Preventing Dog Bites

Preventing Dog Bites

Updated January 1, 1 . AmFam Team

Your dog may be your best friend, but until you're confident your pooch will never bite anyone, it’s best to play it safe. Here are some steps to help your dog stay friendly and to avoid accidents.

Social Butterfly Dog. As soon as you get your dog, it’s a great idea to socialize them with as many people as possible, from every walk of life. Also, introduce your pooch to other dogs and kids to avoid fear issues in the future.

Setting Smart Boundaries. Fences—invisible or visible—are ideal for keeping your dog in your yard. Even if you don’t live in an area that has leash laws, keeping your dog on leash when you’re walking lets them know their boundaries and helps keep you in control.

Doctor Your Doggy. The ultimate goal is for your canine to never bite anyone, but in the event that they do, you want to make sure your dog is vaccinated for rabies. Taking your dog in for regular checkups with the vet can also alert you to any potential health problems that could cause aggression if untreated.

You Are The Top Dog. Your dog needs to know that you are in charge. Training your dog to "drop" toys means that no one will ever have to reach in your dog’s mouth and risk being bit. Also, limiting tug-of-war games will keep your dog from getting too aggressive when they challenge your “alpha dog” status.

Avoidance Can Be Key. Sometimes the best course of action is to remove your dog from any tense or potentially tense situation. If your dog is showing signs of nervousness, that's their way of letting you know that it’s time to go.

Children and Dogs. Sometimes there is truly no better combo. But unfortunately, not always. Smart dog owners never leave children and dogs alone together because food, teasing or boundary issues can trigger aggression in dogs.

Dog’s Domain. Everyone, especially visitors to your home, needs to respect your dog’s space, especially when the dog is eating, sleeping, drinking or chewing on a toy or bone. By preventing your dog from feeling threatened, you could keep a potentially tense situation from arising.

Doggy Doubt? When in doubt, muzzle up. There is no shame in having your dog wear a muzzle in public. It signals to everyone that they should be cautious around your dog. Also, enlisting the help of a professional dog trainer can help you and your best friend be more relaxed in the company of others.

Go give your furry friend a hug – and an extra belly scratch! You’re ready to help keep everyone, including your dog, safe and happy.

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