According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, animal control data shows that more than 2,500 dog bites were reported to animal control in the past five years. The largest percentage of dog bites occurred in Las Vegas based on information provided to Las Vegas injury attorneys. Dog bites happen quickly and, if your dog injures someone, you can find yourself in litigation. One of the best ways to protect yourself and your pet is to train your dog at a young age not to bite. These tips can help your dog break the biting habit, giving you peace of mind that they will not cause injury to someone else.
The first thing to realize is that biting is a natural reaction in puppies and adult dogs. They spend time playing and chewing, using their mouths to investigate. When a puppy is small, biting and chewing on your hand may seem cute, but it will not be as adorable when they are four months old and have full-grown teeth. Dogs are possessive creatures and they may bite when someone is interfering with a toy, food, territory or human. Dogs also bite out of fear, even if the fear is unreasonable. Dogs may be afraid of the person delivering mail or when they are in an unfamiliar area. Pain can cause a dog to bite and a mother dog will bite if she is concerned her pups could be harmed. The desire to chase things is often ingrained in a dog which is why they tend to chase cyclists or runners.
One of the best ways to teach a dog not to bite is by using a method called bite inhibition. Dogs do not understand that human skin is much more sensitive than theirs. This leads them to bite hard, even when they are just playing. Teaching your dog to use his mouth gently makes the dog less likely to break the skin if he bites someone later, even if he is afraid or in pain. When puppies play, they chase, pounce and bite. If you have ever watched a group of puppies, occasionally one will yelp, causing the puppy who bit to step back and look. What you may not know is that the yelp taught the biting dog that he bit too hard, allowing him to adjust the pressure of his mouth so he doesn’t hear the yelp again. While playing with your puppy, let him bite until the pressure is too hard and then yelp in a high-pitched tone. When he backs off, praise him and continue playing. Continue doing this until the puppy learns how to control the pressure of his mouth.
Dealing with Possessiveness
You can train your dog not to act aggressively toward their possessions. If you have a guard dog, such as a German shepherd or Rottweiler, or a herding dog, like a corgi or Australian shepherd, you may find them to be more possessive than other breeds. One way to minimize possessive behavior is by teaching the “leave it” command. This is done by saying “leave it” in a commanding tone when the dog refuses to give up its toy or other object. If your dog is food possessive, teach them to wait, sit and lie down as you put their food down. Make them remain in the position as you pick the food back up then return it to their feeding area. While the dog is eating, slowly approach the food bowl and add treats to teach the dog someone coming up to the bowl is not a negative thing. Always teach children to remain away from dogs while they are eating or chewing on treats.
Socialize Your Dog
Because all dogs can be afraid of the unknown, it is important to socialize them as much as possible. Take your dog to dog parks and reward the dog when he socializes well with other dogs and people. Slowly introduce the dog to crowds to make the dog more confident. Never let children sneak up on a dog or jump on one who is sleeping. If your dog demonstrates fear, socialize them slowly to help them overcome their fear rather than exposing them to large crowds quickly as this can lead the dog to be even more frightened.
Other tips for keeping your dog from biting is to have them spayed or neutered as this can reduce aggression. Exercise and play with the dog regularly but avoid wrestling or tug-of-war if your dog has aggressive tendencies. Be sure vaccinations are up-to-date should your dog bite someone. If you are the victim of a dog bite, contact the Las Vegas injury law firm, the Schnitzer Law Firm, to learn what protections you have under the law. Give us a call at 702-960-4050 or fill out the simple form online. We are a best Las Vegas personal injury attorney firm, here every step of the way through your personal injury lawsuit.