What to Do with a Dog that Bites Their Owner

Are you wondering what to do with a dog that bites their owner? Dogs can be our best friends; however, they are animals, and they can bite. According to the Center for Disease Control of America,  about 4.7 million dog bite cases are recorded, out of which half of them are kids. I’m sure you must be thinking of what to do with an aggressive dog that bites you and other people.

It can be a stray or a strange dog in a few cases. But most of the time, people are bitten by their dogs or the dogs they know well.

So why did your furry friend bite you? All the dogs can bite,  the situations or circumstances may differ. It is a natural means of communication for them.

Most pet owners do not like dogs, that bite mouth or chew their hands. Adult dogs jaws can cause more pain than a puppy while mouthing. And it is often pretty challenging to suppress in adult dogs because of their physical size.

There are a few things we need to observe as pet parents.

Is the mouthing playful or because of aggressive behavior?

While mouthing is a normal dog behavior. Few dogs bite out of frustration and fear, which shows the signs of aggression. An aggressive dog’s body is stiffer, and muzzle might look wrinkled and can also pull back the lips to show his teeth. If you suspect your dog with aggressive behavior, Consult a veterinarian or a certified dog trainer.

How to Reduce Your Dog’s Mouthing?

Dogs spend most of their time playing, chewing, and explore objects. They chew on our fingers and toes. This kind of behavior is quite normal and cute. However, once your dog starts growing,  it is not so endearing.

It is the responsibility of the owner to teach to curb the dog’s mouthing. The first lesson is to make him understand that human skin is very sensitive and that they should be gentle while playing and mouthing.

Bite Inhibition:

The dog can control their force while mouthing. The puppies who haven’t learned bite inhibition, will not be able to recognize that human skin is sensitive,  so they tend to bite hard,  even while playing.

Bite inhibition is learned while they are playing with other dogs; they chase, pounce, and wrestle with each other. Now and then,  there might be a dog which tends to bite too hard. After which the victim yelps and stops playing. However, after some time they are back in the game. This playful interaction makes them and control their mouthing and bites so that no one is hurt.

Another trick is,  while you play with your dog,  let him mouth. Continue until he bites hard. As soon as does, yelp loudly as if you are hurt. This will startle the dog and will stop mouthing from next time. Repeat this process, and in no time, the dog will understand and will not bite from next time.

How to Discipline an Aggressive Dog that Bites

what to do with a dog that bites people

If you’re wondering what to do with a dog that bites people, we need to teach our dogs to avoid mouthing other people. Try these below techniques:

  • Provide the dog with a toy or a chew bone when they gnaw on toes or fingers.
  • Dogs often mouth while they are stroked, scratched, and platted. Distract them by feeding small treats.
  • Encourage them to play non-contact forms of play.
  • Teach the dog impulse control.
  • Provide them with plenty of toys and new things to chew on.
  • Allow your dog to play with other vaccinated dogs.


  • Do not wave your fingers or toes in your dog’s face. This will entice him to play and will encourage him to bite hard while playing.
  • Never discourage your dog from playing. Playing builds a strong bond between the pet and the owner.
  • Do not jerk your hand or feet away from your dog. This might seem like a game to him and might jump and grab.

Reasons Why Dogs Bite

  • Dog Possessiveness:

Protection of property is quite a common issue. It can toy,  territory, food, etc. Early training will help to minimize this possessive behavior. Teach them the “Leave it” command in preventing the toy aggression. To control food aggression, teach them to wait until the food is placed down. Occasionally approach the food bowl and add treats to make them understand that someone approaching their food bowl isn’t a bad thing.

  • Dog Fear:

Fear dog bites often occur when the dog is startled. Early socialization is essential for young dogs so that they can be exposed to different people, animals, and different situations.

  • Dog Pain:

Pain can cause any of the friendliest dog to bite. If your dog is snippy for no reason, schedule an appointment with the veterinarian as it might because of pain.

Warning Signs:

The common triggers for causing dog bites will help you to avoid these situations from occurring again. These bites are always preceded by their behavior, which can be used as a warning signal, and steps can be taken to reduce the dog’s fear or stress. If the dog is stiff and if they are showing their teeth and ears being pulled back are all the signs of aggressive behavior.

Dog Bite Classifications

To understand the dog biting behavior, it has been classified into six level system.

Level 1:

A snap,  with no skin contact. It is an intended air bite, which is a warning signal,  that we need to identify his stressful things and avoid them from things or situations which may cause stress to them.

Level 2:

Tooth contact, luckily with no puncture. This is also a warning that he intended, however, was unsuccessful in his attempt. Consider this stage seriously and remove his stressors before he moves on to the next level.

Level 3:

Punctures on the skin. One or more holes in a single bite.

Level 4:

Holes deeper than the canine length.

Level 5:

Multiple bites with deep punctures on the skin.

Level 6:

Killing the victim or consuming their flesh.

What to Do with an Aggressive Dog that Bites? 

What to Do with a Dog that Bites Their Owner

Your veterinarian might ask you the following questions after the incident has occurred.

  • Is there a single bite or multiple bites?
  • Is the skin punctured?
  • Where did it happen in the house, on the road?
  • What was happening at that time?
  • Does your dog possess any medical illness or injuries?
  • Did the dog have pain or any behavioral changes?

These questions help to assess the cause for such behavior prevents from recurrence of such bites and aggressive situations.

Prevention: Steps to treat a dog bite

  • Press on the wound, to let some blood flush out as they may contain bacteria.
  • Wash the wound with salt water.
  • Clean it with cotton or clean cloth.
  • If you possess an antibiotic cream, do apply.
  • Wrap the wound with a sterile bandage.
  • Consult a doctor after the above steps are completed.
  • Get the appropriate medication.

Precautions to Prevent Dog Bites

  • Do not go near any stray or strange dogs.
  • Never leave young children with an unfamiliar dog.
  • Never play with a dog that is feeding her puppies.
  • If you are approaching a dog, do it slowly and steadily.
  • Stay calm, if in case the dog becomes aggressive.
  • Move away slowly from the dog.
  • Do not have eye contact with the dog.
  • Do not provoke or beat up the dog; this will worsen the situation.

We hope we have helped you to guide you on what to do with a dog that bites their owner and dealing with a dog that bites.

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