April 7-13 is National Dog Bite Prevention Week. Owning a dog can be a rewarding and fulfilling experience. Along with this comes great responsibility. A dog owner can help prevent his pet from lashing out and attacking by incorporating these simple tips. While it may not work for every breed all the time, these tips can potentially keep many people safe from dangerous dog bite accidents.
Spay or Neuter Your Dog
When done early in life, spaying or neutering your dog can decrease aggression in most breeds. Vets suggest spaying or neutering between six and nine months of age. This age range is specifically important for male dogs as the procedure may be less effective once the dog reaches the age of 10-12 months.
Socialize Your Dog
When you introduce your dog at an early age to family, friends, busy pedestrian areas, and other animals, you help to limit the likelihood that it will feel threatened in new situations. Dogs who are familiar with new experiences at a young age are less likely to bite when introduced to these new scenarios.
Exercise Your Dog
All dogs, big and small, need exercise each day. Some larger breeds require more exercise than others, while some dogs require both physical and mental exercise. When dogs do not get a sufficient amount of exercise, the result is typically destructive behavior.
Train Your Dog
Obedience training can effectively help you keep control of your dog in many situations. Vets and trainers suggest beginning obedience training at three or four months of age to help ensure good habits.
Restrain Your Dog
More important than chaining your dog, restraining your dog means that you not only have a hold of the dog physically, but also mentally with good behavior learned through obedience training. Harnesses and other restraining devices are used to correct dangerous and bad behavior.
Limit Exposure To Untested Situations
Be careful with how you introduce unfamiliar situations to your dog. If you are unsure how they will respond to a new scenario, be sure to work with the dog and a trainer to help understand what a dog’s reaction may be to new stimuli.
Dog bite accidents can occur even with the most well trained dogs and owners. Being prepared can help limit the chance that a dog will attack. However, should a dog bite occur, it is important for the injured party to seek legal representation to ensure the best possible compensation for damages.