As a current or prospective dog owner, you should do everything possible to own a well-behaved animal. Part of your responsibility is reducing the likelihood of your dog biting a person or animal, especially if the incident is unprovoked. Before you adopt a new puppy or allow your dog to roam free, there are ways you can reduce dog bite incidents.
Invest In Basic Obedience Training
Obedience training is essential to gain better control over your dog. From an early age, your dog should obey simple commands, such as staying in place and coming to you when called. Even if your dog is friendly and excited around strangers, you never want people to feel intimidated by a dog that jumps on them or tries to follow them around. Obedience training can also make common situations easier for your dog to handle without acting out. For example, veterinarian appointments and visits by mail carriers or delivery drivers are common situations where a dog may feel scared and potentially lash out.
Treat Pets Like Pets
There is a strong distinction between having a dog as a pet and one as a guard dog. Although many people label their dog as a pet, it is not necessarily treated as such. The way you treat your dog can minimize unnecessary aggression. For example, pets are not typically tied up in the yard for hours on end in any weather conditions. Additionally, a pet is well fed and has socialization opportunities with humans.
If you must keep your dog outside, invest in a comfortable shelter. Keep your dog house in a shaded area during the warmer months and have plenty of plush, warm bedding when it is cooler outside. Ideally, your dog should be indoors when the temperature is uncomfortable. Remember, since most dogs have fur and dogs cannot sweat, when the weather feels warm to you, it may be hot to them.
Install High Fences
Your dog should be contained with a high fence. The height of your fence will depend on the size of the dog. Not only will this prevent your dog from escaping over the fence to investigate unfamiliar people, but it will also reduce the likelihood of small children climbing over to play with your dog. Many instances of dog bites or dogs wandering loose and intimidating neighbors could have been prevented if the dog was properly secured. If you install a high fence, it may not be necessary to keep your dog on the leash when it is outside.
The best way to reduce your chances of being liable if your dog bites someone is to prevent the incident from occurring. Basic obedience training and treating your dog like a valued member of the family can help prevent unwarranted acts of aggression on unsuspecting people. However, if something does go wrong, you may need to contact a dog bite attorney to resolve the situation.