Half of all dog bites come from a pet owned by someone the victim knows. Of the 4.5 million who suffer from dog bites each year in the U.S., most of the victims are young children. Knowing this, it is paramount that dog owners take the necessary precautions in order to prevent their dog from lashing out at others.
First, it’s important to remember that any dog is capable of biting and causing harm. Big or small, male or female, every dog has evolutionary instincts and will bite if it feels threatened. Biting is also not breed specific; some breeds are labeled more aggressive than others, but in reality, any dog can last out at any time. Dog bites also carry with them the risk of infection. If a bite should occur, act quickly, irrigate the wound, and seek medical attention — and legal support if you must.
A dog could bite for any reason; it is often in reaction to an uncomfortable situation or a loud noise among other factors. When these situations escalate and the dog feels threatened, it could bite to defend itself. The dog could also do this to protect something else, such as territory, food, toys, offspring, or their owner.
Methods to make your pet less aggressive include spaying or neutering them, prioritizing regular exercise, and obedience training while still a puppy. Another method is to introduce the dog to other dogs and people at a young age. This could allow a dog to feel more comfortable in different situations as it gets older. Owners should also teach their children (if they have any) to identify sketchy situations and deescalate.
For more advice on how to prevent a dog bite, please see the accompanying guide.
Infographic courtesy of Van Sant Law, a firm specializing in Atlanta personal injury lawyers