Training dogs not to bite may seem like a daunting task, but there is hope. Biting and growling are natural communication behaviors for dogs, so don’t write your pup off as an aggressive dog just yet!
Avoiding dog bites requires understanding your pup and proper training. We have three tips to get you started on avoiding dog bites.
First you should…
Understand Why Dogs Bite
If dogs could talk so many conundrums that happen in dog guardianship could be avoided! But until technology from Disney movies is available (like from the movie Up), we have to continue using common methods to avoid dog bites.
Dogs bite when they are anxious, injured, guarding a resource, or overstimulated and want to be alone.
Before a dog decides to bite someone, they give warning signals and some dogs have very subtle signals or cues.
Some signals are:
- Stiff, rigid stance
- Straight, tense tail
- Ears lying flat
- “Whale eye” (eyes are wide and the whites are very visible)
- Licking lips
- Raised fur
- Ears up and forward with rapidly wagging tail
- Lowering head
- Avoiding eye contact or looking away
- “Tunnel vision” stare
Some dogs are more patient than others, but that is no reason to disrespect their boundaries or push the limits of their comfort outside of training sessions.
1. Set Your Dog Up For Success
Any respected trainer or dog expert, no matter their methods, will tell you to set your dog up for success. Training and socializing as early as possible is the foundation for avoiding dog bites, so make sure your pup starts on the right paw. Taking your pup to new environments and meeting new people is one of the best ways to socialize your dog. Go at your dog’s pace and don’t push them too fast.
2. Be A Responsible Dog Parent
Training dogs not to bite may be as simple as using basic commands like “stay” and “leave it”. These commands can be the key to preventing a situation from escalating into a dog bite. Last year in the United States, more than 5,000 postal workers were attacked by dogs. Reinforcing fences and always keeping your dog secure before opening the front door is a sure-fire way to avoid a dog bite.
Here at Doggie Beer Bones, we appreciate the United States Postal Service delivering all of our delicious dog treats and other shipping needs! To learn more tips on how to protect your local mail carrier visit this link from the USPS website.
3. Avoid Risky Situations
Not all dogs have the same manners or temperament, so avoiding unfamiliar dogs is a safe choice. You never know a dog’s past just from looking at them and not all dogs have the patience for approaching dogs when out in public.
“Let sleeping dogs lie” isn’t just an old idiom, it’s a good word of advice! Teaching young kids to leave dogs while they’re sleeping, eating, or playing with a toy can help them avoid a dog bite and trip to the hospital.
Dogs Can’t Help But Be Dogs
A dog’s behavior to bite is instinct, but fostering their trust by looking to you for guidance in new situations can drastically prevent chances of a dog bite. Knowing your dog’s boundaries and warning cues can help the safety of others.
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