Before dogs bite: recognize warning signs

For humans it seems often out of the blue when dogs bite. At least, who does not know the warning signs in time to recognize and interpret, can accidentally provoke a dog bite. The following tips will help prevent accidents involving dogs.

A dog bite is usually the result of a misunderstanding. Either man has not recognized the warning signs before dogs bite. Or the dog misinterpreted human behavior as a threat or flight. In order to avoid serious injuries or a breach of trust between humans and animals, it is important to understand the dog language correctly.

In which situations dogs bite

Dogs never bite without reason. Mostly it comes to the dog bite, because they see themselves or something that is important to them threatened. However, it is also possible that their hunting instinct was accidentally woken up and dogs bite because they consider a human or other animal prey. There are differences in dog personality and dog training that can make some quadrupeds more aggressive and irritable than others. Thus, some dogs are more inclined to defend their resources, so their food, their water and their toys. They then bite quickly when they fear they want to take something away from them or dispute it. Other dogs are very territorial and defend their territory if necessary with a dog bite. If your dog has a pronounced "protective instinct", he may bite when he sees you and other "family members" threatened. You should be very careful with dog mothers. They are ready to do anything to protect their puppies from dangers and sometimes already see it as a threat when someone just approaches their little one.

Fear is often the reason when dogs bite. This arises especially in dogs that were not early enough or not enough socialized. This means that the dogs as puppies were exposed to few external stimuli and, for example, have met no strange animals, strangers or certain everyday sounds. However, anything unknown is initially scary to animals, so they believe they have to defend themselves, though in reality there is no threat. If an otherwise mild-mannered and well-socialized dog suddenly bites while caressing, he is probably in pain. In this case, as a precaution, go immediately to the vet.

Warning sign in front of a dog bite

Before dogs bite, they go through several so-called escalation levels. Overall, it can be said that the warning signs of a dog that is about to bite almost always look like retreat and defense. The ears are covered, the eyes wide open, so that the whiteness is visible. The dog bares his teeth and freezes. He may be showing appeasement signals such as turning his head or licking his lips. However, it can also be accompanied by offensive warning signs, such as the fixing with the eyes or threatening growl and rumble.

Protect children from dog bites

Especially children are often accidentally victims of a dog bite. This is because children like to pet and hug dogs because they show their affection to people in this way. Dogs, however, find this kind of approach scary and misinterpret it as an attack. In this video, from the perspective of a dog is shown how he experiences the encounter with a toddler who absolutely wants to cuddle with him:

The dog pulls back, ducks and pushes himself into a corner, puts his ears flat and pinches the rod. These are the first warning signs that he feels threatened. Next, he averts his head and looks for escape. He does not see any, however, and licks his lips in alarm. The child cheerfully calls the dog: "Hello, little dogs!" The four-legged friend then freezes, but the child continues to approach. After all, the animal no longer knows how to help, growls and bites the child. It is best to teach your child as early as possible that it leaves strangers in particular alone and first asks the owner and his parents if they are allowed to stroke their four-legged friend or wait until the dog approaches. How you or your child best approaches a dog, you can read in our guide "Dog Welcome: This is how it works best".

When dogs bite without warning

If dogs bite without having previously given appeasement signals or other warning signs, usually a behavioral disorder is behind it. The escalation levels are skipped in this case and the dog bites immediately. Causes for this are bad experiences and / or Erziehungsfehler, which led to an anxiety disorder or behavior problems. Desperate, perplexed dog owners often give away such biting dogs or lull them to sleep, and professional dog trainers and animal psychologists can often help quadrupeds and their owners as part of problem dog therapy. It pays to give the aggressive dog a chance and get rid of the sudden biting, even if it costs time and effort.

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