Millions of people are bitten by dogs each year; young children are usually the victim. Not only does this result in a possible health risk for the person who has been bitten, but in the case of kids, it can leave a damaging impression of canines. That is unfortunate. The bond shared between humans and dogs is incredibly strong. Being bitten at a young age can lead to an emotional scar that destroys any chance of enjoying that connection.
The good news is that a canine's biting tendency can be eliminated. Below, I'll explain a strategy that relies heavily upon startling a dog when he bites. I'll also describe the steps you need to take in the event your pooch sinks his teeth into someone.
Curbing The Tendency Through Startle Response
Dogs learn to bite as puppies. If you were to observe them playing with their litter mates, you would notice them biting each other while playing. It is natural to them because their mouth is the primary tool they use to hunt. Unfortunately, if your canine's natural tendency to bite is not curbed, it will continue to grow and become a problem for you, your family, and guests.
Many trainers and veterinarians suggest using a "startle response" strategy to teach your pooch not to bite. When he does, make a sharp noise at a high pitch that startles him. If, as a puppy, he were to hurt one of his litter mates by biting too hard, this is the noise they would make. When he hears it, he'll know instinctively that he has done something wrong. In some cases, you'll notice that he'll look confused. Take that opportunity to substitute a chew rope or another toy that he can bite. That teaches him that biting is acceptable as long as he doesn't do it to people.
You should also socialize your puppy as soon as possible so he'll learn at an early age what kind of behavior is appropriate around people. Spaying or neutering your dog can also reduce the likelihood of biting.
What To Do If Someone Is Bitten
If your canine bites someone, control him immediately. Then, ask the person who has been bitten whether he or she needs medical attention. Give that person all of your contact information as well as that of your veterinarian. Also, provide your pooch's last vaccination date.
If animal control workers arrive, answer their questions openly; they'll likely want as much information about your canine and the events surrounding the bite as possible. Finally, ask your vet to recommend a professional trainer to help curb the behavior as quickly as possible.
Your dog's biting tendency can be eliminated easily if you devote time toward it when he is still a puppy. Even as an adult dog, the tendency can be suppressed by enrolling him into professional obedience classes. The investment helps ensure the safety of your family and guests.