Can You Prevent Your Dog From Biting?

by on 19/09/12 at 9:53 am

Recently, I read a heartbreaking story about a ten-month-old child who was killed after a relative’s dog attacked him. Some of us may hold a sense of mortality, but even so we would like to think we are safe in our own homes. What happened to this family is certainly tragic, and we can argue forever about fault and what could have been done to prevent such a thing. At the end of the day we make look at our own dogs and think if it’s possible they will bite a member of the family or a friend. Bites are always possible, regardless of familiarity – question is, how can we be proactive and keep it from occurring?

Dog bite issues have received quite a bit of press lately. In Maryland, for example, laws relating to dog attacks have been passed, and debates over certain breeds always remain hot. It doesn’t matter, though, if you own a large German Shepherd or a cute little Yorkie – all dogs have the potential to bite somebody. Even a threatening but minor nip should be discouraged if you are in safe company, so what can you do to keep your dog from causing harm?

Advocates of pet neuturing have suggested that this procedure on dogs may help in evening their temperment. While spaying or neuturing a pet is not an absolute cure for ending hostile behavior, it can provide other benefits for your pet. You may wish to consult with your veterinarian about the connection between neuturing a pet and preventing dog bites.

It may help, too, to see that your dog does well in social situations. As early as possible, be active with your dog by taking him to the park where he will be around other people and pets. This kind of exposure can help him feel comfortable among people he doesn’t know, so he will be less likely to act out.

Of course, if you worry about aggression you should look into local obedience classes for your dog. You can ask your veterinarian or favorite pet supply store for recommendations. If there are no classes held by local stores, research possible one-on-one training programs. Your dog’s own personal “whisperer” could provide good insight on encouraging good behavior.

Above all else, don’t assume that because your dog is tiny or is an absolute sweetheart at home it means he/she will never bite anybody. Your dog may be provoked, or sense something wrong and strike. No matter the size or temperment, a dog is capable of biting. Be watchful and learn how to be proactive in your dog’s care.

Kathryn Lively is a freelance writer specializing in dog supplies and dog training products.

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  • cheryl weferling

    Hi my brother has a family o 3 little girls now ranging from 1yr to 6 yr's old.They have been married for 9 years now and for their wedding present I said I wouldbuy them a dog, a breed of their choice. I have trained horses and dogs and competed with the dogs in agility for many years until I broke my back. S as a family we all did not go into picking a breed that would fit their future kids and all the activities that follows. They wanted a high energy dog that would also fit in up at their lake front property and ride boats and get along with the many friends that join them. I set the rules down such as the dog must attend classes and be fully socialized with people and other dogs. I also wanted to pick the breeder who I knew in the dog world that have very level headed dogs, and it just so happens my friend shows in breed events all over the place doing a lot of traveling. She normally does not sell to pet homes, but since her and I met at an agility event one year she was willing to let me have a pick of the litter, having myself and my brother and his wife all look for a pup for them. My brother and wife had decided on a German short hair. ( GSP ). So once they have picked the pup, which I saw right away he was a nice dog, so the breeder put in a contract if this pup was as good later on as he was now they had showing rights for at least 10 shows, I also added to the contract they must shoe him at a young age, because he will be neutered once the contract was full filled, and they also pulled sperm from him for later use. This dog grew up with the 3 childred and also had many other children come to the house all the time. They trained him to be very careful around all kids and grown ups not to run into them knocking them over and so on. In my book they did everything they needed to do helping the dog to adjust, which really was not much of a problem to begin with. They also taught all the children and adults the proper way to respect the dog and treat him well, no teasing or anything that would change the dogs good nature. I found out last night one of the little boys' that was the young girls cousins he is about 4 or 5 yr's old. He slipped into the house while everyone was outside and in about 5 mins. he came out saying the dog bit him. He out of the many many kids that come over is a little on the wild side and in my opinion, which I kept to myself I believe he must have done something to the dog to make the dog react that way. However as good of a dog he is, I cannot think of anything a small child could do to get bit. If this dog was going to bite as a reaction, I truly thing only an adult could cause the dog to bite. My brother said he took the dog to 2 vets to see if anything was out of balance or give him an idea why the dog would bite. He so far has no answers. He said he will try 1 more vet and then he will have to take actions to protect and kids or adults that come over. He did say the dog has now started to growl sometimes at adults he has known all his life. I personally cannot take the dog because I am disabled now and I have a service dog, and my last champion agility old dog left. I use to have between 4 to 5 competing dogs at one time, but I no longer able to do one of the last things I love to do. If anyone can be so kind as to offer opinions as to what has apped to this wonderful dog. Oh, he is now 8 years old. Please ask any other vets or friends if they have come across a dog the has done such a big personality turn around, and so far medically nothing is showing anything.He is truly a very good dog, and I know I will most likely have to place hime with someone, he will be in need of a job and I feel he is not to old to start agility. But I have to find out what his problem is first. PLEASE SOMEONE HELP US ANDD MOST OF ALL THE DOG, He needs to be given a second chance but with so many kids coming in and out, the home is not a good place to take a chance for a second chance. I am going to be moving soon, and they only allow 2 animals, with the dogs being small. My service dog is big but I am buying this place and he is used to help to pull my wheel chair. Thank you, and I hope someone out there can help.

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