Dog Bite Liability: Focusing on Leash Safety
Were you aware that January is National Walk Your Dog Month? While we think that every month, or rather every day, is a good time to walk your dog, this is a great time to discuss an important topic; leash safety. Practicing safe walking techniques will protect not only yourself and your dog, but the people and animals around you when you are out with your pup.
First off, it’s important to realize that most city environments have a leash law for a reason; keeping your dog on a collar and leash combo protects both the dog and yourself from unexpected accidents. Even if you have your dog under control, you can never be 100% sure that the person walking towards you has their dog under control.
So what can you do to ensure optimal safety? Be sure to use a leash that is the correct size for your dog; large dogs require leashes with a thick width. Not only does this give you better control when holding the leash if your dog is pulling, it is less likely to break if your dog were to unexpectedly lunge. In addition to having the right size leash, other leash safety measures include:
- Avoiding dragging, yanking, or jerking your dog with a leash. If they are reluctant to come, try backing up and using a happy tone to call his name or use a command they will respond to.
- Using a no-pull harness if your dog is a regular puller.
- Keeping your leash in good shape. If the snap seems unstable or broken, replace it as soon as possible.
In addition to the tips above, professional dog trainers such as Cesar Milan recommend other safety tips such as ensuring that you:
- Walk in front of your dog to show that you are the pack leader.
- Use a short leash, as this allows you to have more control in any situation.
- Give yourself enough time for the walk; if you are anxious about getting through the walk quickly, the dog can sense this and may become anxious themselves.
By following these easy leash safety tips, you may be preventing a dog bit from occurring. It’s important to remember that even the most well behaved dog can bite, given the situation. Dogs are more likely to bite in high-stress situations or scenarios where they feel like they don’t have control.
At Federation of Insured Dog Owners (F.I.D.O) we understand the unique risks you face as a dog owner. This is why we offer the Covered Canine Policy, which will protect you financially should your dog bite an individual and cause harm, It does not exclude any breed of dog and starts as low as $75 per dog, per year. Please contact us today for more information at (855) 534-6495.