Personally I believe all dogs can bite, but they do not really want to! Here are 10 top tips to prevent a dog biting you, or anyone else for that matter!
1. Read the dog’s body signals – licking, yawning, shaking as if wet. A dog will do these things if they begin to get a bit unsettled. Give your dog the chance to get away, settle down and have a quiet moment.
2. Do not expect a growl. Many dogs decide growling is a waste of time. Why? Because when they growl, they get punished. Instead, they don’t bother to growl and just bite anyway.
3. Biting is a sign of patience pushed too far. Some dogs have lower tolerance than others, of course, but unless a dog has learned to bite they would rather get away from a situation.
4. Teach your children well! Use the free Kennel Club Safe and Sound game, or buy the Blue Dog DVD. Get Kendal Shepherd’s book The Canine Commandments, a book to help children understand and be understood by dogs. Children cannot read warning signals until they are older! Do not leave them unsupervised together.
5. If a dog has bitten once, they are likely to do it again. This doesn’t mean you should panic and rush for euthanasia or rehoming. Be aware of the situation that caused the bite and get professional help.
6. Hugging and kissing can be threatening to a dog. Obvious? Not to many. Even if your dog is used to loving attention they may not see it that way.
7. Always read the signs. Dogs can have bad days too! How can we tell if a dog is in pain, has a bad tummy, or is really tired or achy? Usually dogs will not show the signs until the pain is extreme. Be ready to help your dog by taking them to the vet if you see signs.
8. He only nipped. A snap is often a deliberate miss. Take action by getting professional help now.
9. Get your dog used to people and their ways from puppyhood, and keep practising!
10. Do not assume that your dog would never bite. They all can if they are put in the right (or wrong!) circumstances.