Biting, Snapping & Aggressive Behavior in Poodles

Biting Or Aggressive Poodles

Poodles aren’t known as an aggressive breed, either with people or other dogs. But every dog is an individual and problems with aggression do sometimes occur. There are many reasons why dogs can become aggressive. Some dogs have a greater tendency to assert their dominance over their territory, other dogs, and people. Male dogs are usually more aggressive than female dogs.

All dogs have the potential to bite if circumstances force the action. Any dog, even small poodles, can cause serious injury with their teeth and powerful jaws.

Puppies start out nippy. We expect them to mouth, nip and bite during teething between 3 to 6 months of age. If the behavior is not corrected and modified, it can become a serious problem in an adult dog.

If your normally docile poodle suddenly becomes aggressive, take her to the veterinarian to see if there’s a medical cause for the problem. She could be in pain, or suffering from a neurological or a thyroid problem. Any Dog Can Be Put In A Situation To Bite

Absolutely, every single dog can be put into a situation where he or she will bite eventually – if the situation forces the behavior.

Under the following circumstances, a dog can be expected to bite:

The dog is in pain.

A dog who is ill or injured and someone touches or handles the dog in such away that causes pain. Someone steps on it’s tail and the dog turns around and snaps. A child hitting the dog with a heavy object.

The dog is being attacked.

Dogs that are physically punished will build fear of that person and may one day react with defensive aggression. A dog who has been hit may become aggressive around visual stimuli like a hand being held over his head. A dog who has been teased may also someday react aggressively.


If the dog is extremely afraid of someone or something, and the owner or other family member tries to force the dog into the situation, the dog may resort to biting his way out of it. Maternal protection of puppies by the mother. This is a normal cause of aggressive biting. Keep everyone away from the puppies until the mother is ready to allow visitors.

Inter female or inter male rivalry

Properly socialize your dog at a very early age to other people as well as other dogs. Sometimes, hormonal medication will effectively treat this type of aggression.

Play Biting

This type of biting usually occurs when a dog gets excited in situations such as play wrestling, playing tug-of-war games or when children run, dance, or jump around. Play mouthing, play nipping, and play biting are usually easy to modify. Watching a dog carefully and stopping such games before it becomes too exciting is helpful. When dealing with a puppy or dog that won’t back off, redirect the behavior to a toy.

A Health Problem

A dog losing it’s sight or hearing may become fearful and react aggressively. A neurological or thyroid condition, other illness or an accident can cause brain damage and result in aggressive behavior.


A negligible percentage of poodles are genetically defective, and may be predisposed to aggression as they grow up. Other factors that can induce psychosis are poisoning by dangerous chemicals such as antifreeze, paint, or pesticides.

Warning Signs

In a well adjusted dog who is not ill, there is a step by step build up of early warning signs before the bite occurs.

  • The dog becomes still and rigid.
  • The dog will look at you, remaining still and rigid.
  • The dog will growl
  • The dog will curl it’s lip and growl.
  • The dog will curl it’s lip and growl loudly.
  • The dog will snap – Living With An Aggressive Dog

Most problems can be either completely overcome or can be reduced to a bearable level, given some time, training, and love.

Extend your ability to control your dog.

Show your dog you will protect it so there is no need to take independent action.

Watch your dog for signs of unhappiness and take control of the situation immediately.

Do not allow anyone who does not understand how to deal with dogs to be with your dog unsupervised.

With any kind of aggression, prevention is the first and most important part of the solution. A dog that has bitten once may bite again, given a similar set of circumstances.

If your dog shows signs of, or has bitten with the intention of deliberate harm you will have to strictly supervise your dog at all times, avoid over stimulating environments, and seek professional advise.

"Horace started training bird dogs when he was eight years old. He once trained a boxer to point quail. It was the talk of the neighborhood. In his teen years he trained pointers and Irish Setters. He took an interest in Greyhounds and became very active in training these special animals and has been active in Greyhound adoption."