Thursday, August 25, 2011

My dog doesn't bite

How many dog owners believe this?

Dogs are animals, sometimes we forget that. Every dog, no matter how cute, sweet, docile or calm has the potential and the teeth to bite. Some dogs have a very high threshold for what they will endure, but they can still be pushed past their limit. And it's not always on purpose. Often bites happen because someone didn't read the dog's body language correctly and missed the signs of the dog feeling stressed. Or the dog was simply startled and reacted.


Teaching your puppy bite inhibition so he knows to be gentle with human hands is a good start. Puppies use their mouths to explore, play and communicate. So learning manners at a young age is ideal.

It's important to get your dog used to being touched everywhere by you, others in the house and even strangers. Touch your dog's paws, ears and tail. These are less common areas people normally a touch a dog and so they are usually the most sensitive about being touched there. This will help when you are grooming him or a vet is examining him.  You should never allow your children to jump all over the dog or pull his ears and tail.

Having a confident dog that respects you and others as his leader will lessen your chances of being bitten. A dog who knows his place in the pack will have less reason to bite because there is no need to guard or protect things or you.

Even with all this prevention, a dog could still feel the need to bite at one time or another. A dog rarely bites out of the blue. He will use body language to communicate that he's feeling stressed by doing things such as:

  • yawning
  • licking their lips
  • walking or looking away from a situation
  • panting

If your dog is feeling stressed but continues to be pushed, handled or approached he will warn you by:

  • curling  his lip
  • growling
  • showing his teeth
  • snapping
  • lunging

 If you ignore these warnings, the dog may feel no other option but to bite.

Common reasons dogs bite:

  • fear
  • guarding a person, food or toy
  • mother protecting her pups
  • startled while eating or sleeping
  • overexcited play
  • injured or sick
  • feeling bombarded
  • being teased
  • poor training
Dogs deserve our respect and understanding.


  1. my dog is so awesome. he seriously does not bite.... 7yr old french mastiff. went to daycare for stepped on his tail more than once (on accident) he didn.t flinch. he didn.t flinch when he broke his tail(while hiking), i didn't even notice until wayyyyy late in the evening. you can stick your hand in his mouth (probably even your head). i always stuck my hands in his food when he was a puppy and took treats away from him to prevent food aggression when he got older. you can pretend to smother him with a pillow, cover him with blankets, pillows, 8season of house dvd's. he goes to dog parks and is able to diffuse those not so nice dogs that for some reason people take there. (he actually protected me and my weenie chihuahua mix from when he was only 8 months old. he used that mastiff genetic creating a wall between the threat and us to do it)......he has had children who he does not know come up to him and look him in the face and hug him,there has never even been once child in the house (he loves them though, especially face level ones)..pain doesn.t make him aggressive. he has cut his paw a couple of times, he let me do dressing changes. when he was young and played with our weiner/chihuahua mix, he would always let him "win", even though sometimes the little one would sometimes break skin, he never complained (i only noticed upon close inspection) you can tease him, he doesn't respond...fear? he once ran away from my friend who was watching him while i was on vacation, a couple of ladies chased him in their pickup and commented on what a gentleman he was when they brought him back.....i doubt i will ever have a dog like him again. none of the 6 dogs i have previously owned have every been so solidly trustworthy......and because i have one perfect nonbiting dog does not mean i will ever have another one like him but, there are some dogs, who do not bite.....LONG LIVE DIEGO!!!

  2. If it has teeth, it will bite. Don't fool yourself.