POSTED: 10/4/14 10:55 AM

Responsible dog guardians can prevent dog bites and make safe humane communities. Here’s how you can help make your community safe and humane: Dogs are social animals. Include your dog in family activities and interact with your dog daily. Before getting a dog, think about your lifestyle and do the research. All dogs are individuals and have individual personalities. Seek the advice of an animal shelter workers, veterinarian or dog trainer. Most importantly determine if the dog has the right personality energy level for your lifestyle. Remember dogs can live a long time! Avoid chaining, tethering or caging your dog. Chained dogs are 2.8 times more likely to bite. Never leave your dog chained unsupervised. Spay or neuter your dog. The majority of dog bites come from unsterilized dogs. Follow the leash laws. Don’t let your dog roam freely. Confine your dog in a fenced yard or dog run when he/she is not in the house. Eighty-two percent of bites are by dogs that are not confined or on a leash. Also, microchip your dog for permanent identification.

Don’t hit or abuse your dog. Sixty-one percent of fatal dog attacks are by dogs who were not humanely controlled, or had been abused or neglected. Socialize your dog so he/she is comfortable around people and other animals. Start socialization early to prevent fearfulness around unfamiliar people and animals.
Don’t put your dog in a situation where he/she might feel threatened or teased. Use positive reinforcement methods to train your dog to respond to basic commands such as “stay,” “sit,” “come” and “trade.”
Keep your dog healthy with regular checkups and a vaccination program tailored to your dog’s needs. See a veterinarian promptly if your dog is sick or injured. Illness and pain can make a dog more likely to bite.
Don’t play aggressive games with your dog. Take care of your dog. Give your dog proper food and plenty of water, and allow regular exercise and activities appropriate for the dog’s size and age. Report animal cruelty, advocate for enforcement of animal cruelty laws, and support stiffer penalties for abuse or neglect of animals.


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