President Obama Dog Sunny Bites an 18-year-old girl? Why Does a Dog Bite?

President Obama Dog Sunny Bites an 18-year-old girl? Why Does a Dog Bite? 

dog bite

Dog Bites? Do you have have a sweet little dog that you think will never bite anyone? Or maybe your neighbor or family member does. Perhaps the dog is getting older, is ill or its behavior has changed lately. Here is some insight.

A few days ago an 18-year-old girl visiting the White House got bit in the face from President Obama’s dog. The bite left a gash under the girl’s eye and she was treated by President Obama’s family physician. The girl that got bit approached the dog and went to hug and kiss him.  This is not the first time this dog has ever bitten someone.  Remember: never put your face into a dog’s face even if you know the dog well.  There is always a chance of getting bit by a dog if you do this.

Almost 1,000,000 million dog bites each year in the United States are serious enough to merit medical treatment. As many as 50 % of US children are the victims of dog bites prior to age 13.


Every dog can bite. Any dog can be provoked into biting. Thankfully, most will never bite us but understanding why dogs bite can help you avoid an unpleasant encounter.


Why Even Good Dogs Bite


Why does a dog bite? Here are a few reasons:

  •  to protect itself, to defend its territory, a toy, resting spot or even to defend a human being. Herding breeds, such as the Bearded Collie or Australian Cattle Dog, and guard dogs are most at risk for this behavior. But any dog is susceptible. Through early training with the “leave it” command and by teaching the dog to wait before eating, you can help deter this behavior.
  • because it’s under stress, perhaps because a child is provoking it by invading its space, pulling its ears or tail, poking it, stepping on it, Hugging itdog bite too much or trying to take something from it. Minimize your risk by never approaching new dogs, by not sneaking up on dogs and by leaving sleeping dogs alone. 
  •  to protect its puppies, especially when it’s just given birth. Exercise caution when handling puppies, especially newborns. Ensure that the mother and her puppies have a resting place where they feel safe away from the hustle and bustle of the household. Only allow supervised children to approach the new puppies.
  •  because the dog was never trained to control its bites and it unintentionally bites too hard when you or a child offer it a toy or food.
  •  it’s frightened or startled, perhaps because it feels threatened by a new situation, caregiver or even the mailman.
  • because it’s experiencing pain or feeling sick due to an illness or injury. At that moment, it’s hurting and is letting you know it doesn’t want to be bothered.
  •  it’s overly excited from playing, for example, tug of war or wrestling.
  •  because it’s feeling the instinctual drive to pursue prey. Ever cycled or run past a dog and it chased you? Then you’ve witnessed the prey drive. Your best bet is to stop, face the dog and avoid making eye contact.
  •  the dog is experiencing a phenomenon called dominance aggression whereby it believes it is in charge of the family unit because the human members have not earned the right to command it. This is more common among unneutered male dogs and confident breeds such as the Rottweiler, Chow Chow, and German Shepherd.


Dogs bite people for many reasons and hundreds of thousands of times per year, whether due to stress, grumpiness, illness, abuse or just because of its instincts. You can avoid becoming a statistic by being aware of the reasons why dogs bite and avoiding the behaviors that trigger them. Stay safe and bite-free!

Below is an infographic on how to greet a dog: Click on it 

How to greet a dog


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