Socializing a Fear Biter

Many of us have met the “fear biter.” This dog will attack a human, child, or another dog without much warning. Often, the onslaught occurs just as you turn your back to walk away. Fear biters are dogs that are aggressive out of fear of their surroundings. Whether they have been poorly socialized or improperly bred, these dogs will attack without provocation. In many ways, this “attack before being attacked” method is a defensive reaction. However, it can still be dangerous, and owners need to stop the problem immediately.

Puppies often exhibit this behavior because they are not well socialized. Many dog breeders see improper breeding as the fault. No matter the reason for the action, it needs to be stopped. If you have a puppy, it is important to make sure he is well socialized. There are several ways to socialize your pup, starting at home or a dog park.

At home, socialization is as easy as inviting friends to your home. Instead of putting the puppy in another room, allow him to sniff out the newcomers and spend time in your company. If the puppy is already exhibiting aggression, then tread carefully. Advise your friends to let the puppy address them before they pet him. If the puppy doesn’t like the company, keep him in your lap. Pet him and talk to him while you carry on a conversation with others in the room. If the pup seems to enjoy the company, let your friends encourage the good behavior with treats. A couple of treats can lead to a much more sociable pup.

growling dog

At an early age, take your dog to a dog park. It’s good to start with a park that requires leashes; that way, you have better control of the situation. Allow your pup to sniff out the other dogs and play. If your pooch seems uncomfortable, it’s okay to find a bench and watch the others. After a few successful trips to the park, your puppy will become much more comfortable with the situation.

If you have an older dog that is exhibiting aggressive behavior, do not think it’s too late to address the problem. The aggression can be confronted in similar ways to those mentioned above. Invite friends over, and encourage the company of your dog. If you are worried that your pooch may snap, then keep him in a crate in the area where your friends are. Your friends can talk to the dog and feed him treats through the crate. Be creative! If your pooch is snapping through the crate, have your friends use long toothpicks to feed him treats. Remember, this process can take time. So, don’t risk injury to your friends or your pooch to speed up the process.

Instead of taking an already aggressive dog to a dog park, take regular walks around your neighborhood. Always keep your dog on a leash during a walk, since you never know if another animal or car may cause harm. Invite a neighbor to join you on your walk, and remember the importance of treats. Once your pooch gets accustomed to others walking with you, encourage another dog walker to join you. With a slow, careful introduction, your dog may start to enjoy the company of both people and canines.

An aggressive dog can be a problem, especially one that attacks out of fear. More than likely, the fear is caused by a lack of proper socialization. With time and patience, you can socialize your pooch to his surroundings.

Provided by Jennifer, writer of where you can find great products like pet fences and dog beds.

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