Why Do Dogs Bite the Hands of Their Owners?

Do you have a puppy or adult dog who bites your hands? Learn why dogs bite hands and what you can do about it from an expert.

Why Do Dogs Bite the Hands of Their Owners?

Grazing breeds and those with a greater prey drive may have a natural instinct to nip or bite. I have a canine companion, Quincy*, who I love to play with. It's fun and sweet, and I've been taking care of him for quite a few years now. Recently, when I was spending time with him, I noticed an aspect of his behavior that I haven't seen in other adult dogs very often - biting in the mouth or playing bite.

This is more common in puppies, but Quincy, an adult dog, does it frequently. It doesn't bother me at all because it's so gentle, but it made me wonder why he does it, so I did some research. Why is my dog touching my hands? And what can I do about it?Puppies learn to play by mouthing the mouths of their littermates and their parents. They explore with their mouths and use their mouths to interact with each other.

The ASPCA points out that, unlike aggressive biting, this type of mouthing is playful and not malicious. However, it may be unwanted behavior as far as humans are concerned. Usually, puppies learn to control the intensity of their play bites by their littermates, but puppies taken away from their littermates too soon may need to learn this from their human families. Usually, humans teach their puppies that no type of mouthing is acceptable, but this is not always the case, as is the situation with Quincy.It is likely that, since his mouth is so soft, he has never been taught to behave otherwise.

You can teach your puppy or dog not to mouth like their littermates would. Keep in mind that it is much more difficult to teach an adult dog not to mouth, since they are not as sensitive to our reactions as puppies are. Teaching your dog not to mouth is a process.A playful puppy will be relaxed and gentle, but his mouthing can still be painful. It's important to teach him to be gentle with his teeth.

Dogs can be taught at any age how to control the strength of their teeth so as not to hurt or harm their owners or other humans. If mouthing your hand is painful and seems excessive or aggressive, it is also important to nip this behavior in the bud.If your dog's body is stiff, it is wrinkling its muzzle and exposing its teeth, it is more likely that it will bite aggressively and not playfully. In addition to teaching him to inhibit the bite, you should also eliminate the source of his aggression and address that problem immediately. There are many reasons why your dog can bite you - he could be protecting his resources, he may be feeling anxious or stressed, or he may be redirecting his aggressive behavior towards you.If the tips and recommendations above have not been helpful, you should probably contact a canine behaviorist, especially since it seems that the bite was something serious.

Some dogs are good at communicating their discomfort and start yawning, licking their lips, scratching or licking an imaginary itch (scrolling behavior) before biting, while others may growl. This list is not all-encompassing, and all owners should make the best possible decisions on behalf of their pets.Puppies have very sharp teeth and want to put their mouths on everything - toys, dog bones, furniture or even their hands. Border Collies, German Shepherds, Australian Cattle Dogs, Old English Shepherd Dogs, Shelters and other dogs selectively bred for herding are particularly prone to this behavior due to their history as herding dogs. I suggest you do this by carefully approaching your dog with a calm voice, avoiding his gaze and moving his body away from her.

That is why it is important for everyone who interacts with a dog to understand what can cause this aggressive behavior. You seem to have scared him but also keep in mind that most dogs don't like being petted on the top of their heads (although many do tolerate it). A game bite will cause alarm and you may be approached with the conversation about how dangerous it is to live with a dog that bites. Even if you don't have a health problem, it is important to understand that many dogs simply do not like being picked up - it can make them feel quite insecure and scared.

In the meantime, it would also be a good idea to stop lifting him in a way that has led to the bites. Even if you don't have a dog yourself, it's important to know the proper behavior when interacting with dogs and how and when to approach one. The first time I was lying on the couch Quincy was placed over my head and he bit my lip.

Molly Armstong
Molly Armstong

Amateur beer scholar. Subtly charming beer evangelist. Incurable pop culture enthusiast. Devoted tv nerd. Hipster-friendly internet fanatic. Incurable web nerd.