If you don’t know a dog, you have to be careful on how to approach it. By understanding the right way it will ensure your safety and perhaps your children’s. Many dogs can be extremely well behaved in some instances but there only has to be a trigger, that you may not be aware, that can set that dog into another role, from being a well-behaved dog to a dog showing signs of aggression or biting.
You don’t want to be put into a situation where a dog may bite you. They normally bite for one of three reasons.
Knowing which type of biter you are confronted with depends on the situation you are in at the time. For instance, if you are walking along the sidewalk in a residential street, minding your own business and a dog suddenly leaves its yard, runs directly at you and bites, this is indiscriminate biting or dog territorial aggression. This is a spoiled dog that is probably the dictator in its household. It is the type of dog that merely allows its family to co-exist with it in the house. It could be any breed, from a Toy Chihuahua to a Giant Schnauzer.
Fortunately, dogs that fall into this category are in the minority and are usually confined and restricted, because the owners are fully aware of the their bad behavior. Undoubtedly, they probably have been the recipients of occasional bites from their own dogs whenever the animals didn’t get their way.
The fear biter falls into another category because its demeanor could be genetically inherited, or it could be a product of under-socialization with different types of people and situations when it was a puppy. It could be in a panic-stricken mind at the time of the bite.
A friendly but injured dog, could suddenly become a fear biter depending on the circumstances. If you stop on the highway to rescue a dog that has been struck by a car, the dog may think that you are the one who hit it, rather than understand that you are there to rescue it.
Finally, a protective biter is one that’s unable to reason any farther than the fact that it feels the need to protect someone or something. Usually, the protective biter is in the group known as the working breeds. That is, dogs whose ancestors were originally bred to herd livestock or to protect properties and real estate. Most dogs have this protective instinct, but it seems to manifest more predominantly within the working group.
The main thing is to be aware that what may constitute for a well-behaved ‘looking’ pup, may not necessarily be the case.