Aggressive Puppy Behavior: When Their Behavior Starts To Get Troubling?
The first time I saw my new puppy bite someone was when she bit me! My son had just come home from school and found her sleeping on the couch with a big grin on her face. She didn’t seem upset or scared at all, but instead seemed happy. So happy that she jumped up and down on top of me while licking my face! At first I thought it was just one of those “cute” things puppies do, but then she started to growl and bite again.
I tried to get away from her, but she wouldn’t let go of me. Finally I got so frustrated that I grabbed the remote control out of my pocket and hit her over the head with it several times until she stopped trying to bite me. She ran off crying like a little girl.
My son came running into the room and asked what happened. I told him that she bit me. He looked at me like I was crazy!
But then he realized that if a dog bites its human, it’s usually because they are mad or hurt or afraid. And my daughter wasn’t any of those things! Maybe she was just mischievous and wanted to see how much fun she could have biting someone else. Because of her size, I guess she automatically thought it would be me.
No one was hurt. In fact, everyone had a good laugh about it. But I’ll never forget how upset I felt at the time she bit me.
So much so, that I immediately left the house, got in the car and drove over to my girlfriend’s house (who happened to be out of town at the time). I stayed with her for a few days until things settled down.
I still find myself getting a little worried when my puppy is around. That’s why I don’t mind too much that she mostly stays in her cage and sleeps most of the time.
Really, what kind of vicious dog sleeps 18 hours a day?
But I know that all puppies are different, and this is just one of those characteristics that will eventually “go away” once she grows up.
I’ve never heard of a dog that bites humans just for the heck of it, but I’m not sure if I should be worried that my dog might be thinking about doing it again.
Is she going to grow up to be a vicious canine criminal?
Maybe all these thoughts will go away as she gets older too. I sure hope so, because I don’t think I could live with myself if she ever bit someone again.
Does your dog bite too?
Aggressive Puppy Biting Owner: How To Deal With It
The first thing you should do if your puppy bites is to make sure you didn’t cause the behavior.
Did something trigger it like someone, including you, doing something that scared or provoked it, such as cornering it or picking it up too fast?
If so, then you need to take steps to correct that situation so it doesn’t happen again.
For example, if someone, including yourself, did something that scared the puppy, then you need to work on how you interact with it so it isn’t scared of you. If you picked it up too fast, then you need to learn the correct way to pick up a puppy so it doesn’t feel frightened when you do so.
But what if you didn’t do anything wrong? What if your actions were perfectly fine and your puppy just bit you for no reason?
Well, you’re still not out of the woods yet. The next thing to do is to figure out if your puppy bit because it is sick, in pain or feeling threatened.
Is your dog sick?
Dogs sometimes bite because of pain. It could have a painful tooth (cavities are common in puppies), or maybe even an ear infection. If you think this is the case, have it checked by a veterinarian as soon as possible. Pain will make a dog irritable, and it needs to be treated as soon as possible.
Is your dog in pain?
If it bit due to pain, then you need to figure out what could be causing it. If you think it might have a broken bone or hurt itself somehow, take it to the veterinarian immediately and if possible, bring the toy or object that it was playing with at the time of the bite so they can check for broken bones.
If you think it might have some sort of puncture from a bite that is causing the pain, then you can try to keep it calm and get it to a veterinarian immediately.
Is your dog in danger?
If your dog bit because it feels threatened or scared, then you need to take steps to make sure that doesn’t happen again. You need to learn how to pick up your puppy and interact with it in a calm and soothing manner.
Make sure you are someone your dog knows and trusts. If it feels comfortable around you, it is less likely to feel threatened or scared when you interact with it. Always make sure your hands are visible so it knows you aren’t going to sneak up on it too.
If possible, feed it regularly at certain times so it tends to feel safe and isn’t as hungry, which can make it more irritable.
Sources & references used in this article:
The trouble with boys: A surprising report card on our sons, their problems at school, and what parents and educators must do by JB Mordock, W Van Ornum – 2001 – Jason Aronson
Trajectories of boys’ physical aggression, opposition, and hyperactivity on the path to physically violent and nonviolent juvenile delinquency by P Tyre – 2008 – books.google.com
Media and children’s aggression, fear, and altruism by D Nagin, RE Tremblay – Child development, 1999 – Wiley Online Library
A disorder of anger and aggression: Children’s perspectives on attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder in the UK by BJ Wilson – The future of children, 2008 – JSTOR
Can emotions and themes in children’s play predict behavior problems? by I Singh – Social science & medicine, 2011 – Elsevier