Can an Aggressive Biting Dog Be Rehabilitated?
You’ve probably been bitten before and maybe even by your own pet. In fact, it’s estimated that about one in five pets bites their owners. The vast majority of these types of injuries are minor, but they can still hurt! And while most people think of dogs as sweet, gentle animals who would never harm another living thing, some breeds can be downright vicious when provoked.
For example, pit bulls may appear docile, but many experts say this isn’t actually true because they’re so protective of their families that they’ll fight back against perceived threats with all their might.
When a pet owner has an aggressive pet, he must take extra precautions to protect himself from injury. If your pet has bitten someone before, it could happen again. One way to prevent yourself from being injured is to keep your pet away from other pets, children and strangers.
Another option is to get rid of any potential triggers for aggression, like certain foods, toys or smells. You can also train your dog not to attack anyone you don’t want him to. Finally, it helps to know how to recognize signs of aggression in your pet and take action quickly if your dog does bite.
It’s important to note that there are two different kinds of aggressive biting. When your pet nips at something out of fear or frustration (such as getting stuck in a doorway), that’s usually called “fear biting.” However, if your pet attacks without provocation, that’s known as “unprovoked aggression”. Read on to find out what causes your pet to become an aggressive biter.
If Your Pet Is Aggressive Biter
There are several reasons why your pet may turn into an aggressive bather. Some behavioral problems are hereditary, such as separation anxiety, which makes your pet nervous around new situations. Other issues, like ear infections, may also lead to aggressive behaviors. If your pet seems to be anxious or stressed, you should talk to your vet about possible underlying medical conditions causing his bad behavior.
Other times, however, your pet may start attacking others due to boredom, confusion or frustration. While some aggressive behavior may occur naturally over time, it often happens because of poor socialization skills. For instance, a dog who hasn’t spent much time interacting with humans typically won’t understand basic etiquette rules like when it’s appropriate to approach people or play gently with them. This lack of understanding can make your pet either too curious or afraid to interact properly with other people and pets.
Although some dogs will always be aggressive, there are things you can do to help calm your pet down and teach him better manners. First, try desensitizing your pet to avoid future incidents. It’s best to use gradual training methods where your pet learns at his own pace. Start off slowly by touching your pet in places that aren’t normally exposed, like behind the ears.
Gradually expose your pet to touchier areas of your body until he finally gets used to being touched everywhere. Once your pet knows it’s okay to be touched anywhere, try using treats to reward good behavior.
Next, you can try teaching your dog tricks to show him that he doesn’t need to bite anything to please you. For instance, give your pet treats whenever he sits quietly next to you. Then praise him lavishly when he obeys your commands. Eventually, your pet will learn that he can behave well for you and receive rewards instead of punishment.
Finally, consider taking your pet to obedience classes or hiring a professional trainer to work with your pet on improving its behaviors. Most trainers will work with your pet using positive reinforcement techniques, rather than negative forms of discipline. These methods focus on rewarding desired behaviors instead of punishing unwanted ones. By helping your pet develop better social skills, you can improve your relationship with your pet and everyone else around you.
While your pet may be able to be taught to stop aggressive behavior, that doesn’t mean you should tolerate it. Keep reading to find out how to handle an aggressive pet once you realize it’s happening.
A few years ago, a Wisconsin man was mauled badly by his dog after the man tried to break up a fight between the dog and another dog. Because the victim didn’t immediately seek medical attention, the wounds became infected and gangrenous. He eventually had to undergo surgery, but the incident left him permanently disfigured and unable to walk.
The Best Way to Handle an Aggressive Biter
If you notice your pet displaying any type of aggressive behavior, whether toward people, other pets or objects, it’s important to act fast. Unfortunately, some aggressive pets go through periods when they forget to be cautious. That’s why it’s vital to take immediate action to stop your pet from hurting anyone.
First, call 911 right away if your pet is dangerously violent. Don’t worry about involving law enforcement unless your pet shows signs of having rabies, distemper or parvo virus. If your pet appears to have fleas or ticks, bring along a bottle of antifreeze to kill the parasites. Also, check to see if your pet needs medication to address behavioral problems. If so, make sure you treat your pet according to the label instructions.
After calling emergency services, you should assess the situation to determine if your pet needs further treatment. Does your pet look intoxicated or drugged? Has he urinated or defecated on himself? Is he bleeding heavily? Has he swallowed anything harmful? Any of these factors may indicate that your pet is seriously ill and requires immediate veterinary care.
In mild cases, you may be able to control your pet temporarily by putting him in a crate or cage. Be careful not to force your pet to stay confined for long periods of time, though, since it can result in serious behavioral problems later on. Instead, leave your pet in the crate or cage for only short intervals during the day. Try to spend plenty of time engaging with your pet, especially if he displays fearful behavior when you hold or pick him up.
If you suspect that your pet has eaten something toxic, contact your veterinarian immediately. Poisoning can lead to seizures, coma and death. If your pet starts shaking uncontrollably, staggering or foaming at the mouth, take your pet to the hospital immediately.
If you’ve taken steps to remove your pet from the area, such as confining him or her, and your pet continues to exhibit aggressive behavior, you should call local authorities. They can provide guidance on how to proceed depending on the severity of the case.
Even if your pet hasn’t injured anyone yet, it’s important to remain vigilant. Never allow your pet to roam freely outdoors or near strange people or other animals. Make sure you keep your house secure and your yard fenced. Consider installing motion sensor lights outside and inside your home, so your pet won’t feel comfortable approaching the front door. Secure trashcans and other items that could potentially lure your pet outside.
And remember, even though you’ve stopped your pet from injuring someone, he may not fully trust you now. To win your pet’s confidence, try to establish a friendly bond with him by playing games, talking to him and giving him affectionate gestures like hugs and kisses.
One common reason dogs bite is that they haven’t been trained how to greet guests appropriately. A lot of pet owners let their dogs run free and ignore them completely when visitors come over. As a result, when a stranger approaches, unfamiliar dogs are likely to bark and growl in order to warn others of danger. Since dogs are pack animals, they feel threatened when members of their pack aren’t acting responsibly.