Dog Bites? Here's Some Advice.
Under no circumstances should you allow your dog to become a biting dog. Each year, countless dogs are put down when they bite another dog or human being. In addition to losing your pet, you are directly responsible for the pain and suffering of the victim, who often must deal with the emotional and physical scars that result from the attack. Furthermore, if your dog bites another dog or human, you are apt to be sued for a great amount of money. Instead, spend some time training your dog from the beginning that biting is not appropriate and will not be accepted at behavior.
In some larger breeds, there is an inherent predatory instinct, where smaller animals are often mistaken for prey. It is not uncommon for a smaller dog to be attacked by a larger dog simply because the attacker reverted back to his role as a predator. This is still no excuse for violence, and your dog should be discouraged from this behavior. Avoid buying toys that may look like small dogs and prevent your dog from chasing small animals like squirrels. If necessary, your dog should be muzzled when around small dogs to prevent biting.
Although larger dogs have a more powerful bite, it tends to be the smaller breeds that are more apt to bite. Regardless of the size of your dog, bites hurt and can become potentially dangerous, so you should make it a point to discourage your dog from biting whether it weights two pounds or two hundred pounds. When training small dogs against biting, use methods like shake cans, spray bottles, and even physically holding the dog's mouth shut to prevent biting. Also, muzzles should be used if the dog keeps insisting on biting, as they are not cruel, but provide protection for yourself, other humans, and other dogs that are susceptible to your dog's bite.
All dogs should be properly socialized when they are puppies. If you adopt an older dog, keep in mind that the socialization phase is not completely lost, but you should be sure to begin a socialization program on a more gradual scale. Most dog training academies have classes that serve as a dog preschool, allowing dogs to mix and mingle so that they are properly socialized and used to being around other dogs. However, when you are in an environment with other dogs, you should ensure your dog remains on a leash and you carefully supervise the situation at all times.
Often, dogs that have a history of abuse are likely to bite out of fear. First, your must earn the respect of your dog by showing him that you are not going to harm him in any manner and have his best interest in heart. This can be done by providing plenty of love, treats, praise, and pets on the dog in a gentle and calm manner. As the dog develops more trust, add more people into the mix and allow the dog to encounter more chaotic situations, but always remain close by for support.
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