An Owner’s Guide to Dog Bite Prevention
Any dog owner knows that their dog is capable of inflicting pain whenever he or she wants. If your dog is loved, well-adjusted and socialized, it’s a rare occasion that he or she would bite you, though when it comes to strangers and new situations and dogs your pup might instinctively react in a way you deem less than favorable. In this article, we’ll provide a guide to dog bite prevention that owners and strangers alike can heed, all while keeping your four-legged friend out of the negative spotlight. Most importantly, protect your pet with a Canine Liability Insurance policy.
All dogs have the capacity to bite. It doesn’t matter how cute or cuddly your pooch is, or if he managed to pass training and obedience school with flying colors. Under a certain amount of circumstances and provocations, he may bare his teeth and take a chomp out of someone. This may come across as a brutal bit of reality, but it’s important to keep in mind that dogs, while they are beloved members of our family, are animals. And even though they’re smart enough to communicate with us rather clearly through sound and body movement, a bite can be representative of them tapping into their raw animalistic instincts, explains Here Pup.
Why do dogs bite?
The most important feature of this article is understanding why a dog bites. Rather than assuming a dog is “bad” or “aggressive,” people need to understand that biting is rooted in protective and instinctual behaviors. Dominance, fear, maternal protection, pain and prey drive are a few common reasons that dogs lash out.
As we’ve mentioned post after post, socialization is a huge factor in preventing unwanted behaviors: including bites. The more your dog adapts to new people, dogs, places and smells, the less likely he or she is to react negatively.
In addition, a lack of socialization – or even worse, an encouragement of aggressive tendencies – may lead to a greater risk of the kind of dog bite attacks that have single-handedly ruined the reputation of breeds that are, in reality, sweet and good-natured. This has also helped to ruin the reputation of those who own these breeds by proxy.
Next, train your dog. From playful biting in puppyhood to guarding toys and food, these behaviors should be addressed early on. Every breed has different characteristics and traits, and training them as puppies increases their odds of minimizing the behavior over time.
In addition to socializing your dog and correcting unwanted behaviors, taking responsibility as an owner is the next key component of preventing bites. While your children might be excited about getting a new dog, understand that kids’ erratic behavior is unpredictable and oftentimes nerve-wracking to dogs. Teach your children how to behave around dogs, and remind them to remain calm and patient when meeting new dogs.
Heed the signs of a nervous dog, including retreating, a lifted paw, bared teeth, growling or even a bark. If your children don’t listen to your dog’s warnings, a bite is his last resort for communicating with kids.
The bottom line: love and respect your dog and he will do the same for you.
There are many reasons a dog may bite, and it’s not always 100% preventable. In addition to financially protecting dog owners from dog bite claims, our Canine Liability Policy also covers other injuries to people, including scratches and fall injuries caused by dogs and injuries to other animals. Please contact us today for more information at (407) 865-7477, ext. 101.