Understanding Fear Biting

Adult dogs that bite often do so because they need to lash out at whatever s causing them to feel anxious. Dogs with this problem have usually either been abused or are naturally very timid and shy dogs.
With care and patience, most adult dogs can be successfully trained not to bite. Punishing a dog that bites because of fear is not a good idea, as the punishment only increases his fear. This can create a vicious cycle where the dog becomes increasingly anxious and just lashes out more and more.
The bad news is that in the case of an abused dog, (and it is easy to adopt a dog with a history of being abused from a shelter) that it can take months or even years of rehabilitation for him not to lash out and bite at things that trigger his anxiety. In this case, all you can do is take note of what triggers the dog’s fear and what makes him anxious and try to steer him away from those situations. An example is the dog that was beaten with belt. The dog may freak out or lash and bite at people when he sees them reaching to undo their pants or clothing or when he sees them opening a closet as he is afraid he is going to be beaten.

If he has specific fears, then try gradually reintroducing the object or situation that brought on the fear. For example if he is scared of people then utilize some dog loving friends to approach your leashed dog without attempting to touch him. Once his confidence has built up you can increase the amount of time that he is exposed to different people and start physical contact. Using a muzzle is a good idea if you are unsure of how your dog might react in a certain situation and especially if that situation involves children.

Adult dogs have stronger jaws and stronger teeth, so biting and nipping is often a much more serious situation with them. Not only can an adult dog cause another creature or human a terrible injury, it is also harder for them to break the habit.

An adult dog that bites is usually an aggressive dog. An adult dog usually bites because they are displaying fear based, dominance, protective or territorial aggressive behavior.

The main causes of biting and nipping in adult dogs are fear, anxiety, memories of abuse, teasing from children, jealousy, possessiveness, pain and illness.

If your dog is a severe fear biter than you may need to take him to see a certified professional animal behaviorist to try and modify his behavior. He or she may be able to delve deeper into your dog’s individual psyche and help retrain your dog’s behavior. It is imperative that a biting problem is dealt with immediately as the consequences of having your dog, say, bite a child could well lead to a criminal conviction for you an euthanasia for your dog.

Choosing the Best of the Litter

If you are going to choose a puppy make sure you do it from a reputable breeder. Puppies are ready to be chosen when they are about four weeks old.

Puppies come with as many different personalities as humans do. And no matter what their breed is any single one has the potential to become an introvert or an extrovert: a grouch or a goofball; an athlete or a couch potato; a jealous neurotic or a clever escape artist.

Dogs like people take some time to get to know. A dog that is from a breed that is known to be a good lap warmer could just as easily turn out to be an enthusiastic ankle biter. Almost any dog is capable of being difficult to train, deaf when it convenient and aggressive with strangers. The key to picking the best pet is to find the one that seems the most socialized. In other words it is the dog that seems to be relating the best to human contact.

Before you buy a dog you should first ask to observe how it acts in its own litter. If it is playing with other dogs then it is a sociable extrovert. If it is huddling by itself in a corner it may be irritable or sick.

A healthy puppy will be one that does not wince at human contact and instead jumps up to lick your hand or check you out. A lack of inquisitiveness can mean the dog is sick or has a lower intelligence.

Before selecting the puppy you should also examine it physically. First figure out or ask whether it is a boy or a girl. A healthy puppy should have a slightly plump rebounded tummy. There should be no fleas or sores on its body or bald patches in its fur. The eyes should be clear with no watery discharge or reddish looking streaks alongside its nose. It’s ears shoulder clean and pink, and the puppy should not be sniffling or sneezing

Never pick up or handle a puppy that is less than three weeks old! It is fragile; needs its mom and you could injure its delicate body with too much manhandling. Let it alone so it does not develop a fear of humans.

During each visit, observe the puppies as a group and take note of the different personalities. Characteristics worth noting include activity level, social interactions, vocalizations and the puppy’s response to a visitor. Puppies that are shy, retiring or snap at you are not good choices for pets.

Beware of a puppy that repeatedly mouths and claws at a visitor’s hands. This puppy might have dominant or aggressive traits that might make it difficult to get along with as it gets older.

There is still much to learn about how we can predict adult behavior from the behavior of a puppy (or a puppy). However, personality traits do appear over the course of days or weeks, even during a single introduction, and can help you decide whether a particular puppy would be a good match for your lifestyle.