Aggression and Bites From Dogs

Written by Ojie Okosun on . Posted in Health

DOG-BITERead we also welcome your comments on this topic. We wrote on this topic (aggression) in dogs months back and posted a picture of a man bitten on his face by a dog remember? Now we want to discuss types/reasons of aggression, reasons for BITES known to us (Revolution Kennel):

Dominance Aggression
In cases of dogs who bite due to dominance aggression, members of the dog’s human family are most often the victims. Innocently attempting to pull your dog out of his kennel to clean when he is not willing to come out. Step over a dog who’s resting inconveniently in the doorway and the dog erupts in a “you’d better not do that again” vocal warning, followed by a bite. In this case, the dog understands you don’t care much about him, so it might be a chance for him to show some dominance.

This is the reason why we stress that you need to have a relationship with your dog from the beginning. You need to understand a lot about his mood. Dogs are just like humans, he may be tired, sick or even bothered.
In each situation, the dog believes that he is in charge, that his humans have not earned the status to tell him what to do. Dominance aggression is most commonly – but not exclusively seen in males and in confident breed types, such as Rottweiler’s, Doberman, chow chows, Lhasa apsos and their likes.

Protection of Valuables
The protectiveness some people seek when acquiring a dog can prove to be a liability. Some dogs believe the only way to protect their valuables is through an act of aggression. A dog’s list of valuables may include even his food, toys, territory (a house or a car) or even their human family members. Dogs have been known to “protect” one family member from another, driving crying children away from their mothers or chasing amorous husbands out of bedrooms. This could be funny. Imagine a dog indirectly saying you can sleep in your room tonight.
Dogs can be jealous and can sense who is his friend within the family, so more often he will support the one he gets love from over the other (just like humans). It’s always better to ensure your family members show if possible, equal amount of love and care to him.
The protection of territory is most often seen in males of guarding/herding breeds, such as German shepherds and Rottweiler’s. Again, early training and/or lifelong management are the only solutions.

Fear Aggression
The fear aggression response is most often directed toward strangers. Veterinarians learn early in their careers: when in doubt, muzzle. Like people, dogs are naturally fearful of unfamiliar and potentially threatening situations. A dog raised in a quiet adult household will be distraught by noisy, fast-moving youngsters. The dog may bark and lunge to drive them away and deliver a stinging nip to children who do not heed the warning.
There is no particular breed or gender predilection for fear aggression, but these biters commonly lack early socialization to a wide variety of people and experiences. Dogs must be socialized early enough. They need to understand humans interact and have friends. TIMIDY is also a factor. “With a dedicated owner and a responsive dog, fear aggression can be greatly improved.”

Maternal Aggression
The first two to three weeks after a female dog gives birth; her puppies rely on her for all they need to survive: warmth, nutrition, stimulation to prompt elimination and protection. Even the most outgoing, well-trained dog may show signs of maternal aggression if she feels her newborns are at risk. No training is indicated here, rather an awareness of the new mother’s innate need for a safe space. By limiting visitors to the whelping box to one to two adult family members during those first couple of weeks, the new mother will stay relaxed and focused on the job at hand. There will be plenty of time for socialization once the pups’ eyes are open and they are toddling about under their own steam.

Redirected Aggression
An attempt to break up a dog fight is the most common scenario for this category of biting. Two canine opponents are barking, posturing and biting at each other when all of a sudden hands reach in and grab at collars, tails and hind legs. The adrenaline-pumped dogs blindly whip around and land oral blows to body parts of the interrupters. At this stage he may not be conscious to know it is you.
Fights are best broken up by loud noises or strong blasts of water when available. However, sometimes that is not enough. If you must lay hands on fighting dogs, stay as far away from the mouth as possible and move swiftly and decisively.

Pain-induced Aggression
While pain-sensitive breeds like Chihuahuas are common perpetrators, any dog may bite if hurting, depending on the degree of pain. An otherwise gentle dog will bite a beloved owner’s hand trying to soothe, bandage or examine wounds. Like us, each dog has a unique pain threshold and tolerance. A dog who hates injection might bite when he is injected. Likewise a dog with hip dysplasia may turn on a handler pressing down on his hips to enforce the sit command.
Of course, any dog can be provoked to bite by overly zealous physical disciplining. Some breeders and dog owners will kick their dogs and even throw things at them in correction or to enforce discipline. This is unkind and barbaric.

Pestered Beyond Limits
There are dog biting incidents that don’t fit into the aforementioned categories. This is very common.” Bites in this category are often prompted by children (or adults) who simply don’t understand that even a dog has limits. Hug a sleeping dog, blow puffs of air in his face, put a rubber banded knee-sox on his nose to turn him into an “elephant dog, by dragging his ears” ride him like a horse. Sooner or later, the dog will say “NO!” the only way he knows how will be through a bite.


There are three keys to bite prevention: learn to understand canine behavior, take the time to socialize and train all dogs – the younger the better – and teach children to respect all dogs, starting from when they are puppies. With this accomplished, there is no telling how low bite statistics can go.

If you are approached by a menacing dog:

  • Do not attempt to run if the dog is already close to you. If you, he will catch with you and bring you down

  • Stay quiet, and remember to breathe

  • Be still, with arms at sides or folded over chest with hands in fists

  • Avoid eye contact with the dog

Hope we have been able to help you understand your dog more. Dog bites can be severe as you can see it this picture. Aggression is bad in any form and must be discouraged. A dog with a super temperament is way better than an overly-aggressive dog. We would love to get your contributions, comments and questions to this topic. Also let your friends read this.

Revolution Kennel

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Ojie Okosun

Ojie Okosun

We hope you like our dogs, please you are free to make a post below or to inquire about any of our dogs. Thank you

Comments (2)

  • Youngflow


    Hello,how are you doing,am also a dog breeder and i also studied animal science in school,can we get to know each other more better?we may have bussines together.thanks

    Dr youngflow


  • Eniola


    This is very enlightening. Thank you


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