How to Prevent Dog Bites
If your dog bites someone, you will probably find yourself worried and upset—the last thing you want is for your precious pet to cause harm. It is important to take swift action if a dog bite occurs, as you do not want this to become a recurring behavioral issue with your dog.
Most often, dogs bite people when they feel threatened in some way. It's a natural instinct that is still present in domesticated dogs, no matter how nice they are.
But, you can prevent your dog from biting someone, especially if you know why they might bite. Training and socialization are two solutions if you find your dog has the intent to bite, and below, you'll find tips for how to stop dog bites and what to do if your dog does bite someone.
Why Do Dogs Bite?
As mentioned, dogs can bite people after feeling threatened in some way. It is important for everyone who interacts with dogs to understand what may provoke this aggressive behavior.
- Dogs may bite in defense of themselves, their territory, or a member of their pack. Mother dogs will fiercely protect their puppies as well.
- Startling a dog, such as waking one up or a child suddenly approaching from behind, can provoke a dog bite. Hurting a dog even if by accident like pushing on sore hips in an older dog can provoke a bite as well.
- Running away from a dog, even if it's during play, can provoke it to bite. They may think it's part of the fun at first, but even that can turn to aggression quickly.
- Dogs who are in a fearful situation may bite whoever approaches them. This may be something as severe as being abused or abandoned, or it may be something you perceive as ordinary, such as a loud noise.
- Injury and illness are a common reason as well. If a dog is not feeling well, they may not even want to be approached or touched by their favorite people.
How to Stop Dog Bites
As a dog owner, you must take responsibility for training your dog and keeping them under control at all times. You are responsible for your dog's behavior and are the first line of defense in preventing dog bites. It's important to do whatever you can to keep your dog from biting, and these tips can help:
- At the very least, put your dog through basic training. Continue a training program, throughout your dog's life to reinforce the lessons you've taught them.
- Socialise your dog from a young age as recommended by your veterinarian. Start this when they are a puppy and be consistent throughout their life! Socialising your dog includes allowing them to meet and interact with different types of people under calm and positive circumstances, including children, disabled persons, and elderly people. It also means, exposing your dog to various situations on a regular basis, such as other animals, loud noises, large machines, bicycles, and anything else that might cause fear. If your dog is not well socialised or displays any signs of fear or aggression, work with a professional trainer prior to attempting any of the above. The trainer can help lay out a plan to safely and slowly socialise your pet if possible.
- Learn your dog's body language, as well as key signs that may lead to a bite. When you're around people, pay attention to your dog and know when aggression is building up. Stop it or remove your dog from the situation before it escalates.
- Do not discipline your dog with physical, violent, or aggressive punishments. Opt for positive enforcement. Remember to reward your dog for good behavior.
- Always keep your dog on a short leash or in a fenced area. Know your dog well before letting it off-leash in permitted areas. Keep your dog in your sight at all times. If you know your dog can be fearful or aggressive, do not put them in situations where they may become fearful and bite another person or pet. Instead, err on the side of caution and work with a professional trainer who can guide you.
- If you suspect or know that your dog has fearful or aggressive tendencies, always warn others. Do not let your dog approach people and other animals unless the situation is highly controlled. Be mindful of your dog's limitations and do not place them in situations that will stress them or put them or other people at risk. Work with a trainer if you know your dog has fearful or aggressive tendencies. They can discuss the appropriate use a basket muzzle if necessary.
- Keep your dog's vaccinations current (especially rabies) and visit your vet routinely for wellness check-ups.
How to Interact With Dogs
Dogs are cute and often friendly, so it's easy to get excited when you see one. However, they can quickly turn on someone they don't know. Even if you don't have a dog yourself, it's important to know proper behavior for interacting with dogs and how and when to approach one.
All children and adults should learn how to keep themselves safe around dogs. Most importantly, dog owners must be responsible for their dogs. Fortunately, responsible dog ownership and education of the public can keep everyone safe.
- Never try to approach or touch an unfamiliar dog without first asking for the owner's permission. If an owner is not present, do not go near the dog.
- When meeting an unknown dog, allow the dog to come to you. Allow it to sniff you. Do not reach to pet it unless the owner has given permission. If the owner and dog cues are appropriate you can, crouch down or turn to the side. Always let it sniff your hand before you pet it.
- Do not put your face close to an unknown dog; this includes "hugs and kisses."
- Understand dog body language. Most dogs will show specific warning signs before biting. But some may not.
- If you are cornered by a dog, remain still and avoid eye contact. Never run or scream. When the dog stops paying attention to you, slowly back away.
- If you're knocked over by a dog, fall to your side in a fetal position, covering your head and face. Remain very still and calm.
- Never approach a dog that is eating, sleeping, or caring for puppies. Dogs in these situations are more likely to be protective and can become startled.
- Never leave young children or babies alone with a dog for any reason.
- Do not approach, touch, or attempt to move an injured dog. Instead, contact a veterinary professional or animal control for assistance.
Please consult a registered vet for further advice on preventing dog bites.href="hhttps://thepamperedpet.com.au/products/pawstrip-bone-print-cotton-fleece-bed?_pos=1&_sid=656859500&_ss=r" class="active">