Warning Signs


In the first module of this course we discussed the warning signs leading up to a bite. Let's briefly review those now: 

Dogs are fabulous communicators and many will work through the following order of events in order to warn us off our thievery. Some dogs may skip some warning signs or escalate faster, but in general, this is the step-by-step we see in resource guarding cases: 

  1. Freezing, sometimes accompanied by side-eye
  2. Accelerated consumption
  3. Growling
  4. Snarling (showing teeth)
  5. Snapping
  6. Bite without damage
  7. Bite with damage

If during your work with your dog, they show any of these signs, it it a cue for you to stop, back off, reassess your plan. 

Punishment, such as scolding, yelling, hitting, spraying water, etc... will only cause the dog to escalate much faster and skip the warnings next time. 

By stopping and backing off, you're not "letting the dog win"; you're avoiding getting bitten.

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