Canine Aggression: What Triggers It, and How to Stop It

Dogs bite because...

Dogs bite when threatened. Dog owners should know what causes aggression. In self- or pack-defense, dogs may bite. Dog mothers defend their puppies.

Startling a dog, such as when a child approaches from behind, can cause a bite. Accidentally hurting a dog by pushing on sore hips can also provoke a bite.

Running from a dog can even provoke a bite. What they think is fun can turn violent. Injury and illness are common. If a dog is sick, its favourite people may not touch it.

Fearful dogs may bite anyone who comes near them. This can be something as drastic as abuse or abandonment, or something as minor as an unexpectedly loud noise.

Curbing the Risk of Dog Attacks

You must train and control your dog as a dog owner. Your dog's behaviour is your first line of defence against bites. You must prevent your dog from biting.

Understand your dog's body posture and bite warning indicators. Around people, watch your dog for signs of hostility. Stop or remove your dog before it worsens.

Basic training is a must. Keep your dog in training to reinforce their lessons. Never punish your dog physically, violently, or aggressively.

When you take your dog on outings where they can meet and interact with people of all ages and abilities, including young children and the elderly, you are socialising your dog.

Keep your dog on a leash or in a fence. Know your dog before allowing it off-leash in allowed locations. Always see your dog. Be aware of your dog's limitations and don't stress or endanger them.

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