2001-Thu Aug 17 15:30:58 EDT 2017
Vetstreet. All rights reserved. Powered by Brightspot.
Vetstreet does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. See Additional Information ›
A. There is no single strategy that works for every dog who bites another dog. Instead, bite incidents are best addressed on an individual basis with the help of a professional — your veterinarian may be able to help, or he may refer you to a veterinary behaviorist or work in conjunction with a positive reinforcement trainer. These professionals can assess the specific dog’s history and the circumstances around the aggressive incident and determine why the bite occurred and how to (hopefully) prevent it from happening again.
Before we discuss moving forward after a bite, however, it’s important to understand why a dog would bite another dog and how to recognize a dog who is liable to bite.
Canine sociability is influenced by various factors, including genetics, early learning and ongoing experience around other dogs. This means that a canine may still be a great family dog, even if he isn’t particularly dog friendly.
A puppy’s ideal socialization window extends from 6 to 14 weeks of age. It is imperative that a dog have various play and social interactions with other canines during this window, in order to learn to read and react to other dogs’ body language and to use his own body language to communicate. Dogs who have had limited socialization in puppyhood may be less likely to perceive other dogs as “friends” and more likely to react defensively to them. These early interactions also help teach a dog to use his mouth gently and to use a soft mouth rather than a hard bite should he ever act aggressively.
Limited experience with other dogs during the socialization period or access to only certain types of dogs can make a canine more selective about the types of dogs he is comfortable around. In addition, a negative experience with an aggressive or bullying dog can teach a canine that dogs — or certain types of dogs — are unsafe. This can lead to fear-based aggression.
There are various reasons one dog may bite another dog, but most bites occur when the biter feels threatened. In this case, the bite is a defensive behavior designed to increase distance and lessen the threat posed by the other dog. Bites are almost always a last resort and typically occur only after prior communication cues go unheeded.
Like this article? Have a point of view to share? Let us know!
Take our breed quiz to find your next pet.
Bartonella is a type bacteria that can be transmitted to cats, dogs and humans from exposure to infected fleas and…
Want to give your pup yummy, low-calorie treats? We’ve got the skinny on which foods are OK to feed him.
Not sure about food puzzles? Our veterinarian reveals why the payoff for your pet is well worth any extra work.
With these simple dental care tips, you can help keep your canine’s adorable smile shiny and healthy for life.
The friendly and inquisitive LaPerm has an easy-care coat that comes in a variety of colors and patterns.
Check out our collection of more than 250 videos about pet training, animal behavior, dog and cat breeds and more.
Wonder which dog or cat best fits your lifestyle? Our new tool will narrow down more than 300 breeds for you.
If the video doesn't start playing momentarily,
please install the latest version of Flash.
Thank you for subscribing.