As a dog owner, you must take responsibility for training your dog and keeping them under control at all times. You are responsible for your dog’s behaviour and are the first line of defence in preventing dog bites. It’s important to do whatever you can to keep your dog from biting, and these tips can help:
At the very least, put your dog through basic training. Continue a training program throughout your dog’s life to reinforce the lessons you’ve taught them.
Socialize your dog from a young age as recommended by your veterinarian. Start this when they are a puppy and be consistent throughout their life! Socializing your dog includes allowing them to meet and interact with different types of people under calm and positive circumstances, including children, disabled persons, and elderly people. It also means, exposing your dog to various situations on a regular basis, such as other animals, loud noises, large machines, bicycles, and anything else that might cause fear.
If your dog is not well socialized or displays any signs of fear or aggression, work with a professional trainer prior to attempting any of the above. The trainer can help lay out a plan to safely and slowly socialize your pet if possible.
Learn your dog’s body language, as well as key signs that may lead to a bite. When you’re around people, pay attention to your dog and know when aggression is building up. Stop it or remove your dog from the situation before it escalates.
Do not discipline your dog with physical, violent, or aggressive punishments. Opt for positive reinforcement before resorting to the use of aversives. Remember to reward your dog for good behaviour.
Always keep your dog on a short leash or in a fenced area. Know your dog well before letting it off-leash in permitted areas. Keep your dog in your sight at all times. If you know your dog can be fearful or aggressive, do not put them in situations where they may become fearful and bite another person or pet. Instead, err on the side of caution and work with a professional trainer who can guide you.
If you suspect or know that your dog has fearful or aggressive tendencies, always warn others. Do not let your dog approach people and other animals unless the situation is highly controlled. Be mindful of your dog’s limitations and do not place them in situations that will stress them or put them or other people at risk. Work with a trainer if you know your dog has fearful or aggressive tendencies. They can discuss the appropriate use a basket muzzle if necessary.
Keep your dog’s vaccinations current (especially rabies) and visit your vet routinely for wellness check-ups.
VIDEO: How to Make a Dog Stop Biting and Why You MUST Do This