What made Muffy bite?
A dog's tendency to bite depends on such factors as heredity, obedience training, socialization, health, and the victim's behavior. Dogs believe that they own things. Their toys, food dishes, you. It is their natural instinct to protect their belongings. Their resting place and your property are also its possession. When it comes to children, the dog considers itself dominant. Sometimes, a little nip is nothing more than "behave" from the dog's point of view. It can also be a "hey, that hurt" when you accidentally step on its tail or pull on its ears. Accidental bites when you offer it food or a toy can be prevented by teaching the dog bite inhibition. He isn't trying to take your hand off in this situation, he simply doesn't understand that he is biting too hard. Serious injury often occurs when the dog is frightened and someone startles him. Of course, it's possible that he's just old or grumpy and having a bad day.
So, how do we prevent dog bites?
One key is responsible ownership. Keep your dog on a leash when it's outside, or in a fenced area. Remember that an electronic fence might keep your dog in your yard, but it won't keep people or other animals out. Make sure to ensure proper nutrition. A dog that isn't feeling well can be quite aggressive. We'll touch more on that later.
Start your dog with a strong foundation on which to build. Socialize him. Ordinarily loving dogs may bite out of fear of strangers. Teach your dog the basic obedience commands: "sit", "down", "heel", and "no". It's also a good idea to train your dog to drop its toys on command so that you don't have to reach into his mouth for them or to retrieve items that they shouldn't have. While you're training, teach him not to jump on or paw at you for attention.
Don't set your dog up for failure. Be cautious when introducing your dog to new situations and be ready to respond to any signs of the dog being uncomfortable. Avoid situations where your dog could feel threatened or be teased. Don't play aggressive games such as tug-of-war, chase-me, or wrestling with your dog and expect him to NOT get aggressive. Find non-contact games that your dog can enjoy without getting overly excited. Don't encourage aggressive behavior or barking.
Visit my next blog to learn safe behavior practices around our canine friends.