Plenty of Americans identify as dog lovers and have opened their homes to man’s best friend. According to data from the American Veterinary Medical Association, out of over 43 million pet-owning households in the country, 36.5 percent are home to dogs. Among the most popular are Labrador Retrievers, German Shepherds, Golden Retrievers, Beagles, Yorkshire Terriers, Poodles, Bulldogs, and Boxers.
While dogs mostly have lovely dispositions, there are moments when their temperaments can be hard to read. You’ll never know when your dog might suddenly feel startled or threatened and start to attack. This is especially true for particular dog breeds, such as the more aggressive Pit Bulls and Rottweilers. Unfortunately, according to a special report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, most dog bite victims are children who aren’t aware of how to perceive the dog’s reaction. As pet owners, we have the responsibility to make sure our beloved pets don’t pose a threat to those around us.
According to the website of the The Seegmiller Law Firm, most dog bites and animal attacks are preventable if pet owners remain aware of their responsibility and accountability. As such, dog owners should always show appropriate concern for the actions of their pet, working to make sure that unwanted accidents are prevented. Aside from appropriate restraints, your dog should receive proper training to help curb aggressive behavior.
Here are just a few suggestions from The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals:
- Start socializing your dog at an early age. One of the reasons dog bite and attack is because they feel scared or threatened. You can keep them assured by allowing them to become familiar with their surroundings. This will be harder to do with older dogs. Let your puppy socialize with people and other pets as soon as possible.
- You can also take your dog to a reward-based training class. Through proper training, you can easily communicate appropriate behavior to your dog. Training classes can also provide a venue for meeting and socializing with other dogs.
- Always supervise children when they play with dogs. Because dogs can be unpredictable and children are naturally curious, you’ll never know how a dog might react to interactions with a child. Dogs can easily be startled to some of the ways that they are held and handled by kids.
- Have your dog spay or neutered as soon as possible. This helps curb territorial behaviors in dogs, which can be another source of aggression. If your puppy is healthy, you can have the minor operation done as early as eight weeks of age.
Dog bites can cause devastating complications to victims, particularly children. A Greenfield, Wisconsin personal injury attorney, will probably tell you that dog bites can lead to serious physical injuries such as scarring, broken bones, and disfigurement. Thankfully, pet owners can do their part to prevent such outcomes from occurring.