No one likes to think that their dog is capable of attacking, but even the most charming dogs can bite. Some owners promote aggression in their pets by allowing aggression to go unchecked. As a result, almost 800,000 the Americans each year require medical attention for dog bites. Each year, about a dozen people die as a result of their dog bites, and according to statistics many people simply do not report the personal injuries they suffer from dog attacks, so the numbers of dog bites are actually much higher.
Many people are bitten by either their own dog or by a dog that they know, but dog bites can occur from any canine. Children are far more likely to be bitten by dogs, and service providers and the elderly are also more likely to be bitten by dogs.
If you own a dog, you have a serious responsibility to prevent aggression. You should always think carefully before purchasing a dog. Talk to a veterinarian and several breeders to find a dog breed that suits your personality and is not aggressive. Where possible, always buy a young puppy and make sure that it is socialized properly. Train your puppy to feel comfortable around people and other animals. Always make sure that your puppy feels comfortable and is never teased or threatened. Take your puppy to obedience school and have it trained properly so that it is not aggressive.
If you have children, it is advisable that you wait until the children are over four years old before a dog is introduced into the home. It is a bad idea to have a young dog and a baby in the same house. You should never leave a baby alone with a dog, and younger children can inadvertently tease a dog, provoking it to bite.
When you do bring a dog into your home, make sure that you avoid aggressive and highly excitable games. Tug-of-war and wrestling games can encourage aggression in your dog. If you do see signs of aggression in your dog, make sure that you seek the help of a professional trainer or veterinarian to try to correct the problem. In public, use a leash and the muzzle, if necessary, in order to keep your dog safe.
Another way of ensuring that your dog does not fight anyone is to keep your dog healthy. Unhealthy dogs are far more likely to bite. You should also have your dog vaccinated against infectious diseases and rabies. These diseases can sometimes make your dog more prone to biting, and can spread infection from your dog to others. A healthy, happy dog is far less likely to bite. You also want to neuter your dog, since neutered dogs are three times less likely to bite, according to most research.