What are the causes of dog biting behaviour

dog bite candidateDog bites are one of the most critical issues for human beings.

If your dog bites outside of the family you may get a law suit or the dog put down.

Where dog bitting all starts.

Often it starts as a game, as competition for milk from the mother or just a fun thing to do to comfort a puppy’s teething. Sore gums can last up to a year, but when a pup is very young, they dont have a lot of strength to run around, but they have relatively strong jaws from drinking milk, so if that is their main tool they use it in play of course.

The problem for exceptionally cute dogs is that they are often allowed to get away with excessive mouthing for a long time as a puppy and by the time six months rolls around its a learned and deeply imbedded behaviour.

The other point is that unlike humans and monkeys, animals without opposable thumbs have difficulty fully gripping things. The mouth of a dog thus acts as a communication device, something to carry things, to nip and warn other dogs that the other dogs behaviour is unaccpetable – there are many reasons in the wild where a dog will use their mouth and draw blood without meaning major harm.


While smaller dogs may draw blood they rarely kill other dogs or humans.

But even a small to mid sized dog can do considerable damage to a small human child.

Dogs that are not social make up about 99% of the dog population. I am talking about a dog that is comfortable in its own skin, is good out of its own environment with total strangers and stranger dogs. One that is walked every day off lead and just has fun and explores – never bites unprovoked, and even when provoked uses its teeth as a last resort.

People will tell you that their dog is acting vicios in their own house or out in the street because it is protecting them. This is such a lame excuse. The dog is ALLOWED to do such behavior and it becomes alpha dog.

Sure if there is a real threat of physical danger to the owner, and the owner asks the dog for help, that is different, but no social dog does aggressive posturing and nipping ever. A dominant dog may play dominant in play (ie trying to mount or play wrestle, but it wont bite to cause another dog harm, and it won’t do this play with a human – unless taught to do so or encouraged.

DOG BITE statistics and children harm

If you want to look up CDC statistics on Dogs biting and causing death, you will see that the breeds are limited to mostly big powerful dogs and that five breeds make up over 75% of human deaths.

That children in the age group 5-9 are most likely to be bitten, and half of the deaths occur within the family

So ideally if you want to protect your children and your friends children that might come over to play, you need to STOP all forms of dog mouthing and biting – ALL forms, immediately.

I can tell you that walking your dog off lead every day around other social dogs will get them familiar with not mouthing or biting them. It can take quite a while and sometimes you need to start off with a muzzle until they get the idea.

The next blog I will look at ways to stop dogs biting …