A dog can be a great companion. However, should your dog harm others, you could be liable should the injured person decide to press charges. To help you reduce the chances of this occurring, here are three things you can do.
From the outset, it’s important to stress healthy behaviors from your dog. While encouraging it to “attack” in a playful way might seem harmless, your dog might have trouble differentiating between playing and real life situations, which could raise the risk of an attack happening.
Therefore, training begins with how you introduce your dog to different situations–such as guests visiting. By supervising your dog, correcting aggressive behaviors early, and socializing them often, your dog is less likely to bite strangers.
In the off chance your dog does act in an aggressive manner towards someone or another animal, the Humane Society of the United States recommends taking it to a professional trainer, who can identify these behaviors and make corrections.
One of the most effective ways to reinforce good behavior is to have your dog feel safe in its surroundings. If you have a house with a yard, be sure to have it fenced in, as this will reduce the chance of another animal coming up to make your dog feel threatened.
When you do have guests, make sure to introduce them to your dog on its turf. This will make your pet feel more comfortable and less threaten than if you were to put it in a crate away from guests where they don’t know what’s happening.
Children don’t understand that running up to the wrong dog could be interpreted as a threat, resulting in the dog biting the child out of defense. Therefore, if you have children over, it’s important to teach them how to pet dogs.
Stress for them to be quiet, to reach out their hands and allow the dog to sniff them first. Next, emphasize the importance of slow movements, as quick movements might make the dog feel threatened. Even after showing them how to pet the dog, maintain constant supervision, so the child doesn’t revert to old behaviors when he or she doesn’t think you are looking.
By taking these things into account, you can reduce the chances of a dog bite from happening on your property.