Doggie Vampires; a Myth Debunked

Dogs are vampires at heart just ask anyone!

Have you ever heard someone say “Once a Dogs tastes Blood…” and then it goes something like “the dog goes crazy and craves blood and kills anything it can…blah, blah, blah.”

It kind of makes me giggle to myself, until I realize that some people actually believe this old wives tale; and then it makes me a little sad.

I have even had people say they won’t give their dogs anything like raw meat because they don’t want the dog to get a “taste of blood” and turn on them or someone, or something else.

Now, I am a former vet tech and I know the risks of salmonella so I am all about  not giving dogs raw meat.  But a lick or a taste of blood isn’t going to turn your dog into a vampire.

If that were true, we would be ruled by a world of vampire dogs!

Thanks to Sheknows.com for the photo

Dogs bite their tongues, lick their wounds, and also lick our wounds if given the opportunity!  That doesn’t mean they become cannibals or seek to kill humans once they get a taste of how wonderful human blood tastes.

So why do we continue to hear this legend spread from generation to generation, over and over; never to die the death it deserves?

It is because we humans (at least most) simply have no understanding of dog behavior.

“Blood” has nothing to do with dog behavior.

Yes, I will admit that dogs are carnivores and prey animals.  They are genetically preprogramed to  have the ability to hunt and kill their food; without that they would just be helpless and dependent on others for their survival.

And, although some dogs would starve without the help of human kind; many would still be able to survive.

The Real Truth

Hunting is FUN for dogs! 

As difficult and horrifying as that is for us to comprehend, it is true.

It is not about the taste of the final product, it is about the fun of the chase.

The reason that dogs may continue to chase and kill other small animals is that they are genetically predisposed to chase prey and have a prey drive and because the “thrill of the chase” is fun for them.

So I will admit, that if you have a dog that kills one of your chickens, it will be very difficult to keep him from killing another chicken, not because he has “tasted blood” but because he has had the “thrill of the chase”.

Not everything that pleases a dog is politically correct and unfortunately chasing and killing things can be very mentally stimulating and fun for dogs, especially those with high prey drives.

Most dogs don’t “eat” what they kill anyway (unless they are very hungry) they kill something or bite something and that is the end of the fun for them.  It has nothing to do with how it tastes.

How it Relates to People

Me Biting Nix! He looks Scared Doesn’t He?

Most often dogs are not “chasing” people when they bite, however when they are these prey bites and pack mentality (especially dangerous when it is more than one dog) because of the same hunting and chase drives make these attacks even worse and sometimes fatal.

But most often dogs bite people because they feel like they are left with no choice.

They may have warned the person time and time again by growling, snarling, or stiffening and when the person does the “offensive act” again the dog feels he is left with no choice but to bite.

Again, dogs do not follow our laws or understand our rules.  They do what they would do if another dog irritated them time and time again.  Most give some sort of brief warning prior to using their mouths to stop the offender.

The reason that a dog who has bitten once is more likely to bite again?  It is not because he has tasted the fountain of youth in human blood.  It is because he was probably successful the last time he used his teeth.

When a dog bites a person, the person usually stops doing whatever he was doing in the first place.

For example: if your dog has growled at you time and time again for getting too near his food bowl, sooner or later he is likely to finally follow through and bite you.  When he bites you, chances are you will back away from him and his food bowl.

The dog learns that his teeth “work” to keep you in your place or stop you from doing what he doesn’t want you to do.

This is why he is more likely to bite you or someone else again; because his teeth are an effective tool in controlling his environment.

How do You Keep Your Dog from Turning into a Vampire?

Okay so we have already debunked the “vampire” myth, but seriously how do you keep your dog from biting?

Obedience is key!

 

Our Very First Competition and Our Very First Win! I am Shocked but Fury is Still Giving Me Perfect Attention.

Obedience and knowing your dog is crucial.  Obedience will give you control and will keep your dog from taking advantage of you or wanting to bite you.

Knowing your dog is crucial so that you know if it is safe or not safe to let him off leash around other animals.  I have 3 young dogs, and 2 of them are likely to chase and kill something if I were to allow them to be off leash.  When we were swimming at a remote pond the other day, a deer flew out of the bushes and right out in front of us (I literally could have touched him) 2 of my dogs were more interested in swimming than chasing the deer (one was just a pup), but the other chased after him.  There is no question in my mind that he would have grabbed the deer, if the deer hadn’t had the upper hand in the speed department.  That was a lesson for me that he can’t be off leash until I have more control of his obedience.

If your obedience is not up to par, then your dog has no business being given the opportunity to chase and hunt another animal.  If your dog leaps, pulls, growls, barks or struggles to get to other animals when he is on leash, he has no business being off leash!

If he happens to be able to grab or heaven forbid kill another animal, he will be even more difficult to control!

And, if he has been allowed to bite a human, he is more likely to try and get an opportunity to bite again, because it was probably successful (at least in his mind)!

So it is imperative to his longevity and to keep you out of a painful and expensive court process to keep him from ever biting again.

Dogs need obedience and structure and if you can’t trust him you should never put him into a situation where he is likely to bite!  Don’t force your dog to be petted or socialized with if he doesn’t desire socialization.  You must keep him on a leash or safely contained so that an incident never reoccurs.

Dogs aren’t vampires, they are simply “dogs” and they have a different set of social laws and genetic predispositions.  The first step to conquering your dog’s behavior is understand him, and learning how to control him through obedience!

Start Calming Down Your Over Excited Dogs Today!

Your First Lesson’s FREE:

Sign up below and we’ll email you your first “Training For Calm” lesson to your inbox in the next 5 minutes.

Comments

  1. Great and cute post! Most people are often afraid of dogs because of their biting nature but once properly trained they can be your best friend.

    [Reply]

    alicia mccarley Reply:

    all dogs do that!

    [Reply]

  2. debbie says:

    Hi,

    I am getting a rescue laso apso, obviously I don’t yet know how to spell it, and he is sweet and was never trained and he is unsure of everything and very submissive and quiet. Has lots of health issues, and is 5 years old, and is now doing very well physically Has never had a leash or a collar on. Was one of 600 terribly treated dogs from California brought up here to Oregon to find homes. He was bitten by some dog on the way here and had to have his eye removed, and had to have surgery on his mouth, and had terrible ear mites. Now is doing very well, and I need to get him to accept walking on a leash. He just lays down when he has one on and doesn’t move. I have a little cockapoo female that I hope will encourage him to walk along with her. She is a wonderful happy well trained dog that loves other dogs and loves to go for walks. She is 11 pounds and he is 14 pounds or so. I will be bringing him home
    next Monday or Tuesday, and they will meet for the first time. I have read that I need to be careful to keep her the number one loved dog in the house, and he should be happy to be number two. But how do you train a 5 year old to walk on the leash when he is shy and never had one on before? And they said if I just pay attention to his signals, he doesn’t have any accidents in the house, and I am retired and 61 years old, so I can watch him and help him all he needs. Any ideas for me?

    Thank you,

    PS: I just realized something I read once. If you see a dog with injuries to his face, it means he was also fighting face to face. Injuries to other parts of his body means he was trying to get away. This little one seems very sad and submissive in the shelter, but might not be when he gets comfortable in my home. I would hate to have him try to be alpha over my little dog. I think she would stand up for herself, and there could turn out to be jealousy issues. It makes me afraid to try to add another older dog that isn’t trained or socialized to my home. I guess I need two answers. One about training an older dog to a leash that refused to move and just lays down, and also, what do you think about trying to add a dog like that to a happy home? Before I saw him, I was planning on getting another German Shepherd puppy. My German Shepherd female that I had for over 12 years passed away 4 months ago, and I would love another one. I have had three before, and never any problems with any of them. And I never had any problem adding a 2nd dog before. I must have been very lucky in the past. I had angel dogs every time. So what do you think about adding this little 5 year old dog, or getting a GSD puppy that I am more familiar with, as a breed and as to adding a 2nd dog at the puppy age…??

    Thanks,

    Debbie

    Debbie

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Dogs often bite in the face whether the other dog was the aggressor or not. Dogs meet and greet in the face and it is normally the area that gets bit, and by the eye is common.

    I was not there, so I cannot tell you who the aggressor in the fight initially was, but you cannot assume it was your potential adoptee because he took the bite on the face. Instead I would see how this dog interacts with yours or another dog.

    A puppy (although usually an easier acclimation) is no guarantee! I have a puppy that was an aggressor at 6 weeks old and some older dogs HATE puppies!

    You have to make the decision that best fits your family. Give the other dog a chance and see how it goes, but don’t just let him run free through your home with your other dog; keep them separate and on leashes when they meet (hopefully at first off of your property).

    As far as the leash goes at 5 older dogs usually adjust fairly quickly. Put the leash on and perhaps a long line for safety and let the dog drag the leash around for a while.

    My guess is that the veterinary hospital had to use a leash after the surgery to take the dog out, so he should be use to it to some degree.

    Once he gets use to dragging it, you can begin to pick it up and put some pressure on it.

    just don’t drag him. If he is dragging you, chances are he is not bothered by it at all. If he is scared and hunkers down when you apply the leash use treats and praise to get him moving.

    Due to his life experience it might take a while for him to adjust, but I bet he is more resilient than you think!

    [Reply]

  3. megan says:

    It is important to teach your dog early on not to bite as the older they get the harder it will be to teach them.

    [Reply]

  4. jaymee says:

    what would make my natured male 8 month old puppy attack the other 8 month old female? She is uncut and I am not sure what else to do with him other then finding one of them a new home and really do not want to do that. But my male is not like biting her but straight out attacking her to hurt her. My husband and I both are just at our last stand with him please help me

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Probably because they are not spayed or neutered.

    Intact dogs have a hard time getting along, even puppies that have been raised together can end up fighting when they reach sexual maturity.

    My guess is that the pups are reaching that point and having a hard time figuring out who is boss.

    I would recommend spaying and neutering and then lots of obedience and keeping them mostly separate until you can get the behavior under control.

    [Reply]

  5. Constance B. says:

    Your thoughts on these two Huskies.Don’t know the age, were in their yard with solid wood fence, a little space at the bottom. Two year old neighbor child had gloves on and put his hand under the fence to play with the dogs!
    One of the dogs bit off hand hand two inches above the wrist and we are told the dog ate the hand. Dogs are in lockdown at dog pound.
    This is on Facebook, many opinions, dogs are to be put down!
    Thanks,
    Constance B.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Children need to be monitored… but so do dogs

    [Reply]

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *