Aggression in dogs – when dogs bite

Aggression in dogs is part of their normal dog behavior. Because aggression is part of the social behavior of dogs. These aggressions in the dog are also described as aggression behavior.

The aggression can show itself in various escalation stages with dog – they reach from pure threatening gesture up to the offensive attack behavior.

And this is how dog aggression appears here and there in everyday dog life. And this can have consequences for other dogs, animals, owners and family, as well as other people.

It is us with the following explanations a heart affair to work up the topic in detail by the dog professional and dogondo author Ralf Lugger, an experienced and passionate dog trainer with large dog heart, and to illuminate from view of its immense wealth of experience more intensively. For the sake of the dogs and all of us. For a more understanding coexistence dog and man.

Aggression in dogs: Cause& to-do's

What leads to aggression in dogs and how should I behave??

Aggression in a dog – experiences and explanations from a dog professional

With this article I would like to dedicate myself to a rather unpleasant topic, namely aggression in dogs and the possible consequences for us humans.

This topic is very close to my heart for several reasons. On the one hand, I have often been bitten myself, because I wanted to settle disputes between dogs, where the dog owners stood helplessly by. So it happened that I intervened in a biting fight between two not neutered males, which courted too much for the attention of a bitch in heat.

What should I do in such a case, I am asked again and again by dog owners. I don't understand that, our dog is otherwise such a sheep, I hear also again and again. Many people no longer understand the world when their dog behaves like a dog. But why can it come to aggression between conspecifics or aggression directed against humans??

The doctor who examined me after the biting told me that most people are bitten by their own dogs.

More often, however, scuffles between conspecifics occur, but why do such situations happen and how can I then behave properly?

Dogs can be aggressive for a variety of motivations. Some aggressive behaviors are part of the normal behavior of dogs. Despite its socialization, a dog is still an animal that can bite, we humans must always remember not to anthropomorphize our dogs.

A dog can show aggressive behavior when he is

  • defends its territory
  • to protect its offspring
  • Showing dominance, out of a fearful situation, out of possessiveness or out of hunting instinct.
  • out of irritation (teasing by a child, pain, . )

What do I do when my dog bites??

The first question that inevitably arises in such a case is: Is it really a case of biting?? In principle, there are three cases that can be distinguished: Biting, the pinch and the pure threat – simplified!

I only count it as biting if it bleeds – and only if it bleeds, you have to ask yourself if the dog could possibly be dangerous. First and foremost, though, you should immediately ask yourself, "What did I do wrong as a dog owner?. In the other two cases, the innate bite inhibition has worked and the only question is how to teach the dog better ways to express its needs.

The best way to do this is to educate your dog appropriately, to learn as much as possible about its articulations. One should know the body language of his dog by heart. The incident with the two male dogs was also caused by the fact that the dog owners recognized the body language too late and accordingly intervened too late.

Dogs have to be educated of course, no matter if they are big or small. A dog becomes obedient, well-balanced and social when it can and is allowed to become accustomed to social contact from an early age (between 3 and 12 weeks). Such social contacts can be the presence of strangers, of children, of crowds, of people in motion, of other animals, of noise and of many other things.

From the moment the dog is taken into the family, the owner should often bring the dog into contact with unknown children and adults. Through this learning process, the dog becomes compatible with other dogs and this process reduces his aggressive reactions, but without suppressing his alertness. The more situations your dog gets to know from an early age, the more relaxed you will be when dealing with him.

Once accepted into the family, it seeks its ranking in its pack, which is its family. The job is always the last rung on the hierarchical ladder.

In a threat, our dog just wants to tell us:

If you do that again, I'll bite you.

Usually he does this because he has threatened several times before with less conspicuous signals – staring at the person, wrinkling his nose or showing his teeth – and unfortunately was not understood. Sometimes it is because the dog has become very frightened because a human has come too close. This often happens with dogs from abroad, which had to experience bad things by humans.

Basically, the first rule in all situations is to remain calm.

Please remember that any intervention in a dog bite poses a risk of injury to humans that should not be underestimated. It can also happen that the dog "catches" its own human in the heat of the moment.

There is always a reason behind it, never a bad intention, so do yourself and your dog a favor and sleep on it, giving up the dog is not a solution, confide in a good dog trainer to redirect a misbehavior on your part and the realities changed by your dog into the right and correct paths. Learn from this, your dog is an animal too, not a cuddly family appendage.

As a final point, I would like to remind you, dear readers, that it is extremely important that you have taken out dog owner liability insurance for your dog. Rough estimates are that about half of the dogs in Germany are insured. There are some federal states, where the insurance of the dog is a duty, so for example in Berlin or Hamburg. How this is regulated in the individual federal states, you will find in our editorial on "Private dog ownership in Germany". If you have a dog owner liability insurance, you don't have to worry about the costs incurred, a normal liability insurance does not cover such damages.

Should to the article "Aggressions with the dog If you have any questions or would like to contact Ralf Lugger in other areas, you can find more information about him and his contact details in our "Authors" section.

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