What is fear biting?
When a dog bites because he is in a state of panic, he is engaging in fear biting. However, this type of behavior cannot be classified as dominance aggression, which is a serious defect in a dog’s personality. A dog that bites out of fear does not necessarily mean that he is a vicious animal. He may just be a very Afraid dog.
Why does this occur?
Dogs, unlike humans, cannot scream “help” when they’re afraid. Fear-biting is the only way for a panic-stricken dog to show the tremendous fear that he is feeling. This is the only way he knows how to tell his owner that the situation is too much for him to handle. The majority of the time, fear-biting is caused by people who, although they mean well, are not equipped to deal with a dog who is in a state of panic. When they see a dog that is obviously scared, they may try to comfort it, or try to convince him that there is nothing to fear. While doing this, they get too close to the dog, and end up upping the ante. That is, by invading an anxiety-stricken dog’s space, they add fuel to the fire: he becomes even more nervous and resorts to fear biting.
Not having the ability to talk, dogs cannot say to us: “Backup, and get out of my space.” They cannot express to us that something is wrong, or that something is annoying them. They can only use their body-language to “talk” to us. If you want to learn how to stop dog biting, then you must first understand what causes it. Prevention requires you to be able to recognize and handle the signs of dog biting.