12 Reasons Why dogs bite & Tips

Why dogs bite
Why dogs bite

There is no one answer to this question of why dogs bite as biting can be due to a variety of reasons.

But some of the most common reasons dogs bite people are due to fear, frustration, or anger.

Dogs may bite when they are trying to protect themselves or their owner, when they are trying to get away, or when they are trying to play.

Some dogs may bite out of habit or because they have been trained to do so, while others may bite out of aggression or dominance.

Let’s break it down further…

Reasons Why dogs bite

Reasons Why dogs bite
Reasons Why dogs bite


Fear can be seen as a dog’s natural response to a threatening situation that can lead to aggressive behavior like biting.

For example, if you approach your dog, and it reacts with aggression, that may be because it has been taught to associate aggressive behavior with pain or discomfort.

Dogs can also become afraid of loud noises and sudden movements—things they don’t understand or expect from their owners.

They may also have negative associations with people and animals that have hurt them in the past.

Fear can lead to aggression if it’s left unchecked by humans (or other dogs).

If your pet becomes stressed during playtime at home or at the park, for example.

Try removing the source of fear over time so he remembers better ways not only how fun playtime should be but also why he should avoid certain situations altogether!


Dogs can suffer from pain, and it can cause them to bite.

Pain is a common reason why dogs bite, but there are other issues that may lead to painful behavior.

Arthritis is a common condition that causes great discomfort in your pet’s joints.

Your dog may try to relieve his or her pain by chewing on things like furniture or even their owners!

Hip dysplasia is another common disorder that results in painful arthritis around the hip joint of your dog’s body (the acetabulum).

These conditions often go undiagnosed until a vet notices symptoms at home; therefore, prevention is key!

Skin allergies are another potential cause for biting behavior since allergies trigger inflammation throughout the body which causes discomfort for both humans and animals alike – including ours!

Protecting a Resource

Dogs are territorial creatures, so it’s not uncommon for them to guard their home and property.

This means that if you have a dog in your house, he or she may be protective of the area around them all the time.

If this is the case, then when someone enters through an open door or window and starts walking toward you (or whatever other living space they’re in).

They’ll likely bark at the intruder before biting him/her—and possibly even growl!

This can happen even if there’s no reason for them to feel threatened by your presence.

It just happens naturally because dogs don’t understand what “welcome” looks like when another person comes into their space without permission first!


Dogs get frustrated when they are not getting attention or playtime, especially if their owners are too busy.

They also feel stressed out when they can’t go outside to do their business and instead have to go inside the house.

Depending on the level of frustration or what caused the frustration dogs can bite when frustrated.

Lack of socialization

A dog’s socialization is important for its development and proper behavior.

Socialization means exposing a dog to different stimuli, including people and other dogs so that it becomes accustomed to them.

Dogs that are not provided with enough opportunities for socialization may be more likely to bite than dogs that are well-socialized.

This is because they haven’t been exposed to what it feels like when a human tries to pet them or give them affection (or vice versa).

If your dog isn’t getting enough interaction with other dogs and people outside of your home.

You should experiment with ways of adding these experiences into their day-to-day lives.

For instance by taking him out on walks every day or enrolling him in training classes in the local shelter.

The more variety there is within his environment, the less likely he’ll be prone to aggression toward strangers!

Defense of Self or Family

Dogs have a sense of territory that extends beyond their immediate surroundings.

This means that when a dog feels threatened by something or someone, it can become defensive and protective of its home base—whether you think he should be doing so.

A dog’s natural instinct to defend his home is why he’ll bite when someone enters his space (such as an intruder).

Especially if there aren’t any other options available for him at the moment (like calling in reinforcements).

Territorial Aggression

Territorial aggression is the most common type of dog bite.

Dogs have a natural instinct to protect their territory and will attack anyone who enters it.

It’s not just other dogs that can trigger this behavior; humans can also provoke territorial aggression in dogs if they’re unfamiliar with them or if they’re outside the owner’s property.

If you live with a dog who has been trained not to bite people, then it’s possible that your pet may react aggressively when someone approaches him/her while he/she is eating out of his/her bowl at night (or when he/she returns home).

This could be due to stress levels caused by seeing other pets on walks around the block or even having gone through training classes where they were taught how best to approach situations like these without getting injured themselves!

If your pet does get aggressive towards others though – whether indoors or outdoors.

Then try talking calmly with him/her until things calm down again before attempting another interaction later on down.

Read more: 11 Top Hints On How To Train a Dog Not To Run Away.

Maternal Aggression

Maternal aggression is a type of aggression that occurs in dogs when they are protecting their puppies.

If a mother dog feels threatened by another dog, she will bite the other animal to protect her puppies from harm.

The same can be said for humans who threaten them or their offspring.

Mother dogs will also use this method to defend themselves against people who may try to steal food or toys from them or interfere with their activities around the house.

In some cases, however, maternal aggression can become dangerous if it escalates into a more serious situation.

Some mothers have been known to attack humans without provocation (though this isn’t always the case).

Social Aggression

One of the most common reasons why dogs bite is social aggression.

Dogs are social animals, so they will often be aggressive to other dogs if they feel threatened or territorial.

This can happen in dog parks, on walks with other dogs, or even at home when a new pet enters your home.

A dog’s aggression can be defensive (they’re protecting themselves) or territorial (the owner’s property).

It could also be maternal—a mother protecting her puppies from an intruder—or redirected toward another animal or person who has done something wrong (like stepping on their tail).

In addition to these different types of aggression, there are many other reasons why dogs bite people and other pets including fear/fearful reaction to sudden loud noises/screaming, etc.

Read more about the 17 Possible Reasons For Your Dog Acting Weird & Tips.

Predatory Instincts

Predatory instincts are a natural instinct to chase and bite.

Dogs possess this predatory behavior because they were bred to hunt prey, so they will naturally want to hunt down other animals that they perceive as prey.

People often use the term “predatory instinct” when describing a dog that kills or attacks other animals.

But it’s important not to confuse this with actual predatory behavior that can be dangerous for both humans and animals.

For example, if your pet is aggressive toward other dogs or people in its environment then training should be done immediately so that he doesn’t develop any bad habits before being able to interact safely with others around him!

Read more about the 10 Reasons Why Dogs Scratch Carpets And Walls (Explained)

Inter-male Aggression (Competition)

Inter-male aggression is when a dog bites another dog or person. It can be due to competition for resources, territory, or simply fighting over who’s in charge of the pack.

The most common cause of inter-male aggression is territorial disputes.

Dogs often become aggressive when they feel threatened by another dog or person entering their territory, especially if they’ve had previous conflicts with them before.

If you notice your pet acting aggressively towards other dogs and people, take steps immediately:

Take your dog to the Vet your pet for any injuries (such as puncture wounds) that may have happened during the fight.

If there are no visible signs of injury from an attack then it might be better just not to say anything at all until after an examination has taken place because there are still so many unspoken issues surrounding this topic!

Read more about the 12 Tips On How To Stop My Dog From Barking At Other Dogs.

Redirected Aggression

Redirected aggression (when a dog is aroused and aggressive at one thing but turns toward another that is within range)

When you see your dog acting aggressively toward another dog, make sure you understand what’s really happening.

Your pet might be showing redirected aggression because he or she has been aroused by something in the past and now wants to get back at someone for being mean.

For example, if your puppy had been attacked by a larger animal before and feels threatened when he sees another canine approaching his territory.

He may try to defend himself by lunging at the intruder when it comes close enough for him to do so.

As long as they are both safe from harm while they are fighting (no weapons involved), this behavior is perfectly normal!

Read more about the 17 Potential Causes Of Anxiety In Dogs You Should Know.

Ways To Prevent Dog Biting

There are many ways to prevent dog bites which include the following:

  1. Be aware of your surroundings. Be alert for potential threats and keep your dog under control when you are out and about.
  2. Establish rules and boundaries with your dog. Make sure they understand that they are not allowed to bite.
  3. Teach your dog not to bite.
  4. Use deterrents, such as toys or treats, to discourage your dog from biting.
  5. Socialize your dog.
  6. Train your dog properly. Teach them not to lunge at people or other animals, and to respond to verbal commands.
  7. Keep your dog supervised when they are not allowed in close proximity to other people or animals.
  8. Proper nutrition for your dog.
  9. Train your dog to obey specific commands that will prevent them from biting.
  10. Educate yourself and your dog about how to behave around other people and animals.
  11. Proper obedience training for your dog.
  12. Seek professional help if your dog bites someone. A qualified behaviorist can help you modify your dog’s behavior and establish a safe boundary.

Read more: 10 Common Reasons Why Dogs Whine.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do dogs bite?

There are many reasons why dogs may bite, including fear, pain, territoriality, protectiveness, or aggression.

It’s important to understand the root cause of the behavior in order to address it effectively.

Can all dogs bite?

Yes, all dogs are capable of biting. Even the friendliest and most well-trained dogs may bite in certain situations.

It’s important to always be aware of a dog’s body language and behavior to prevent bites from occurring.

How can I prevent my dog from biting?

Preventing dog bites involves a combination of proper training and socialization, giving the dog plenty of exercises and mental stimulation, and helping the dog feel secure and comfortable in its environment.

It’s also important to keep children and adults alike from approaching or interacting with unfamiliar dogs in a way that could be perceived as threatening or aggressive.

What should I do if I am bitten by a dog?

If you are bitten by a dog, it’s important to immediately clean the wound and seek medical attention if necessary.

You should also report the bite to the appropriate authorities, such as animal control, to prevent future incidents with the same dog.

Do certain breeds of dogs bite more than others?

No, there is no evidence to suggest that certain breeds of dogs are more likely to bite than others. Any dog, regardless of breed, can bite under the right circumstances.

That being said, some breeds may be more prone to aggressive behavior due to genetics or experiences, so it’s important to carefully evaluate a dog’s temperament before bringing them into your home.

How can I teach my children to interact safely with dogs?

You can teach your children to interact safely with dogs by teaching them to always ask for the dog’s permission before approaching a dog.

Let the dog sniff their hand before petting it, avoid harsh or sudden movements, and never approach a dog that is barking or appears agitated.

It’s important to always supervise children around dogs and teach them to treat dogs with respect and kindness.


In conclusion, understanding why dogs bite is crucial for both dog owners and non-owners alike.

By recognizing the warning signs and taking preventative measures, we can reduce the number of dog bites and create a safer environment for everyone.

Remember, dogs are not inherently aggressive, and with proper training and socialization, they can be loving and loyal companions.

Categorized as Dogs

By Aiguo Kai

Aiguo Kai is one of the authors and editors of Pet Creeks, he is focused on teaching and providing useful information about pets. Especially dogs, he enjoys writing and sharing his 10 years of experiences with dogs so far.