Humans weren’t the only ones cooped up this past winter. Your furry four-legged friends have also been eager to get some fresh air. With the arrival of warmer weather, sidewalks and neighborhoods begin to get a bit more crowded as dogs and owners alike try to get some exercise. While walking your dog is generally a pleasant and relaxing activity, things can turn ugly if an uninvited strangers attempts to interact with your dog.
Although the majority of dogs are playful and generally harmless, you never know when your dog will meet someone who he or she is not particularly fond of. During the worse case scenario, your dog may attempt to bite if it feels that the stranger is invading its territory. Despite dog bites being unpredictable in nature, there are a few ways that you can prevent your dog from attacking. Here are just a few:
Avoid Aggressive Behavior and Games
Dog experts believe that avoiding an incident starts at home. It is critical that you teach your dog submissive behavior, obedience, and that you are the one who is in control. Engaging in aggressive tug of wars, for example, can teach dog your dog aggression that may be released on a stranger. It is especially important to make sure your dog is calm before leaving the house, and also to command respect any time you are training your tog.
Spay or Neuter Your Dog
Getting your dog spayed or neutered is another step that owners can take towards preventing bites. Dogs are naturally excitable creatures, and if not spayed or neutered, their aggression will only be exacerbated.
It is also a good idea to make sure your dog is up to date on all of his or her vaccinations. Certain diseases and conditions, most notably rabies, can increase your dog’s aggressive behavior. Also make sure your dog’s vaccination records are up to date on a yearly basis.
Since dog bites are unexpected events, there is usually not enough time for owners to react and step in. Therefore, you should have an action plan before you step out of the house. If you see a stranger approaching , do your best to calmly restrain your dog.
If you’re planning to walk in an area that is typically crowded with pedestrians, especially kids (i.e. playground or park) consider doing so during less busy hours to minimize the chances of an incident occurring.
Don’t Go It Alone
For added control over your pet walk with a friend, spouse or family member who can assist you in keeping your dog under control.