The Truth About Dog Bite Prevention

An owner of a mild-mannered, well-behaved dog might find it hard to believe that their dog could actually bite someone – and yet it happens all the time.

There are many things that can unexpectedly scare or upset a dog, leading them to react uncharacteristically aggressive or defensive. As a result, we recommend that every dog owner have a grasp on dog bite prevention, just in case it’s necessary someday.

Inside Their Mind

The signs of aggression are pretty obvious in dogs. Baring the teeth, snarling or growling, rigidity, snapping, and lunging are the markers that few could argue with. But sometimes, dog bites occur without these warning signs.

That is not to say that dog bites happen when you least expect them to, however. Dogs that are being chased, yanked, or coarsely handled are very likely to react.

Likewise, if meals or naps are interrupted, or when a perceived threat encroaches on their territory, dogs may bite. A mother protecting her puppies may be triggered, and dogs that are in pain typically snap at hands trying to touch them.

What Can Owners Do?

One of the most proactive approaches to dog bite prevention includes early exposure to obedience training and socialization opportunities.

  • Young dogs are great candidates for learning new things, and benefit from understanding what’s appropriate (and what’s not).
  • When dogs know commands like “no”, “down”, “sit” and “stay”, you are giving them ways to redirect any aggression or biting.
  • It’s always important to supervise dogs around young children, but when your dog meets someone new for the first time regardless of age, be sure it’s a positive experience and reward them for behaving well.
  • Obey leash laws.
  • If your dog ever bites someone, intervene immediately and restrain your dog. Insist they receive medical attention and show them proof of rabies vaccination.

Other Keys to Dog Bite Prevention

Dogs rely on their sense of smell to help them understand the people and other animals around them.

If you are approached by an unfamiliar dog, allow them to smell you and remain calm and quiet. Moving quickly or commanding loudly may startle or frighten a dog. Avoid eye contact, don’t run away, and let them move on once they’ve determined you’re not a threat.

Next Level

If you are ever attacked, roll up into a ball covering your neck and head with your hands. We urge you to seek medical attention to help with any open wounds. Immediate veterinary care is also critical if your dog is ever bitten by a strange dog.

We may have to contact the right authorities to report the type and location of the attack. Rabies is always a concern regarding dog bites.

Responsible Dog Ownership

Owning a dog is one of life’s greatest joys, but it’s a big responsibility. Not only do you have to protect yourself and your dog from other dogs, but being able to preempt your own dog’s possible reactions to various stimuli is immensely important.

If we can assist you with any questions regarding dog bite prevention, we are always happy to help at Beverly Hills Veterinary Associates.