Dog Biting - Meaning
Dog biting leaves a wound, a laceration.
Uncontrolled dog biting can be the ultimate expression of dog aggression - which we have discussed under German Shepherd aggression.
Uncontrolled dog biting vs Controlled dog biting
This article will address uncontrolled dog biting: The owner, trainer, or handler does not control the biting dog.
The person may not even be aware that the dog just bit someone: a person or another animal.
Conversely, controlled dog biting means: The owner, trainer, or handler has the dog under control, and yet the dog bites.
The person may even want that the dog bites:
- whether because it's part of a dog bite training session
- or because he or she feels being attacked, or whatever.
Dog biting vs Dog nipping
Another necessary clarification in order to understand dog biting is the difference between biting and nipping. Because:
- dog nipping has a playful intention
- at most dog nipping leaves teeth marks but never a laceration
Look: All healthy puppies nip, but very very few puppies bite - if raised reasonably well.
With a puppy however, the temporarily spiky baby teeth can leave small punctures that may even bleed a bit like if you used a glucometer (very useful!), namely subject to how thick your skin is.
Still, dog nipping never results in a laceration in the common sense: Dog nipping never needs medical wound care or even stitching.
Most times, dog nipping leaves no more than a mild surprise that it... leaves nothing.
Indeed, while I raised my new puppy into a healthy and well-behaved adult German Shepherd - which YOU can do too if only you want? - several times I felt and thought: "Now he bit me!"
I looked and looked but ... I couldn't find anything!
Not even a tiny puncture like from the glucometer - always helpful: test for insulin resistance before you get diabetic! And if you feed kibble or "tin food", do the same for your dog.
So yes, most times when new puppy owners - you know, those who didn't bother to LEARN from My New Puppy Diary - complain: "My puppy bites!" - what the puppy actually does is: mere nipping, and you better know how to control that!
Hence now back to actual dog biting.
Dog Biting - Causes
Now that we have clarified the meaning of dog biting in the context of this article, next is the causes of dog biting: Why dogs bite.
Uncontrolled German Shepherd biting may happen because:
- The dog may be ill
- The dog bite may be a reflex to a particular stimulus
- The dog may feel threatened and uses biting as defense
- You or someone else is intruding the dog's assumed territory and you have not yet been accepted as the Pack leader
- The dog bite may be a symptom of a trauma suffered at some point earlier (possibly with a prior owner or handler, or with another dog)
- The dog bite may result as a consequence of mistakes made during puppy socialization!
- Or (most of the time), the dog bite results from a combination of stress and fear!
You see that the potential CAUSES of uncontrolled dog biting are similar to the potential causes of German Shepherd aggression, and this is no surprise:
As said at the top, uncontrolled dog biting can be the ultimate expression of dog aggression - yet often dog biting has a different cause.
Dog biting - Seeking clues
In order to identify the particular CAUSE of dog biting in a given situation, you can seek out clues.
If the dog has repeatedly bitten, it's sensible and worth the effort that you take records for all of the above clues. This will help you over time to pinpoint the true CAUSE of dog biting.
Because, only when you have identified the CAUSE of biting, you can reliably stop dog biting!
At your Cynology Hub MyGermanShepherd.Org we have an entire series of Periodicals that address all the different topics of dog biting, like:
- dog bite inhibition
- dog bite risk assessment
- dog bite treatment
- dog bite prevention
- what to do when your dog injured someone!
- how to save the relationship when your dog bit you!
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