him a kiss. Sometimes he really hates this, other times he doesn’t mind, but he has usually given me a warning by either moving his face or growling and last night he bit me in the face. No warning – he just bit me. It wasn’t serious enough for stitches, but he drew blood. I blame myself because I know he doesn’t always like that, but I’m used to him warning me. Is this something I should consult a behavioral therapist on or just make sure not to do again? He is a big dog (100 lb) and I’d be afraid he would do this to someone else who invaded his space unknowingly (though he has never had this issue before).

    1. Ben Team Avatar

      Hey, Jill.
      1) Yes — absolutely consult a certified dog behavior consultant. We almost always recommend doing so anytime defensive behavior or aggression is involved, but it is especially important for such a large pup.
      2) We’re glad that you didn’t require medical attention, but if you know that “sometimes he really hates this,” you should avoid doing it.
      Best of luck.

    2. Doug Avatar

      If your own Dog, bites you and draws blood. You have a BIG PROBLEM. You will NEVER totally feel save around your dog again, regardless of some so called dog specialist trying to figure out why your dog bit you. If the dog is big or huge the problem is really dangerous. By the time you try to figure out what is going on even with the help of a trainer, the dog could disfigure you or someone else. Recently my Great Pyrenees bit me as I was trying to get him out of the wet shady spot in the yard. I grabbed his collar like I have done many time before and there was no problem. He bit by arm and drew blood. He didn’t clamp down hard however if he did, I would have dispatched him myself shortly there after. That would have broke my heart in a million ways, but folks, once the trust is broken, like and cracked egg, you can not EVER TOTALLY put it back together.
      If He, Otis, was not a 110lb great Pyrenees it might be different, but getting it wrong, with a dog that big isn’t worth taking the chance. It is SO out of the spectrum of what constitutes a relationship with your dog when they might YOU, that you have to conclude this is extremely problematic. Otis has been loved by me completely, never did anything but treat him with love and great respect.

      1. Ben Team Avatar

        Hey, Doug.

        I understand some of the points you’re trying to make, but I am going to push back a bit.

        For starters, it is entirely possible to build back trust with a dog who’s bitten you, just as it is possible to build back trust with a person who’s wronged you. That doesn’t mean every owner will be able to feel safe again following a bite — many won’t. But the categorical manner in which you stated it is simply wrong.

        Also, I’m not sure why you are putting the “so-called” modifier in front of “dog specialist.” Minimizing the credentials, knowledge, and accomplishments of someone like Erin (who’s undoubtedly forgotten more about dog behavior than most people will ever know) in an attempt to make your point is unnecessarily hostile. For that matter, why are you even reading an article written by someone you obviously don’t respect?

        Thirdly, I find the way you nearly brag about being willing to “dispatch” your own dog deeply disturbing — there’s simply no other way to put it.

        But all that aside, we appreciate you checking out the site and wish you and Otis the best of luck.

  32. Carol ann booth Avatar
    Carol ann booth

    My husband and I have a 1 1/2 year old Shitzue and have owned her since she was a pup. She has always had a dominant personality and at times as a young pup she would not want to stop with her aggressive play. She would bite at our hands but never drew blood. However she would not stop her behaviour by asking her to. We would have to turn away from her and hold our hands out of her reach for her to calm down. She has always wanted to mouth our hand when petting her or playing with her. It has been difficult to get her to stop this.
    I have always groomed her myself because of the pandemic, and started when she was very young. This went well until approximately two weeks ago when I accidentally nicked her with the scissors while attempting to cut out a mat. Since that happened and rightfully so she has been apprehensive when I say it is time to get brushed. The first couple of times I just brushed her, spoke very quietly to her and did not use the scissors at all. After a few days I introduced the scissors again told her what I was going to do. I only cut where it was easy to do but could tell she was apprehensive. The other day I went to pick her up and put her on the grooming table.
    There really was no warning she just turned her head and grabbed my hand and bit it drawing blood. I have ordered a muzzle and will introduce it to her once it comes. Tonight my husband went to pick her up to take her outside which and she bared her teeth and growled at him. He did not pick her up. Now she seems to growl and bare her teeth if we want her to do something but she does not want to.
    We had a Shitzue before Missy and she never exhibited this type of behaviour. She was a more mellow dog. We love this little dog and most of the time she is a wonderful pet. We would never put her down because of this incident but would like some insight as.to how to manage it. Daily grooming is a must because of her coat type.

    1. Ben Team Avatar

      Hey there, Carol Ann. Sorry to hear about the problems with your pooch.

      Ultimately, the best option would be to reach out to a certified dog behavior consultant. He or she could put together a personalized approach for your specific pet.
      Failing that, we’d recommend continuing your general approach: Go slowly with things that frighten her and provide plenty of positive reinforcement.

      As for picking her up, well, a lot of dogs dislike being handled this way. You may just want to heed her wishes and walk her to the various places she needs to go.

      Best of luck!

  33. Gabby Avatar

    Hi there,
    My family and I have just adopted a 6 year old Vizsla. He`s only been with us for less then a week. He`s a very affectionate, sweet, and outgoing dog. However, when he is resting and relaxing on the sofa, he will not let anyone approach him. He will give a warning that we are invading his space by growling, glaring, and showing his teeth. Last night, he was on the sofa and my brother reached to grab something near the dog, the dog growled at him but my brother proceeded to reach for the item on the couch, the dog then bit him, piercing the skin and drawing a bit of blood. We have realized he only shows this type of defensive behaviour when he’s on the couch, so we’ve decided to no longer allow him on the couch to avoid more confrontation. We’ve been rewarding him with treats to get off the couch. Do you have any recommandations to avoid such behaviour?

    1. Ben Team Avatar

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

      While not allowing your dog to get on the couch is probably a step in the right direction, it’d probably be wisest to have a certified dog behavior consultant come out and perform an assessment of the little guy. He may be exhibiting resource guarding, he may just be frightened, or it could be something else entirely.

      But anytime a serious bite is involved (particularly with a largeish dog), we recommend getting some professional help.

      Best of luck!

  34. Nancy Avatar

    90 lb labradoodle, 3 yrs old,shelter dog, adopted and neutered at 1 yr old. Good boy but he had bit me and comes after me when restrained. Tried choke collar, vinegar water spray, treats when I can get them. Happens when he wants to chase bear, cat, squirrel. These are serious lunges, bites, rips clothes. Why does he come after me even if I’m not restraining him, resource gaurding? I would be happy to pay for online consulting.

    1. Ben Team Avatar

      Hey there, Nancy. Sorry to hear about the problems with your pooch!

      First of all, we’d strongly recommend that you stop using the aversive training tools and techniques (vinegar, choke collar, etc.), as they’re unlikely to help and may damage the relationship you have with your dog.

      Secondly, it does sound like you need professional help — specifically, you need to speak with a certified dog behavior consultant.

      It’s hard to know exactly what’s going on here, but if I understand correctly, it sounds like your dog is getting excited/frustrated about the animals he wants to chase, which then causes him to turn his attention to whoever he can reach (meaning YOU). Given that, you may also want to check out our article about dogs who nip when excited (though you should still seek professional assistance for safety’s sake).

      Best of luck!

  35. Lydia Avatar

    Hi there,

    I have a dog who is a shih zu cross miniature poodle. He has always been bitey as a puppy and he’s only a. Year and a bit old. He’s bitten me and my partner multiple times and family members without warning. He does have guarding issues so we work with him on that, but sometimes he’s been sitting with us cuddling and he’s bitten my partner really badly. Everyone he’s bitten it has broken skin and we have to hold him to get him in his pen. He does have short sighted vision, and for a while he’s been great, but he bit my partner again this morning while they were cuddling and I walked in. I don’t know how long you are supposed to put up with it, it’s so unpredictable. I even took him back to the breeder and he couldn’t stay because he bit them all. He’s so lovely 90% of the time but when he’s bad it’s really bad. Any advice?

    1. Ben Team Avatar

      Hey there, Lydia. That sounds incredibly frustrating (not to mention painful)!

      First of all, it’s unfortunate that the breeder isn’t standing behind the animal, but I guess that’s neither here nor there at this point.
      It really just sounds like you need to have a certified dog behavior consultant assess the little guy and determine what is going on. From there, the behaviorist should be able to provide you with a recommended course of action.

      In the meantime, it’d probably be wise to tread carefully in situations in which you know he may display a short fuse, such as when he’s cuddling with someone or you may surprise him, thanks to his poor eyesight.
      Best of luck! Let us know what the behaviorist says!

  36. Kim Avatar


    I’m in desperate need of some advice. My family have a small dog, similar size as a Jack Russell (don’t know the bread) been told it’s a Chinese rural dog. Anyhow, during the past two years since we spade her she’s become more and more aggressive towards other dogs, we now have to keep her on a very short leash as she’s grunting, showing teeth and attacking ALL other dogs. It’s sad as she’s never been able to play with other dogs as she’s either attacking them when they try to sniff her butt, or hiding behind us (she’s very good friends with cats and have no problem hanging out with them). Today and two days ago she spontaneous attacked me when I was putting on a leash to go out for a evening potty round. She didn’t show any signs out of the ordinary (fyi I need to lift her up to put on the leash). I don’t know what to do as she’s a very nervous and easily frightened little dog lady… I’m worried about the time when our baby boy starts to move around. All advice are appreciated /Kim

    1. Ben Team Avatar

      Hey, Kim. Sorry to hear about the problems with your pooch — this must be both frustrating and frightening.

      Dog-dog aggression and reactivity are relatively common issues (my own doggo is pretty reactive toward other dogs, so I definitely sympathize with your situation). And fortunately, there are things you can do! Check out our article on reactive dog training to learn about some of the best strategies and techniques you can employ. None of the recommendations are going to be especially quick-and-easy, so you may have to rely on management techniques (such as simply walking her in places without many other dogs, etc.) while waiting for the training strategies to work.

      However, the aggression directed at you is a bit more concerning. Typically, we recommend that owners dealing with dogs who actually bite work with a certified dog behavior consultant. This is not only a good idea for safety’s sake, but it’ll be the most likely way you’ll actually achieve some progress. And given that you have a young kiddo, we’d recommend doing so sooner than later.

      Best of luck! We’ve got our fingers crossed for you!

  37. Mary Avatar

    Hello, I have an 80 pound 17 month old male foxhound who has been showing some aggression first with my adult son and now me. I was in bed watching tv and my dog was laying with me and all of a sudden he just looked at me and I could tell he was going to attack me. I turned my back to him and got out of bed but he bit me on the back of my shoulder and almost got me in the back of the head (he got a mouth full of hair). I’m very scared of him right now and I will be sleeping in my guest bedroom because he is giving me looks when I go near my very own bed. I had already set up an appointment with a trainer 3 weeks ago, supposed to come on March 13th but I can’t live with him. I’m scared. We’ve had him since he was 7 weeks. I’m so upset but I don’t think i can keep him like this.

    1. Ben Team Avatar

      We’re so sorry to hear that, Mary! But it’s understandable — if you’re genuinely frightened of your dog, rehoming him is often necessary.
      Just be sure to accurately describe his behavior and history to anyone who plans on adopting him.
      Best of luck!

  38. Jorge Avatar

    Well my dog seems to have some odd behavior when laying down where he sleeps specially if the room is dark, normally while every is lit he behaves normal unless you bother him to much but today for the first time he bit my hand it was nothing the bite but the pain to know he did it. I was about to go to sleep his bed is on the floor by my legs and he wanted to jump to the bed, I got close facing him like to tell him no, my hands were gripping the border of the bed and since everything was dark I couldn’t see he was showing teeth and as soon as I went away he bit my left middle finger. Immediately out of instinct him with the pillow and turned on the lights. He started laying down like scared looking up, then I stood near him and he started licking me, my leg my hands specially the hand he bit, he was following me around the room for several minutes.

    Now I am very confused the fact he snapped without a loud growl and that actually bit me, I know dogs like to have their own place but when he is laying down he is grumpy but this time he was standing on his bed before the bite. Any suggestions?
    Thank you

    1. Ben Team Avatar

      Hey, Jorge.
      I’m not sure that I followed you there, but it sounds like you may have just startled your dog by getting down in his face, leading to the bite.
      Growls do often precede bites, but a surprised dog may snap suddenly.
      If this was a one-off thing, you may just accept it and move on. However, if the biting (or any other signs of defensive behavior like this) occurs again, we’d recommend speaking with a certified dog behavior consultant.
      Best of luck!

  39. Alla Kravchik Avatar
    Alla Kravchik

    Thank you very much!!!

    1. Ben Team Avatar

      You’re very welcome, Alla! Glad you found the article helpful.

  40. Sara Correia Avatar
    Sara Correia

    Last night my husband was sitting in the living room with my 8 month old son and messing with a pack of baby wipes when suddenly one of our male beagles got super aggressive with him (he was trying to bite my husband). My husband was able to get him in a kennel, which he sat in for about 30 minutes, before being let outside to go to the bathroom. After being let back in he acted very apologetic and calm.
    We got him and two female beagles at the end of this past summer. He would act aggressive a few times. We later found out that there was suspected abuse at the home they were at.
    He’s usually very sweet and snuggles with us. We have no idea what caused the sudden aggression.
    I can’t afford to have an aggressive dog. I have an 8 month old son who is starting to crawl.
    Do you have any advice?

    1. Ben Team Avatar

      Hey there, Sara.
      We’re glad your husband was able to get the little pupper in his crate without suffering a bite!
      Unfortunately, there’s not much advice we can provide from afar. But if this isn’t a one-off thing (which it doesn’t sound like it was), we’d recommend having a certified dog behavior consultant assess him pronto.
      Best of luck!

  41. Riss Avatar

    My 3 month old puppy was getting an xray done and they said he bit the tech’s arm when she laid him down. The she put him on the floor and he turned and bit her knee too. I have small kids. Should I be worried about repeat behavior now if he ever gets scared or nervous about something?

    1. Ben Team Avatar

      Hey there, Riss.
      Sorry about the problem with your pooch!

      It’s impossible to tell from afar if your pup presents a safety threat to you or your children, so we’d encourage you to reach out to a certified dog behavior consultant and have an evaluation performed. From there, you can decide what your next steps should be.

      In the meantime, just err on the side of caution and avoid leaving the pup with your children in unattended fashion.

      Best of luck!

  42. Veronica Avatar

    I’m going through a very traumatic time, my family dog of 11 years recently facially attacked my mouth through to the top lip and I had to get numerous stitches done by surgeons.
    When I came back he wasn’t here as my family decided with an difficult decision to put him down. It’s not the first attack, his done it numerous times to us all and we’ve all had stitches at one point but this was the worse one. When he attack it’s not one initial bite, he doesn’t stop and is so viscous. His a half jack Russel and have chiuaha apparently but we think we was half German Shepard. It’s just so hard as he we all loved him very much dispute his attacks and viscous behaviour. He defiantly ruled the house. He attacked mostly when it came to food. Or if you stood on his toe for example, touched his paw’s he hated that. But this occasion he was on his back paws and was looking for his bone (little did I know) and I went behind him to kiss him or pick him up I can’t remmeber it happened so fast. I just can’t understand how he could hurt us so much. I hope they did the right thing.

    1. Ben Team Avatar

      Hey, Veronica.

      We’re so sorry to hear about your injuries and that you had to euthanize your dog.
      That’s never easy — especially when he was with you for so long.

      Just be sure to give yourself plenty of time to mourn his loss. With time, things will get better. We have an article that provides advice for owners who’re dealing with the loss of a dog — check it out and see if any of those tips help.

      We wish you the very best and hope your injuries heal quickly.

  43. Roxy Avatar

    My dog bit me for seventh time just by telling her to move n very nice physically moving her. I’m not happy n I believe dog don’t bite their amazing owner. I own many breeds since a child. My house always have at least four dogs. My new granddaughter is coming n I find her dangerous. I’m a senior n can’t afford behavior therapy. If I give her to county or a non kill I have be honest n she would not be a prospect. I don’t trust her anymore

    1. Ben Team Avatar

      Sorry to hear about the problems with your dog, Roxy.
      We wish you the best of luck finding her a new home.

    2. AdminLogin Avatar

      Hi Roxy. Obviously, the best thing to do would be to consult with a pro. But I would also suggest refrain from physically moving your dog. She is uncomfortable with that clearly. Have you considered teaching her a “place” command to have her move off furniture instead? Or you could toss her some treats off the space where she is. My own dog is also very sensitive to being physically moved – it makes a lot od dogs very nervous and uncomfortable.

  44. Mary Plauche Avatar
    Mary Plauche

    He started biting about 3 months ago, we got him 5 years ago when the lady who,had him died unexpectedly. He wants to bite my husband more than me. In fact he did bite him and broke the skin. If we kill a roach or drop something on the floor he is waiting to bite you. He is very aggressive towards other dogs. In fact
    He does not like other dogs, he likes cats. But the biting is what worries me. My niece and nephew comes and want to play with his toys. I told them throw the toy, but don’t try and get is away from him.

    1. Ben Team Avatar

      Hey there, Mary. So sorry to hear about the problems with your pooch.
      Based on your description of his behavior and the fact that there are safety issues at play (particularly with your niece and nephew), it’d probably be wise to reach out to a certified dog behavior consultant. He or she should be able to assess your doggo, figure out what’s going on, and provide a good plan of attack.
      We wish you the very best of luck!

  45. Kris ivalis Avatar
    Kris ivalis

    My sweet cocker can also snap at me and has bitten me twice when I least expect it. She also bit her groomer recently and now they won’t groom her anymore. Thanks for the article. I will try to write down the situation every time this happens. She is a 9 year rescue. I have had her for two years. I am taking her to the vet to have her checked over. She has always been this way. I think she was a breeders dog at one time. Don’t go near her when she has a pet toy in her month. She will growl loudly and bite you if you try to take it away.

    1. Ben Team Avatar

      Hey, Kris.
      Glad you found the article helpful, and we’re also glad you’re having her checked by your vet — it’s a crucial first step.
      Also, don’t hesitate to use a muzzle during grooming or vet visits if need be.
      Best of luck!

  46. Esther Avatar

    Hi….my Australian Shepard is 5. W were working moving large items and uncovered a rabbit den. She dug and took two babies away to the lawn. I found it and picked it up to see if alive. It came around and squilled and Sheila immediately grabbed my leg and bite me. Broke the skin, etc. she has never bitten anyone. Put rabbit in box inside house. Went to get it and move outside close to other older rabbits and it escaped so when I found and picked up it squilled again and Sheila lunged and bite my leg a second time. I’m totally in disbelief. I just told her no and she let go. I showed her the rabbit that it was safe but still made me uncertain of her behavior. You don’t bite the hand that feeds. What do I do? Thanks for your help.

    1. Ben Team Avatar

      What a story, Esther!
      Honestly, if she’d never bitten you or showed any signs of aggression before, I’d chalk it up to very unusual circumstances.
      I would contact a local wildlife rehabilitator, turn over the rabbits, and just move on.

      And then, I’d watch your pooch for any signs of illness, as rabbits can transmit a few diseases to dogs (though it’s pretty rare).
      Best of luck!

  47. Deborah Pauline Fountain Avatar
    Deborah Pauline Fountain

    Hi, this problem has been going on for quite a long time. We’ve had several trainers re: this situation; however nothing has changed. I do not want to rehome him but it’s getting serious. Please help me. Thank you so much

    1. Ben Team Avatar

      Hey there, Deborah.
      We’re so sorry to hear about the problems with your pooch, but there’s not much we can do from afar.
      If none of the recommendations above have helped, you’ll simply need to reach out to a canine behaviorist.
      Best of luck!

  48. Nancy Rodriguez Avatar
    Nancy Rodriguez

    I’m very happy I found this page. This past week has been a bit intense for me. My dog is very lovable and sweet. He was a stray dog for a while and well he has had a few aggression problems, he barks at strangers and growls if he’s behind a fence.
    A week ago I had him on my lap and I grabbed him under his arms to put him down and and he came straight to my face and bit me. He did cause my skin to open like a blister and some blood came out. I was very surprised he did this.
    Well a week later, not knowing why I even thought about doing this again, I grabbed him from behind same position as last time and he bit again. This time causing me to get stitches.
    I’m worried for him. I’m not sure what to do now because we love him so much.

    1. Ben Team Avatar

      We’re so sorry to hear about the bites your little guy has delivered, Nancy!

      You should probably reach out to a canine behaviorist given the bites and the other signs of troubling behavior you referenced. But it’d also be wise to let your vet examine him too — it’s possible that the way you’re lifting him is irritating an injury or underlying health problem, which is leading to his reaction.

      In the meantime, it’d also be a good idea to stop lifting him in the manner that’s led to the bites. Even if he doesn’t have a health problem, it’s important to understand that many dogs simply don’t like to be lifted up — it can make them feel quite insecure and frightened.
      Best of luck!

  49. Kerry Avatar

    We have recently come home from a caravan holiday, my dog was great! He’s such a loving dog.
    So me writing this has shocked me, he has bitten me twice this weekend both times drawing blood and with no warning. The only thing that was the same is that he was sat on my wife’s lap, I stroked the side of his mouth as I would normally and he but then the next time it was by his jaw. I’m taking him to the vets tomorrow to see if he has a bad jaw but I think it’s not that!
    Please advise me as I’m soo upset

    Many thanks

    1. Ben Team Avatar

      Hey, Kerry.
      A vet appointment is the best first step — pain can absolutely make a doggo grumpy and cause them to react in different ways than they normally would.
      But if your vet doesn’t find anything wrong, you should probably reach out to a canine behaviorist for an assessment. Also, it’d probably be a good idea to brush up on your dog body language reading skills. It may be that your pooch doesn’t really like the way you’ve been petting him, and he’s been trying to tell you but you missed the signs.
      Best of luck!

  50. Shubhra Avatar


    I am raising a stray Indian dog, which is one year old now.

    He is a playful, high energy dog that understands all commands. But his problem is aggression.

    He bit my 12-year-old son twice this year, both times breaking the skin real bad. Yesterday, he bit a neighbor’s little child really really bad. That child has some serious wounds.

    Most of these cases were triggered partially by the kids, who want to play with the dog (not always in the most appropriate way).

    I am feeling so helpless. I think I will need to send him to a shelter to prevent any more accidents.

    I haven’t stopped crying just by the thought of it. Do you think I can solve this?

    Please help me.


    1. Ben Team Avatar

      Hey, Shubhra. So sorry to hear about the problems with your dog.

      You may be able to address his issues, but it will likely take a significant amount of time and effort, and it’d be wise to work with a canine behaviorist if possible. Also, it’s important that you keep him away from children completely until you’re certain that it’s safe to allow him to do so again.

      Kids often inadvertently trigger bites from dogs — it’s part of the reason bites to children are so much more common than bites to adults are. Kids don’t know how to read canine body language, and they often greet dogs in inappropriate ways.

      Ultimately, if you can figure out a good way to keep him separated from children while you work on his issues, you may be able to keep him. But it is imperative that you prevent him from injuring any other children. Working on muzzle training is also a smart idea to keep everyone safe while you work on the behavior issues.

      Best of luck!

  51. Samantha Gardiner Avatar
    Samantha Gardiner

    Hi my retriever bit my husband yesterday the trigger was him trying to take a piece of tissue from his mouth. He broke the skin and needed stitches he has always been a bit protective over things like that but has never done this before.

    1. Ben Team Avatar

      Yikes! That sounds pretty serious, Samantha.
      We generally think it’s a good idea to reach out to a canine behaviorist anytime you’re dealing with aggression, and that sounds especially prudent in this situation, given the severity of the bite. It sounds like he may be resource guarding, which will take some work to address.
      In the meantime, be sure to check out our dog body language tips to help keep everyone safe.
      Best of luck!

  52. Ellen Avatar

    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.

  53. Roxanne Hernandez Avatar
    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?

    1. Ben Team Avatar

      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!

  54. Lisa Bentley Avatar
    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

    1. AdminLogin Avatar

      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.

  55. Lucy A Cali Avatar
    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..

    1. Ben Team Avatar

      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!

  56. Jody Ann Noland Avatar
    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.

    1. AdminLogin Avatar

      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.

  57. Emilio Avatar

    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.

    1. Ben Team Avatar

      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!

  58. JT Avatar

    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.

    1. Ben Team Avatar

      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!

  59. Rose Terk Avatar
    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.

    1. Ben Team Avatar

      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!

  60. Patrick Green Avatar
    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.

    1. Ben Team Avatar

      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!

  61. Sumita Chadha Avatar
    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?

    1. Ben Team Avatar

      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!

  62. Melissa Avatar

    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.

    1. Ben Team Avatar

      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.

  63. Jim valentine Avatar
    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

    1. Ben Team Avatar

      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!

  64. Fay Avatar

    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

    1. Ben Team Avatar

      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!

  65. Wayne Avatar

    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.

    1. Ben Team Avatar

      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.

  66. Nishant Avatar

    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?

    1. Ben Team Avatar

      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!

  67. Scott Avatar

    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?

    1. AdminLogin Avatar

      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.

  68. Cas Avatar

    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.

    1. Ben Team Avatar

      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!

  69. John watson Avatar
    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.

    1. Ben Team Avatar

      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.

  70. Chris Stover Avatar
    Chris Stover

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

    1. Marija Drlja Avatar
      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.

      1. AdminLogin Avatar

        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).

  71. Chris Stover Avatar
    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

    1. Ben Team Avatar

      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!

  72. Chris Stover Avatar
    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

  73. R Avatar

    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

    1. Ben Team Avatar

      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!

  74. Maureen Avatar

    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 ?

    1. Ben Team Avatar

      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!

  75. Marcel Avatar

    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.

    1. Ben Team Avatar

      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!

  76. Laura Parsons Avatar
    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

    1. Ben Team Avatar

      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.

  77. Kirstie Rossman Avatar
    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

    1. Ben Team Avatar

      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!

  78. Anna and Robert Fleming Avatar
    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.

    1. Ben Team Avatar

      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!

  79. E Avatar

    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

    1. Ben Team Avatar

      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.

  80. Ginny Avatar

    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?

  81. Ginny Avatar

    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..

    1. Ben Team Avatar

      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!

  82. Mary M. Hutchison Avatar
    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!

    1. Meg Marrs Avatar

      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.

  83. Jeanette Avatar

    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

    1. Ben Team Avatar

      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!

  84. Karissa Avatar

    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.

    1. Ben Team Avatar

      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!

  85. Mariah Avatar

    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?

    1. Ben Team Avatar

      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!

  86. Matt Avatar

    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??

    1. Ben Team Avatar

      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.)

  87. Ravi Rajan Avatar
    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?



    1. Ben Team Avatar

      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!

  88. Tracey Dickinson Avatar
    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

  89. Jen Avatar

    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.

  90. Sandra Avatar

    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?

    1. Ben Team Avatar

      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!

  91. Derek Avatar

    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

    1. Ben Team Avatar

      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!

  92. CK Avatar

    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.

    1. Ben Team Avatar

      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!

  93. Cindi Lambert Avatar
    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.

    1. Meg Marrs Avatar

      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!

  94. Geoffrey Smith Avatar
    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.

    1. Ben Team Avatar

      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!

  95. david Avatar

    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

    1. Ben Team Avatar

      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.

  96. Bill haswell Avatar
    Bill haswell

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

    1. Ben Team Avatar

      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!

  97. Mari Avatar

    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!

    1. Meg Marrs Avatar

      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!

  98. Madeleine Hattingh Avatar
    Madeleine Hattingh

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

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