Dogs are wonderful companions, yet they can be dangerous in certain situations. Over 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs each year, so if you own a canine it is important to handle and train it properly in order to avoid accidents. Eliminate the risks of having your dog bite another person by following these tips researched and compiled by our Phoenix dog bite lawyers at Alex & Associates, P.C.
Here are some practical tips taken from information provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Maricopa County Animal Care & Control:
- Always keep your dog on a leash, indoors, or in a fenced area.
- Spray or neuter your dog. This often reduces aggressive tendencies and a dog’s desire to roam.
- Don’t startle your dog by approaching it from behind or waking it up.
- Don’t run away from a dog, even during play.
- Don’t play aggressive games with your dog (e.g., wrestling). Don’t encourage your dog to be unacceptably aggressive.
- Properly socialize and train any dog entering your household. Teach the dog submissive behaviors (e.g., rolling over to expose the abdomen and giving up food without growling).
- Introduce your dog to different people and situations so it won’t be nervous or frightened in social settings.
- Train your dog. This will enable your family to learn to teach the dog manners and be able to safely control it. Attending a class along with other dogs and people will help socialize your dog.
- Before you bring a dog into your household consult with a professional to learn what breeds of dogs are the best suited to your household.
- Spend time with a dog before buying or adopting it. Use caution when bringing a dog into a household with an infant or toddler.
- Immediately seek professional advice from veterinarians, animal behaviorists, or responsible breeders if the dog develops aggressive or undesirable behaviors.
- Never leave infants or young children alone with a dog.
- Dogs with histories of aggression are not suitable for households with children.
- Be sensitive to cues that a child is fearful or apprehensive about a dog. If a child seems frightened by dogs, wait before bringing a dog into your household.
- If your dog is feeling ill or has an injury, it may be more prone to biting. If a dog isn't feeling well or is in pain, it may not want to be approached or even touched by its favorite people.
- Never mistreat your pet. Physically abusing your dog will make them more prone to lash out at you and others.
Dogs usually aren’t aggressive unless they feel threatened, so as long as you socialize your pet and keep them away from young children who may not understand how not to agitate a dog, there is a strong chance your canine won’t bite.