Could Your Attitude Enable Your Dog’s Bad Behavior?

Could Your Attitude Enable Your Dog's Bad BehaviorLate last year, we discussed the effect that human body language could potentially have on your Dog Bite Liability Risks. We observed how actions such as prolonged eye contact, direct body motion, or even the position of your head and neck when approaching your dog could all play a role in either provoking or preventing a dog bite. Dogs see more than just body language though; they also sense your attitude.

Numerous studies have strongly suggested that dogs have somewhat of a “sixth sense.” From reading vocal tone to learning when they are going to be punished, dogs have an innate understanding of when “something’s up.” Your attitude when handling your dog has a lot to do with their behavior.

For example, let’s say you know your dog doesn’t get along with other animals. You see someone approaching with their pet, so you pick up your dog. The other animal approaches anyway, and/or its owner reaches out to pet your dog, making you nervous. You now have one of two choices:

  1. React calmly and gently explain that your dog is anxious right now and it’s best that he/she not be approached.
  2. Hold the pet closely while shouting that your dog doesn’t like other animals.

The latter scenario is much more likely to result in a bite, as your dog will sense your nervousness and agitation, and react the only way they know how; by lashing out at whatever’s approaching them. This may inadvertently be your hand, or the hand of the other dog owner, or the other dog itself.

While it’s essential to try to curb your dog’s bad behavior, doing so requires patience and a basic understanding of canine behavior. It’s equally important to remember that your dog should never be pushed into a situation they are uncomfortable with. If they are naturally shy, fearful, or reactive, then social situations such as dog parks should be off the table until the dog has learned to come out of their comfort zone on their own. Giving your pooch rewards for any amount of calm, happy social behavior is vital to your dog’s mental state as well as their overall behavior.

In addition to financially protecting dog owners from dog bite claims, our Canine Liability Policy also covers other injuries to people, including scratches or causing them to fall. Injuries to other animals are also included. Please contact us today for more information at (855) 534-6495.

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