Dog bites are scary… They are painful… and yes they are disease causing. There are plenty of dog bite stories, which have dismayed us and left us with a dislike for the dog species. Statistics suggest that nearly 4.5 million people sustain dog bites every year in America. This shockingly huge number suggests an urgent need to understand dog behavior in order to avoid such unwelcome animal attacks. Once you know how to tame any dog’s mind, you can easily save yourself from something as horrifying as a dog bite.
Why does a dog bite?
There are various reasons for dog bites. Dogs are the finest companion animals of all times. They have a very warm personality but they also have a strikingly aggressive side. One should not trouble dogs or mess with them especially when the dog is in an aggressive mood.
Few of the basic reasons for dog bites are:
The very nature: The natural instinct plays a big role in dog bites. Dogs are considered fighting animals, which hints their aggressive nature. As an example, horses are considered as flight animals that come from their natural instinct of running away from things they are afraid of. Similarly, aggression is an innate nature of dogs and they may retaliate by biting when faced with extreme stress.
Possession: Another natural characteristic of a dog is its protective and guarding nature. Be it taking care of the property, toy, territory, food or human being, the four-legged pals are super active at it. Moreover, if they feel that anyone is intruding in any of these then they pull over their guard and harm the intruder (person, animal or child).
Fear: Fear of unfamiliar situations, strangers, veterinarians etc may put the dog on his guards and he switches to an aggressive behavior. Most of the dog biting accidents happen because people sneak upon a sleeping dog or try to control him or hug him. These behavioral traits are scary for a dog and he may bounce back and bite.
Body pain: Even the friendliest of all dogs lose his temper for he cannot bare physical pain. If your pet suffers from any chronic disease, joint problems, hip dysplasia or sever otitis then he tends to become offensive. It is therefore necessary to handle ailing dogs with absolute care. Be gentle and take due care of not putting any pressure on its ailing body parts.
Protective maternal behavior: When a dog becomes a mother, her natural protective instinct for its puppies make her an attacking pet. She would be very possessive towards its litter and guard all her puppies. If she feels that, anyone is taking away her puppy or harming ‘the babies’ then she will inevitably bite the person.
Prey chase: Many a times, dogs find cycling or running people as their prey and like to chase them. The next step to this is bite. So, avoid crossing path when a dog is roaming around or just freeze if he comes closer to you. Becoming a still tree is the best way to avoid a dog bite.
How to prevent dog bites?
Dog behavior can be tamed by becoming a responsible owner. Pet parents need to know that just as we nurture values in our children, similarly we can train our pets to be obedient and calm.
Tips that help reduce dog aggression are:
- Spaying or neutering is beneficial if you have no plans to breed the pet. This will calm him down and prevent biting accidents.
- Exercise and play with them to regulate their excess energy that can otherwise turn into destructive form. Do not play aggressive games that instill dominance or threat in them.
- Proper training helps in making them easy-going. Some habits need to be instilled in them to make them well behaved in the end.
- Make them learn socializing. Meeting other people and pets on a frequent basis will create a sense of belongingness in them.
- Take veterinarian help and vaccinate the pet. Seek the advice of dog trainers who can help lower down the pet’s anxious and aggressive behavior. Take care of Dog’s health and supplement to make him active and engage in constructive activities.
- Teach children some basic ‘dog manners’ and ask him not to bother the pet by rolling over him or snatching his food or pulling his tail.
Warning signs suggesting that a dog may bite:
Dogs are empathetic creatures. They give enough warnings suggesting that the situation is becoming unmanageable for them. Catching these warning signs would help keeping away dog bites.
- A pet that has lost patience will have a stiff body and tail.
- His eyebrows would be furrowed and ears pulled back.
- His eyes would be rolled in a manner that the white area is visible in half moon shape.
- He would yawn often and give an intense stare.
- He would start scratching and licking himself on facing an unwelcome person or situation.
- He would move away from unfavorable children and people.
Be watchful of these signs. If you observe something like this in your pet, it is time to take action to calm him down. This way, you can easily prevent dog bites. To sum up, dogs are a very fun loving and caring species. If they are pissed off then they bite to even the score. So, make sure you do not do anything that is unpleasant or harassing for the dog. Just love the animals and get love in return!