You know and love your pets so well that you can’t even contemplate the idea of them ever causing any harm to others. The problem is that you can inadvertently put them in situations that make them uncomfortable and ultimately put them and others in danger. Here are some simple ways to help prevent bites from occurring.
1. Use what you know about your dog’s personality
You know your dog’s personality best. Does he get upset when he’s in a crowd or react to a specific sound, like a baby crying, thunder or fireworks? When a dog feels threatened, nervous or unsafe, this is when he’s likely to bite. As the owner, you need to think about what makes your dog feel that way and then avoid putting him in these situations.
2. Read your dog’s body language
You should also learn how to read your dog’s body language and react if he shows signs of fear and anger. If your dog is anxious or nervous, his ears may go flat, he may try to make himself look smaller, his tail may be between his legs, and he may try to back away and avoid eye contact. If he bares his teeth, growls, barks, his hair stands up, or his ears point up or forward, these are signs that he’s angry.
If you keep seeing the aggressive behavior, you need to address the issue before it becomes unmanageable. You will have to find a trainer or a dog behavior specialist to help you to resolve the problem.
3. Educate children to behave appropriately
Children are more at risk of dog bites, and this is often from dogs with which they are familiar. It often happens because they frighten a dog by trying to play with him in an inappropriate way. You need to teach your children how to approach and interact with a dog.
If you’re approached by another child while out with your dog, make sure the parent approves before the child touches your dog. If you know your dog loves children, tell the child what your dog enjoys, such as a scratch on the head, and demonstrate to the child what to do.
Always supervise when children are playing with a dog. If you are at home and visiting children are upsetting your dog by playing too roughly with him, rather take him away and lock him in another room until they’ve left.
4. Train and socialize your dog
Training and socializing your dog is very important. Find a puppy training class in your area and take him along before he starts developing bad habits. The trainer will also be able to help you to find socialization classes in your area where your dog will learn how to get used to other dogs.
5. Adhere to leash laws
Leash laws are put in place for the protection of your dogs as well as others. Obey them unless you are in an off-leash location.
When you implement these safety precautions, you can help to prevent bites from occurring.