If you are a dog owner, dog biting could be one of your worst nightmares. It is estimated that dog bites occur in about four and a half million people in the United States each year, and about one-fifth of those bites result in the need for medical treatment. Children are at the highest risk for dog bites, which typically occur when interacting with their family dog. The most important steps you can take to avoid your dog biting someone is to educate.
First, let’s take a look at why dogs bite in the first place
There are several reasons why dogs bite:
- Possessive: Dogs are possessive of their property and their space, even toys, food, or another person, specifically their owner. Certain dog breeds such as the herding type or shepherds are known to be more possessive than others. There are certain training techniques you can try to curb this type of behavior.
- Fear: Dogs are like people in that they can become fearful in uncertain or unfamiliar situations. This is why you hear of delivery people or the mailman as being targets for dog attacks. If this is the case for your dog, keep him or her separated from delivery people or those that come to your door unexpectedly. It is a good rule of thumb never to approach a dog without first asking its owner. Teach your children to abide do the same. Also, if your dog is easily startled, don’t let children sneak up on your dog. It’s also a good idea to introduce socialization early on and frequently. You may also consider taking your dog to the vet to familiarize him or her with the setting before treatment is needed.
- Pain: If your dog has an injury, it could cause them to become snippy or even bite someone if the injured area is touched. Let any children in your home or that come to visit know not to mess with your dog if he or she has an injury. If, however, your dog seems to show aggression as a result of an unknown injury, take your dog to the vet for an evaluation.
- Environmental Factors: Dog’s have a natural instinct to catch prey. Make note if you are at the park or on a walking path. Cyclist or runners could be seen as prey, causing your dog to want to chase and snip. If your dog exhibits this type of behavior, be sure to keep them on a leash while out at parks or on walks.
Dogs typically exhibit warning signs prior to biting. Be sure to make note of these signs and teach your children to notice them as well. Dogs typically will slick their ears back, or stare at you in the eyes before an attack. Also, standoffish-type of behavior like crouching down or freezing could indicate they are poised for biting. If you notice your dog yawning, this isn’t a sign that he or she is tired, rather that they are showing off their teeth as a warning to back off or else.
Prevent Dog Bites
It’s important to be a responsible dog owner in efforts of preventing dog bites. Provide an exercise outlet for your dog, and have them spayed or neutered, which helps dramatically reduce their aggression levels. Also, avoid aggressive play such as wrestling or tug of war with your dog. Take responsibility by training your dog to abide by simple commands such as sit and stay. Keep your dog up to date on vaccinations, and seek professional help if your dog continues showing signs of aggression.
Dog Training in Jefferson City
If you want to learn more about our services, we invite you to give us a call at (865) 475-2225 or visit our facility at 939 East Old Andrew Johnson Highway in Jefferson City, Tennessee, and see for yourself the kind of care we provide for our clients.
AllDogs Canine Care Center serves the communities of Jefferson City and Morristown in Tennessee.