MuttShack Foundation for Animal Foster and Rescue, states that dogs bite more than 4.7 million people each year in the United States.
The fault could be the dog, the owner or the victim. But the one who invariably pays is the owner. The dog owner is responsible for paying medical bills, time lost from work, as well as pain and suffering. The one that suffers the most is the dog that is abandoned in a shelter or discarded.
Dog owners must take responsibility for protecting people and other animals from their dogs, and also take responsibility for protecting their dogs from people. Children will run up to a dog who is screaming with joy and scare him away. A dog in its eagerness to greet someone may jump up and scratch it. A bystander may aggressively approach or provoke a dog. Neighborhood kids can let the dogs out just for fun.
There is no way to guarantee that your dog will never bite someone. But you can significantly reduce the risk:
o Spay or neuter your dog. This important and routine procedure will reduce your dog’s desire to roam and fight with other dogs, making safe confinement an easier task. Spayed or neutered dogs are much less likely to bite.
o Socialize your dog. Introduce your dog to many different types of people and situations so that he does not feel nervous or scared under normal social circumstances.
o Train your dog. Accompanying your dog to a training class is a great way to socialize him and learn proper training techniques. Training your dog is a family affair. All members of your household should learn training techniques and participate in your dog’s education. Never send your dog for training; Only you can teach your dog to behave at home. Keep in mind that training classes are a great investment even for experienced dog sitters.
o Be vigilant with your dog around children. Unruly play can scare your dog and he may react by biting or biting. Neighborhood kids may be attracted to your dog, so make sure you have a childproof lock on your door and there’s no way for little hands to get through the fence.
o Teach your dog appropriate behavior. Never teach your dog to chase or attack others, not even for fun. Your dog cannot always understand the difference between play and real life situations. Set appropriate limits for your dog’s behavior.
Don’t expect an accident.
The first time you display dangerous behavior towards anyone, seek professional help from your veterinarian, an animal behavior specialist, or a qualified dog trainer. Dangerous behavior towards other animals can eventually lead to dangerous behavior towards people and is also a reason to seek professional help.
o Be a responsible dog owner. Authorize your dog as required by law and provide regular veterinary care, including rabies shots. For everyone’s safety, do not allow your dog to roam alone. Make your dog a member of your family. Dogs that spend a lot of time alone in the backyard or on a chain often become dangerous. Dogs that are well socialized and supervised are much less likely to bite.
o Stay on the safe side. If you don’t know how your dog will react to a new situation, be careful. If your dog can panic in crowds, leave him at home. If your dog overreacts to visitors or delivery or service personnel, keep him in another room. Work with professionals to help your dog get used to these and other situations. However, until you are sure of their behavior, avoid stressful environments.
I thought you said your dog doesn’t bite. “That’s not my dog” … says Peter Sellers.
Seriously, if your dog does bite someone, act responsibly; Take these steps to mitigate the damage:
o Confine your dog immediately and check the condition of the victim. If necessary, seek medical help.
o Provide the victim with important information, such as the date of your dog’s last rabies vaccination.
o You must cooperate fully with the animal control officer responsible for obtaining information about your dog. If your dog must be quarantined for a period of time, ask if it may be confined to your home or to your vet’s hospital. Strictly follow the quarantine requirements for your dog.
o Seek professional help to prevent your dog from biting again. Consult with your veterinarian, who can refer you to an animal behavior specialist or dog trainer. Your community animal care and control agency or humane society may also offer helpful services.
If you have to let your dog go, do not leave it in a shelter, where it will only be given a few days to live. Take the time to find a new family for him. To do this, there is a support and training network called MuttShack, at http://www.Muttshack.org, that will teach you how to rehouse your pet.
o If your dog’s dangerous behavior cannot be controlled and you have to make the painful decision to hand it over, do not hand it over to someone else without carefully evaluating that person’s ability to protect your dog and keep him from biting. Because you know your dog is dangerous, you may be held liable for any harm he does, even when he is handed over to someone else.
o Never give your dog to someone who wants a dangerous dog. “Bad” dogs are often forced to live miserable and isolated lives, and are even more likely to attack someone in the future. If you must give up your dog due to dangerous behavior, consult with your veterinarian and your local animal care and control agency or humane society about your options. Be safe, responsible, and most importantly, teach your dog to be a good canine citizen.
o Your dog lives to make you happy. If he understands what you need from him, he will make you proud.