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Guide To Australian Shepherd Training & Care

Dog Bite Prevention Tips

By Anton Hout, author of The Guide to Aussie Training & Care

Dog bite prevention should be a joint effort made by pet owners and society in general. Children should be taught basic animal safety rules in the home or at school. Pet owners should make every effort to reduce the risk that their dogs will attack. Let’s start from the beginning.

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All male dogs should be neutered. 92% of all fatal attacks involved male dogs according to information gathered by the National Canine Research Foundation. 94% of those males were not neutered.

Neutering a male that has shown aggression towards humans or other dogs will not necessarily correct the problem. It might help by reducing the amount of testosterone in the animal’s body, but there are many factors contributing to aggressive behavior according to veterinarians.

Dog Bite Prevention Should Start Early

Neutering early could reduce the male’s natural tendency to be aggressive. Proper training should begin early, too.

You can stop dog biting before it starts by teaching a puppy that it is not acceptable. Puppy bites don’t hurt and some people have a tendency to think the mouthing is cute. For the good of the puppy and everyone in the family, this is a habit that should never be allowed to start.

Portrait of blue merle Australian Shepherd.

Tollie Perry

Kobe at 6 months posing for a portrait as the sun dips behind him.

There are a number of effective tactics for discouraging the natural puppy nipping behavior. You can push him away, tell him “no” in a strong voice or pretend you are in a lot of pain by loudly yelling “ouch”. Those things will startle him.

Responding violently by hitting him or giving him a nip is not a good approach. This can actually teach the puppy to be more aggressive. Experts agree that positive reinforcement is more effective for training than anger or aggression. Reward good behavior with lots of love and attention. Ignore bad behavior whenever possible.

Basic dog bite prevention is something that should be taught in schools. 50% of dog attacks involve children under the age of 12 according to the American Humane Society. Children under the age of 15 accounted for 82% of bites treated in US emergency rooms in 2001.

Guide To Australian Shepherd Training & Care

The American Humane Society has several programs for kids of all ages to help them learn how to safely interact with dogs. The basic recommendations include the following:

  • Never approach an unknown animal of any kind; dogs are not the only animals that bite

  • Never approach an injured animal; find an adult

  • If an animal approaches, do not run away; it is the dog’s natural tendency to give chase

When It's Too Late For Dog Bite Prevention and You Have to Stop Dog Biting...

Australian Shepherd

Rachael Taylor

Boris, like all Aussies, benefit from proper socialization and training.

You can also teach your children how to stop dog biting when the animal seems ready to attack. A vicious animal may start growling and come close. You or your child should back slowly away. Use anything available to put a barrier between the animal and your body.

Don’t throw things at the animal. Don’t try to kick it. Kicking is one of the worst things you can do, because the animal can grab your foot and pull you to the ground.

To stop dog biting when you have fallen or been knocked down, the SPCA recommends curling into a ball, putting your hands over your ears and staying very still. Screaming or rolling around can excite the animal. Always call for help if you think someone can hear you. Otherwise, save your energy.

Parents need to realize that children require constant supervision around dogs. 88% of fatal injuries in 2009 involved children aged two and under. They were all unsupervised at the time of the attack.

Pet owners need to realize that their dogs also require constant supervision, regardless of their age. Chaining him up in the backyard is not effective for dog bite prevention. Chained dogs are actually more likely to bite. Good fences and regular interaction with people are better solutions.

Important Disclaimer

Always seek the advice of your doctor, veterinarian or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.
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Guide To Australian Shepherd Training & Care

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