Dog Biting Owners: What To Do Next?

Dog Biting Owners: What To Do Next?

Author WDF Staff


One of the worst things that can happen to a dog owner is a bite from their beloved dog. It is heartbreaking, and the trust they had in their dog is broken. Once that happens, it is tough to regain it. However, situations like that can be dealt with, and dog owners can resolve this situation. They must react adequately and prevent further incidents. Here’s what you should know about dogs biting their owners.

Why do dogs bite their owners?

One of the first things that will pop into the owner's mind (after they’ve settled down) is why did this happen? Why did my dog bite me? We trust our dogs, and we can’t imagine they would become aggressive towards us. The truth is that they’re still animals that might react unpredictably, which is why dog owners need to know how to read their dog’s body language. Here are some of the possible reasons dogs bite their owners;

1. Fear

Dogs can react aggressively if they’re scared. If your dog heard a loud noise that scared them, they might misdirect their aggressive reaction toward their owners. They might be scared of someone approaching their personal space, and they might bite to create space.

dog bite

2. Resource guarding

One of the most common reasons dogs bite their owners is resource guarding. If the dog feels it needs to guard something they believe has a high value, like food, their resting spot, or toys, they might bite to achieve that. Some dogs might not recognize the owner immediately and feel the need to guard their homes by biting the “intruder.”

3. Pain

Dogs that are in pain can have aggressive reactions. It is crucial owners are cautious around their dogs that are in pain. It is their natural reaction while they’re feeling vulnerable, and many dog bites occur precisely in these types of situations.

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4. Playing

Another common reason dogs might bite their owners is - playing. This is especially common in puppies. It might be fun for them, but dog owners should stop this behavior. It is not something that should be encouraged, and the behavior might escalate and become a problem.

5. Frustration

Frustrated dogs are more likely to bite. They will feel hopeless and stuck in situations they feel like there’s no escaping. Their natural reaction will be to bite. They can get frustrated if they can’t reach something they really want, which is when a bite can happen.

dog growling and barking

6. Unprovoked

It often seems dogs bite for no reason. However, that is rarely the case. Dog owners simply failed to read their dog’s body language and acted in a way their dogs didn’t like. However, if the dog seems to become aggressive for no apparent reason, there is no other choice than to get professional help and assess the safety of the owner and the rest of their family.

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What to do if your dog bites you?

The emotional reaction of the owners that got bitten will be pretty intense. The emotions will be running high, so they should know what to do next to prevent further incidents and secure safety for everyone in the home. Here’s what dog owners should do if their dog bites them;

1. Secure the dog

The absolute first thing all bitten dog owners should do is - secure the dog. You can isolate them in a separate room or their crate, but you need to make sure the dog cannot continue to bite you or anyone else.

2. First Aid

Not all dog bites are the same. Some can be nips that dogs use as a warning, and others might be full bites with all their force. The bitten owner should assess the damage their dog has done with the bite and clean the wound. Think about your dog’s vaccinations and whether they’re up to date. If you think you will need stitches, go to the ER, where they’ll address any wounds you might have.

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3. Calm down

If the owner doesn’t have to go to the ER, they should take some time to cool off. We know how frustrating it can be to get bitten by your own dog, but they need to take further action without their emotions running high. After they reapproach their dog, they need to look at its body language, use a calming voice, and make sure it’s safe to interact with the dog again.

dog barking on couch

What not to do when your dog bites you?

One of the first reactions many dog owners have after their dog bites them is to discipline their dogs. That is not the right choice. In fact, it can backfire and only worsen the dog’s behavior at that immediate moment. Keep in mind that your dog might be scared, frustrated, or feeling hopeless. The worst thing owners could do to them at that moment is hit and yell at them.

We understand this might be hard, but after dogs bite their owners out of fear, the dogs might need some reassurance from their owners. It is not something most owners would naturally do, but slowly approaching the dog and reassuring them with a calm voice might be the correct thing to do. Dogs that bite their owners can look for comfort, and their owners should provide it if they feel safe.

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When to look for professional help?

One of the best things dog owners can do is to talk to a dog trainer about getting professional help with their biting dog. However, determining whether a bite was an isolated incident or something that needs to be carefully dealt with is not easy. Here are some of the situations that might require dog owners to look for professional help;

1. The dog bites more than once

If the incident occurs more than once, it is time to call for professional help. If something isn’t done about the dog’s behavior, their poor behavior will continue and most likely escalate.

2. There’s blood

We already mentioned most dogs will only nip, especially their owners. They will use this nip as a warning, so if they broke the owner’s skin and drew blood, it is time to call professional trainers for help.

3. There’s fear

Dealing with your dog after they bit you can be scary. If the owner is scared of their dog after the incident, it is a good idea to call for professional help. The alternative is to give the dog away, which no owner wants to do.

4. Owners don’t know the reason

If the owners are not sure why their dog bit them, they can’t do anything to address the problem. If that’s the case, professional dog trainers can help us assess the situation and tell us how to fix it.

5. Owners want help

Even if the bitten owner knows the reason their dog bit them, getting a professional trainer’s help is a good idea. They dealt with many problematic dogs and have experience dealing with such issues.

World Dog Finder team

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