Dogs don’t often bite, but when they do, it can be serious. Taking action to prevent your dog from biting others is a great way to keep your dog and other people safe and to decrease the chances that your dog will be involved in an attack. Here are several ways to prevent your dog from biting, and what to do if it happens.
The most important thing you can do for your dog’s health and temperament is to have them spayed or neutered. Statistics show that unneutered male dogs are the most likely to bite, as are mother dogs who are pregnant or who have recently given birth to a litter of puppies. Follow your veterinarian’s recommendation and have your dog spayed or neutered as soon as they are old enough to help prevent your dog from biting.
A trained dog is less likely to bite and is easier to handle if a potentially dangerous situation does present itself. Consider enrolling your dog in formal obedience training when he or she is old enough to follow commands. Also, be sure that each member of your family learns the same commands and training techniques so as not to confuse your dog.
An unsocialized dog is more likely to become frightened and even aggressive when it is around multiple people or small children. Start socializing your dog from a young age by introducing it to people and other dogs frequently. Stay at your dog’s side and offer them comfort in new situations to help them learn to be calm and accepting.
A dog will always try to get out of a stressful situation before attacking. If you know your dog gets upset in certain situations, such as around lots of people or moving vehicles, do your best to keep your dog out of these situations entirely. If you notice your dog becoming uncomfortable, remove him or her from the situation as soon as possible.
Make sure your homeowner’s insurance policy covers dog bites and always follow the leash laws in your area. Do not allow your dog to roam at large, and don’t keep him or her tied up on a chain or alone in the backyard in a dog house. Dogs that aren’t socialized or who spend a great deal of time alone and in small spaces are more likely to attack.
If your dog bites someone, confine your dog as quickly as possible. Evaluate the individual’s injuries and if necessary, help them get medical assistance. Cooperate with law enforcement and animal control, and provide all of your dog’s medical records to the appropriate authorities. It may also be in your best interest to contact an attorney to learn more about your rights.
By being proactive about preventing your dog from biting, you can decrease the chances that you and your dog will be involved in an attack scenario. A calm, healthy, and happy dog can be a joyful addition to your family!