Reasons Why Dogs Bite and How To Stop It

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reasons dogs bite
Photo by David Mark from Pixabay

Dogs are one of the most friendly animals but when they bite, dogs are not so pleasant. This dog behavior can happen because of so many reasons. Here is what you need to know about dog bites. 

There is a misconception that dogs who live in the street or are not considered pets bite a lot. But this is just a misconception because even pet dogs can bite. Dog bite injuries are widespread these days, and they need medical help to get treated in several cases. Most of the time, children are in the most danger of dog bites compared to adults.

When someone follows preventive measures, they can avoid situations where dogs can bite them. One of the prime preventive measures that one can take is to respect dogs even when they are not pets.

Top 5 Reasons Why Dogs Bite

1. They Are Scared

One of the prime reasons dogs bite is because they are scared of someone or something. This can also occur when dogs are afraid of any sort of situation. If someone goes close to them, they may feel scared; if anyone approaches their area, there are a lot of chances that dogs won't like it, and due to fear, they may bite the person or even some other animals. After grinding, they feel that they have created distance from the individual and are relaxed.

2. They Are Startled

Another reason why dogs bite is because they are startled. This happens mostly when dogs are sleeping and wake up due to some disturbance that occurs, knowingly and unknowingly. And when this happens, dogs get confused and don't know what to do then.

This reason mostly happens with older dogs; with increasing age, they lose the ability to hear and even see. And when dogs are sleeping, and they are disturbed or startled, they are unable to see or adequately hear correctly, and as a result, they bite!

3. They Are Guarding

Dogs can bite even when they are guarding someone familiar, but there are other individuals there or they're in an unfamiliar place. They mostly bite individuals unknown to them, and they are scared that the other individual will harm whom they are guarding.

Dogs can also bite when they are protecting their babies or even their food. They bite when they feel someone is coming to take them away. However, this can depend on the breed of the dog because some dogs only bite once while guarding, and only if someone touches what they are guarding or enters the property they are guarding.

4. They Are In Pain

Another reason dogs bite can be because they are in extreme pain and don't know what to do, and in this confusion, they bite the closest thing to them. It can also happen when they are in pain from an injury. Unbeknownst to the person who tries to lift or pick them up, they hurt the dog, and as a result, the dog bites them.

5. They Want To Play

Sometimes, the bites of dogs are very soft, which is not that painful. They do this because they want someone to play with them and enjoy doing it. And also, these kinds of bites are very natural among dogs and also very common. However, this behavior of dogs will not be enjoyed by most people.

How to Prevent Dog Bites?

Learn Body Language

One of the most crucial things to prevent dog bites is to learn the primary body language of dogs. It's not always true that if any dog is wagging its tail, then it is in an amicable and jolly mood. And conversely, if any dog is in a very strict posture and is not wagging its tail, then it does not always mean that the dog is not in a happy and friendly mood.

One has to understand and notice a few signs that will make them aware that a dog is not in a pleasant mood and one should proceed with caution. If dogs have sweaty paws, shaking bodies, turned heads, jaws tensed, whale eyes and they're licking their lips, then this shows that they are in a tense situation, and there is a high probability that they will bite.

Choosing the Right Breed for a Family

If someone is looking to have a dog as a pet that will stay in their house, along with other family members, they should look for very friendly dogs. Then there will be significantly fewer chances of dog bites.

Respect Dogs

If someone pulls the ears or tails of a dog, then it is very natural for them to get irritated and to protect themselves—they are likely going to bite. And so, whenever someone has any kind of contact with dogs, they should respect them and the boundaries they already create.

Don't Run Behind Them

Most of the time, when someone runs behind a dog, the dog may feel scared and confused, which leads them to a feeling to protect themselves, and as a result, they bite. Therefore, it is always advisable never to run behind a dog or they may create a situation where the dog bites them.

What To Do After a Dog Bite?

First, one should take a wet and clean towel and put it over the area where the dog has bitten. Leave that in place for a few minutes and try to keep the wounded area a bit elevated.

After this, wash the affected area with soap to disinfect it. Then, cover the area with a bandage. The next day, remove the bandage, rewash the area with soap and apply any good ointment to the affected area. Then, cover the wound with a clean bandage. There is a dog bite law that can be considered in specific situations.


There are so many cases where individuals suffer from dog bite injuries, and in most cases, they need medical assistance. There are so many reasons why dogs end up biting someone, and the reasons can be because they were scared at that moment or maybe they were guarding something.

It can also be because a dog was hurt somewhere, and they bite out of frustration and pain. The injuries can be hazardous, but one can avoid these situations with proper preventive measures.

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