As much as we love our dogs and treat them like family, let’s be honest: they are animals with animal instincts. We may think we know our mutts very well, inside and out, but it’s impossible to predict with 100 percent accuracy how your dog might behave in a given situation.
Last summer, the Dog Dad and I were walking Georgie in our neighborhood. One of our neighbors, an older man, was working in his yard and he stopped us to chat. He reached over to pet Georgie, and much to my surprise and embarrassment, she snapped at him. Thankfully she didn’t connect, but it would have been disastrous if she had bitten this kindly gentleman.
Georgie can be shy and timid around people she doesn’t know, and I’m aware of that. But never in a million years did I think she’d try to bite someone. This proves to me that we just can’t always be sure that we know how our dogs will react.
Today I want to share 5 tips to prevent your dog from biting someone. Of course, these suggestions are not guaranteed to work, but practicing them on a regular basis will definitely reduce the risk of your dog biting someone.
5 Tips to Prevent Your Dog From Biting Someone
- Spay or neuter your dog as soon as possible. Statistics show that “fixed” dogs are less likely to bite or develop other bad behaviors.
- Invest in some training classes for your dog. Early training is great for puppies, but a dog of any age is never too old for a little training.
- Socialize your dog. Socializing encourages dogs to feel comfortable in different situations, rather than uncomfortable and potentially aggressive.
- Always supervise your dog around children. Let’s be honest: some parents don’t teach their kids to respect dogs, so it’s up to you to protect your dog from situations that could turn tragic.
- If your dog shows any signs of aggression, even if no injury occurs, consult your veterinarian. Sometimes this kind of behavior is an indication of a physical condition that your vet can treat.
These are just a few basic tips to help prevent your dog from biting someone. What other tips can you share?
Now here’s another question for you: what should you do if your dog does bite someone?
- My first bit of advice is to be sympathetic to the bite victim. Don’t get defensive. Don’t admit fault. Remember that what you say may be used against you later if legal or civil action is taken.
- Exchange contact information with the bite victim. Offer your insurance information, if applicable.
- Contact your veterinarian to request copies of your dog’s medical records.
- Although you may or may not be legally required to pay the victim’s medical expenses, offering to do so is an important gesture.
- The bite victim might want to press charges or file a civil suit against you. In either case, you should immediately hire a lawyer for a dog bite injury.
- Be cooperative and courteous throughout this ordeal. You don’t want to make a bad situation worse and risking losing your dog.
Has your dog ever bitten someone? What was the experience like? I’d love for you to share your story with me in a comment below.