1. PROTECTION OR POSSESSIVENESS
Dogs are prone to biting when they feel the need to protect or are ‘jealous’. This can apply to toys, food or their owners. Teach your dog that you, or others, may approach their food bowl while they are busy eating. Playing with toys and removing it from their mouth from an early age will help them understand that it is a game. Social interaction classes with other dogs and people are also important, as dogs tend to be protective or possessive when kept isolated.
2. MOTHERLY INSTINCTS
Dogs are very protective after giving birth. Keep very young children away who may not understand what to do when their very loving Labrador suddenly starts growling at them. You want to teach your family members to treat the new mom, her puppies and their space with respect.
When your pet is in pain, it may cause them to act very differently to what you are used to. When you suspect this to be the case, take your pet to the vet to have them checked out.
4. FEAR BASED BITING
Dogs react very differently when they are fearful. Some may run away yet others could become defensive. The term ‘let sleeping dogs lie’ rings very true in this case. Do not startle your dog and especially not when they are asleep. Do not approach strange dogs. If you find a stray dog and want to help, call your local animal welfare to assist.
This can happen when a runner or cyclist passes by. The dog will automatically enter into a prey response and some dogs into a herding response. The best option is to stop moving. Unfortunately, our instinct is to run, and theirs is to chase!
Ears back, stiff body and stiff wagging tail, showing of teeth and growling are just a few signs that a dog may be ready to bite. By making direct eye contact, you may be challenging the dog to fight, so avoid making direct eye contact if possible.
Prevention is better than cure in this case so training your dog from an early age is vitally important, especially if you have young children. There are many training schools in the country that offer classes to all ages. Educating your children how to interact with animals, whether their own or others, could save their life.