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10 Safety Tips to Prevent Dog Bites

dog aggressionYou cannot guarantee that your dog will never bite. All dogs bite. Some dogs bite more than others. Some bite harder than others. Dogs bite for different reasons. They bite complete strangers and family members.

Here we're talking about "control bites" from adult dogs - bites that happen when a dog is uncomfortable because someone trying to take something away from him, someone is trying to make him do something he does not want to do, he is protecting something, or because he's afraid.

This article deals with how to reduce the possibility that your dog will bite, and you can do a lot towards that end. If you're not sure what to do, get your dog out of the situation calmly and quickly.

First and foremost, prevent accidents from happening.

Don't:

  • prevent dog bitesDon't bother him when he's eating, sleeping, or chewing on a toy. You wouldn't like to be bothered when you engage in those activities, although I doubt that you chew on a toy...
  • Don't bother mama dogs when they're caring for puppies because they can get very protective.
  • Look at the dog's body language. Happy dogs are loosey-goosey. Scared dogs pull back, hide, and/or try to make themselves smaller. Tense dogs look like statues. Aggressive dogs bare their teeth and get bigger.
  • Don't pet "loose" dogs who are not with an owner.
  • Don't reach over or through fences because you are invading that dog's territory.
  • Don't assume that because you know that dog that he will be friendly in every situation. Always err on the side of caution.
  • Don't let your guard down, even in familiar locations. Keep a watchful eye for signs of danger before you get in a bad situation.
  • Don't EVER provoke a dog by teasing him "just to see what he will do."
  • Don't put your own dog in a situation where you know he gets tense, such as walking through crowds. Watch out for these signs your dog is stressed.
  • If you think a dog is going to bite, don't run, look him in the eyes, or scream. If you do, that will trigger his predatory instincts. Just stand still or back away slowly.

Do:

  • dog aggression trainingKeep doors and gates closed and your yard secure so your dog can't escape.
  • Make sure your dog doesn't bolt when you open the door of your house. Keep him away from the door or put him on a leash when you open it.
  • Keep your dog on a leash while he is outside so he can't run away.
  • Make sure he's healthy. Unhealthy dogs don't have the best temperament, just like how when we don't feel well, we're not in the best of moods, and our tempers can escalate quickly.
  • Spay or neuter your dog so he won't have to deal with those pesky hormones that can affect his behavior.
  • Exercise him! Take him on regular walks and play dates so he can burn off excess energy for physical exercise and also become familiar with new situations and scenery for mental exercise.
  • Teach him basic obedience, especially Stay and Come so he will defer to you in stressful situations and listen to what you tell him.
  • Teach him Fetch. Fetch is the single best game you can teach him. Not only does he get physical exercise, but you are also teaching him to come to you and GIVE you something! Isn't that nice?

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