Does your dog nip?

By Susan Aiello • Published: August 1st, 2011
Category: Animal Airwaves

Does your pet snap at children … the mailman … or even you? There’s a good chance that this aggression can be linked to one of a few common causes.

For example, dogs that nip at large people or people carrying packages are often responding out of fear.

Pups who are upset because their play buddy is out of reach behind a fence sometimes bite out of frustration.

And nipping at children may be caused by concerns about status within the household “pack,” or as a response to pain, possibly from arthritis or other conditions.

What to do? First, schedule a thorough exam with your veterinarian to make sure your pet is not reacting out of pain. If there is no medical problem, your vet can suggest books and training, or even refer you to an animal behaviorist. After all, your pet shouldn’t bite the hand that feeds it, or the leg of the FedEx guy.