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How to Reduce Risk and Prevent Dog Bites

Posted by Awesome Doggies

Our dogs are beloved members of the family, and for most it is difficult to imagine them biting anyone. Unfortunately, statistics show otherwise. According to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention, there are over 4.7 million dog bites each year. A large portion of the incidents involve furry family members whose owners thought it completely out of character. The truth is, dogs, however much we love them, will think and behave like dogs and sometimes they bite.

dog-bite

While there is no way to guarantee that your dog will never bite, you can significantly reduce the risk by understanding why dogs bite, and controlling the situations that lead to bites and injuries. Here are some important facts about why dogs bite and how to prevent it from happening.

Why Dogs Bite

The most important step in preventing dog bites is thinking like a dog and understanding what kinds of things lead to bites.

Possessiveness—Dogs view things, places, and people as their property. In the wild it is necessary to protect their property from predators and competitors. It is a natural instinct that can lead to big trouble.

Fear—Fear is another top reason dogs bite. Any unpredictable or new situation can lead to a dog feeling threatened an afraid.

Pain—If a dog is touched in a place or way that causes pain, the immediate reaction is to snap or bite.

dog-that-may-biteMaternal Instinct—the first instinct of a mother dog is to protect her puppies. When people approach her or her pups, she is more likely to bite than under other circumstances.

Prey Drive—Moving objects can trigger the prey drive in any dog. Joggers, cyclists, and even children walking by can cause the dog to chase and when the prey is “caught” the dog is likely to bite.

Top Ways to Reduce the Incidence of Dog Bites

  1. Proper dog training. Make sure your dog receives proper training and knows the “stop” and “leave it” commands.
  2. Socialize your dog. Make sure your dog has time interacting with people and other dogs on a regular basis. 
  3. Make getting out part of your routine. Take your dog to busy and loud places on a regular basis so that the process of being in an unfamiliar place becomes routine.
  4. chew-toy-stops-biting

    Curb possessiveness. Teach your dog to wait to receive food, toys, and treats.
  5. Remove them from the situation. If your dog seems frightened or nervous, remove them from the situation. Re-introduce them to elements of the situation one at a time until they are comfortable.
  6. Never allow your dog to roam free when there is a potential for them to be caught in a situation they may find scary or threatening.
  7. Show children how to approach and interact with your dog.

At Awesome Doggies, we want to do all we can to help our world be a safe place for our faithful friends. In most cases, dog bites occur from a misunderstanding of how they view the world and the dog’s inability to maneuver in a human society. Understanding both is key in reducing dog bites. Have more questions? Feel free to contact us for more information!

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