My Dog is Aggressive Towards Visitors. This Works To Calm Them

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My Dog is Aggressive Towards Visitors. How do I stop him?


This is a common question among dog owners experiencing this behavior. Not only is it scary but also dangerous to have a dog that bites on a visitor’s feet. I mean, you are going to have issues with your dog whenever you have people over your house. Furthermore, this behavior can possibly advance to biting people during walks and even aggression towards children and family members. Therefore, you are going to need to control this behavior as soon as you can.

In order to stop the behavior, there are a few things you need to consider. In this section of this article, we are going to look at the options you have as well as the precautions to take when your dog won’t stop biting on people’s feet.


Teach your puppy bite inhibition


Like human children, puppies tend to explore their environments. They will use their mouths to discover the good and the bad. However, since you want to live harmoniously with your puppy, you have to correct some of the wild behaviors. It is very important to train your puppy on the acceptable and unacceptable behaviors in your household.

For this reason, you should take some time and train your puppy to be gentle. Well, it is natural that when puppies are playing together, they learn bite inhibition naturally. However, once again, domestication also leads to separation from their families. For instance, when you adopt a puppy,  you are separating him from his family. He does not get to learn about being a dog and so you assume the role of teaching good behavior.

There are several ways you can be able to teach your puppy bite inhibition. To start with, he should know that it hurts when he bites on you. For instance, during play, your puppy may bite on your hand. As much as this is not painful, you should discourage it. Stop playing with him until he lets go. Do not pull away as it may arouse the chase instincts that will only make it worse. Once he releases your hand, resume playing. Repeat until he learns to let go.


Limit guests for some time


If your dog is clearly showing any signs of aggression upon the sight of your guest, you should consider looking into it. This could be a result of an anxiety-based kind of aggression. This means that your dog sees every visitor at the door as a potential threat. Therefore, this arouses his fight or flight response which may result in a biting reaction.

Once you discover that your dog feels uncomfortable and threatened by guests, you may consider limiting the visitors. Your dog needs some space to feel safe again. During this time, you should take some time to play and observe your dog for some time. This way, you will be able to realize when your dog is suffering from anxiety. In addition, you will be able to reduce the feelings of insecurity around your home.


Offer a safe space for your dog


Once again, when your dog feels unsafe, his fight or flight response awakens. He very much wants to defend his rightful place in the house and probably your visitors are walking too close to his safe space. In order to feel safe, your dog will attack the person and usually in an aggressive manner.

In order to provide a safe space for your dog, you may get him a crate. Let him know that it is his safe space and that no one is going to come near him. In addition, let your guests know that they are not allowed anywhere near the safe space for your dog.



Put him on a leash


Now, if your dog bites on the visitor’s feet and won’t stop, it is time to take action.  You should be concerned because it is usually not in a gentle manner. You can put him on a leash whenever you have guests over. This way, you are going to be able to stop your dog from reaching your visitors aggressively.

In fact, you will have to put your dog on a leash in order to be able to train him to socialize. I mean, you cannot be okay with having a dog who attacks anyone approaching your house. For instance, you should consider introducing your dog to your visitor. In order to achieve this, your dog must be willing to do so and you must be able to control any outcome. This is usually done through the method of desensitization, which means you are exposing him to what he is afraid of.

When you are using the desensitization method to treat anxiety-based aggression, you should be cautious. This is because it can actually lead to increased aggression or willingness to socialize. It could go either way, depending on your dog.

Introduce your dog to your visitor when he is on a leash. Let him approach as close as he wants to calmly. However, withdraw from the method if your dog reacts aggressively towards your visitors.


Train him commands


Commands are an important part of your dog’s training. This is because it is a form of common ground between you and your dog in that you now have a common language. However, this should not be done when your dog is angry and aggressive. Yelling, shouting, or hitting your dog is not acceptable at all, and especially when you are training him.

You can train your dog how to sit down when you have visitors. As always, reinforce this training by rewarding your dog whenever he gets it right. For instance, during playtime, you can teach him to sit down by calmly telling him to ‘sit’ when he bites on you. Once he learns how to and obeys, offer him a treat for good behavior. Repeat until he gets it.

Now, every time you have a guest at the door, your dog will still react to that. He is probably going to approach the door and maybe even bark and howl in an effort to protect his territory. However, command him to sit down and maintain eye contact as you open for your guests. This is best done when you have he is on a leash because you will be able to control the situation should anything go wrong. Once he obeys the command, reward him with praises or treat.


Exercise your dog


As protective as dogs are, sometimes they engage in certain behaviors just because they can and they like it. For instance, a puppy that bites on your or visitor’s feet playfully is probably trying to initiate play. Sometimes it is not even playing time but your dog has so much energy that he cannot keep calm.

Exercising your dog not only leaves him healthier and happy but also depleted. All he wants to do is rest without many activities. Therefore, it is recommendable that you exercise your puppy every day to make sure that he does not have so much energy.

Consider taking long walks in the morning. This will stimulate your dog both mentally and physically by exposing him to the outside. In fact, this will make him more accepting as he will get used to seeing people on the streets.


Teach him optional greetings


A puppy that is biting on a visitor’s feet might also be trying to say hello. However, you should not encourage him to use biting in order to do so. Instead, train him on how to greet visitors in other ways. For instance, you can train him how to shake hands when a visitor comes to the door.

The biting can be all about the excitement that your dog feels whenever he meets someone at the door.


Warn your guests against announced visits


Your dog can attack a guest thinking that they are intruders. When you have guests coming to your home, it is important to make sure that they tell you before accessing your house. There is a type of aggressiveness called predatory aggressiveness and it is dangerous. Once your dog finds an intruder, he may attack by biting their feet aggressively. Your dog is just but trying to protect your home.

Your dog will not bark or even howl at the intruder in the case of predatory aggressiveness. This is particularly common in breeds of dogs that were bred for herding and hunting.


Redirect your dog’s attention


Whenever your dog starts nipping and biting on the visitor’s feet, you should come up with a way to redirect his attention. You can use a treat or his favorite toy in order to distract him before he can bite on your visitor’s feet. When you proceed to open the door for your visitor, carry his favorite toy. Toys are a better choice as compared to treats as they may lead to you overfeeding your dog.

When your dog seems anxious and eager to meet the guest at the door, throw his toy to distract his attention. He will most probably concentrate and the toys as you go on with your business. However, this will only work when you incorporate other forms of training.


Dog biting is a natural dog behavior, as the only defense they have is their teeth. However, we should not condone biting of any kind as it can turn out to be quite dangerous. I have heard dog owners struggle with a dog who bites on visitors’ feet. Other dogs will bite on anything that moves fast, be it other dogs’ feet or a person’s. This is behavior can be a sign of your dog’s aggression and should be curbed at an early age.

The best way to teach bite inhibition is to do it when your puppy is young. When they are growing up, puppies tend to want to discover things.  During this time, biting and nipping may not be as painful since the puppy is not strong enough. However, as he grows older, he becomes stronger. This makes his bites a bit painful and you will definitely want to curb the behavior then.

Dogs will often bite feet because they are at the same eye level. And once again, you or your visitor will move at some point. The fast movement may trigger the chase/hunting instincts and therefore prompt him to bite on his feet. Once you realize this behavior, it is time to settle it completely in order to avoid future issues with biting.



Understanding biting habits in canines


It is very advisable to dig into why your dog bites visitor’s feet before you can actually solve it. You will have to observe your dog, whether he targets a particular visitor or attacks all the dogs. This will definitely let you in on the exact cause of biting behavior in dogs. Let us explore some of the underlying reasons why your dog is aggressive to your visitors.


As mentioned earlier, your dog will use his teeth to defend himself in a fight or flight response situation. Most dogs, especially indoor dogs will not have any social skills. In fact, being around new people, new scents and all will be scary for your pup. For instance, when you have a visitor in your house, your dog may feel afraid to play or even stand the person. However, there is nothing much he can do about it since the visitor is invading his space. Instead of fleeing, your dog will put up a fight and attack the visitor.

Your dog may be aggressive to visitors especially if they move unpredictably. This poses a threat to your dog, which may lead to your dog attacking the guest.



As much as domestication has made dogs harmless and quite friendly, we cannot forget one thing; they are dogs. Biting is just but a survival necessity for your dog as it is the primary way of defense. However, in order to be able to live harmoniously, we have to teach our dogs that it is not acceptable to bite. And for years, we have been able to do so, with most dogs being friendly and calm. However, under certain circumstances, your dog can become aggressive.

It is quite easy to trigger a dog into aggression. For instance, if your guest is moving around the house, and probably comes close to your dog, he may attack your visitor’s feet. This could be because of the fast movement when your guest is moving. It could also be because your dog does not like the guest at all.

Some breeds may show more aggression than others. Herding breeds, for instance, like the German Shepherd Dog, will have more aggression than other dogs. This means that your dog may attack your visitor’s feet at sight. You should, therefore, be careful when you are dealing with aggression in dogs. If your dog is howling and barking before attacking your visitor, you are definitely dealing with dog aggression.



Some dogs will be anxious because they are protective of you and your house. This means that your dog may attack anything and anyone that comes close to your house. Now, having guests in your house could possibly lead to biting to protect you.

However, this will depend on how you behave around your guests. For instance, if you are startled and scared when you hear your doorbell ring, your dog may appear more protective than usual. He might end up thinking that his owner is in some kind of danger, and therefore needs to protect you. Even if you know and relate with your guests, it is important that you remain completely confident when they are around.

Several situations may prompt your dog to attack. If your dog bites on the visitor’s feet, it might be because he feels threatened and needs to protect.

It is therefore important to make sure that your dog is comfortable. Else, you must get a solution to the problem immediately in order to avoid any injuries. Below, we are going to look at some of the things that you can do to help minimize the problem entirely.





It is important for us to understand the concept of dog training. The truth is, a dog that bites on a visitor’s feet might turn out to be dangerous later in the future. Biting starts with puppies when they are exploring and trying to learn about the world. They start mouthing items, and even your fingers or feet. At first, it is quite normal and harmless until he gets used to it. At this time, your dog will mouth literally anything and anyone. When your puppy grows up, his jaw is strong and his teeth sharp which means it can now hurt when he nips at you.

When provoked, there is a possibility that your dog might react aggressively towards the new person. Therefore, it is advisable to warn your visitors about provoking your dog during play or any other activities. You can also take your dog to his crate whenever you are having people over. This way, your dog will be convinced that he is safe in his safe place. This place should be secluded in order to avoid having visitors passing through it.

In conclusion, the goal is to stop a dog that bites a visitor’s feet and not to change your dog’s nature. It is his nature to want to use his teeth to discover things. However, do not condone this habit as it might be problematic later in the future.


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