The truth is that I can't imagine Matilda, my dog, biting anyone, except me, and little, when I try to undo a knot, although I know that children are terrified and usually avoid them. The little ones are precisely the most frequent victims of dog attacks. But what can we do who live with them? Can you prevent a dog from biting?
The first thing is to know more. In the vast majority of 256 deaths caused by dog bites in the United States between 2000 and 2009, according to one study, it was agreed that there was no person who could intervene (87% of cases), that the dog had no close relationship with the attacked (85%), that the animal was not neutered (84%), that the attacked could not interact properly with the dogs (77%), and that the dog was isolated and did not maintain habitual relations with humans. All these seem preventable factors.
Then there is the issue of race. A study similar to the previous one that analyzed dog bite deaths between 1979 and 1996 also in the United States found that more than half of the attacks involved rotweillers or type dogs pit bull At the same time, another investigation proved as in a province of Canada where the possession of pit bulls, the frequency of the bites dropped.
What can we do?
If the dog is still a puppy
-Teach him not to bite as part of a game. “When they are young, they use their mouths and bite because they are in their nature, it helps them explore their surroundings,” says veterinarian and dog educator Sandra Real. “But it is very important that from puppies they learn that they can harm. When playing with him let us take small bites and when they start to squeeze hard just do what the puppies do with each other, complain with an Ayyy! and stop the game for a minute so that they realize that they hurt us and go slowly having more control over their bite. ”
-Socialize correctly. "To avoid situations of aggression it is convenient for the dog to learn to socialize with what is going to be its environment and its life but also that people learn what the needs of dogs are," continues the Royal veterinarian. “An animal without fear will never need to defend itself from anyone. A calm and balanced dog although it will tend to chase or hunt will not get to bite for that reason. "So that it integrates well it is convenient" to spend time with other dogs of the same age and friendly and calm character, which will encourage a good socialization, ”adds Real.
At any age
-Sterilize When the time is right.
- That does not live outside the house, tied or isolated. “They grow frustrated, which can lead to them being aggressive, as is the case with humans. Dogs need to be residents of the house and not left alone, ”says Phoenix.
What we have to do
-Teach children to interact with dogs. “I think it is very important to train them on how dogs are, how they communicate, how they relate, what bothers them, what can scare them. The better the children know their pets, the easier it will be for them to respect their needs and provide them with a healthy and safe environment, ”says canine educator Sandra Real,“ creating a kind of game the child learns to be educated with the dog. In this way they will know that dogs are not like other children, that they can be scared if they approach running to them, that the direct contact often does not know how to manage it. ” When the veterinarian works with the little ones, she teaches them the so-called "calm signs" that are "gestures that dogs make in different situations and that make it easier to approach and relate to them."
-Never leave your dog alone with a child or anyone who is not able to intervene if necessary. “Any dog with teeth can bite, even the sweet ball of hair that is at your feet. If he finds himself in the situation where the dog feels he needs to defend himself, he has those teeth to do it, ”Phoenix justifies in a magazine article Dogster "Young children and animals must always be under supervision for the good of the child and for the good of the dog," Sandra Real says.
-Learn what are normal behaviors and what are not. "Sometimes there are dogs that because of their past, because of their character, because of their upbringing, etc., may have behavioral problems," explains educator Sandra Real. "It is very important to teach adults and children what are normal behaviors in dogs and what can be behavioral problems so that they know how to identify them and can ask for help from a professional who works that concrete problem thus avoiding risk situations at home" .
-Know when they can bite. "Watch out if the dog wants to escape," says Phoenix. "Or if you lick your jaws, sniff or spider out of context, show the whites of the eyes, tremble, bark, growl."
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Why does a puppy bite
There are two main reasons why puppies have a certain tendency to bite everything, just like in humans, during their first months, a puppy recognizes objects by touch, this sense is especially developed in them in the snout, and by Therefore they use it to feel their surroundings.
Another reason why puppies get used to biting is that they feel the discomforts of developing their teeth. Until the denture is fully formed, the puppy tends to bite causing saliva that relieves these discomforts.
Common mistakes when a puppy bites
Sometimes, when we ask how to prevent my puppy from biting, we try to put solutions that are not very useful, and that in fact can cause more problems for our puppy.
One of the most common mistakes is to let our puppy bite our hands during its first weeks. During the training period you will learn what you owe and what you should not do. If we let him bite us we will be teaching him a very harmful behavior that will be difficult to correct in the future.
Another behavior to avoid is to play games in which our puppy pulls one end, for example a rope, while we hold the other end. In addition to damaging your teeth, we will be teaching you to bite compulsively.
How to prevent my puppy from biting from its first days
There are several tricks to teach you not to bite. If you start from the beginning you will be teaching him a very positive behavior forever.
- - If he bites you, give him away. Dogs understand perfectly when they are told "no", so if you are playing with him and he bites you let him know and stop playing for a few minutes, the dog will associate the no, with something bad and know that he should not do it.
- - Try not to put your hand near his snout, when you are playing, to avoid being bitten.
- - If you have stopped biting let them know. Give a reward and reward this behavior, the positive reinforcement, always works much better than the negative.
- - It is important that a puppy has toys to exercise the bite, but they must be appropriate for their age, for their size and the characteristics of their teeth.
- - If you see that he is biting something other than a toy, scold him, let him know that this is not done.
- - Never give objects to bite. Any item that is not prepared for a puppy's bite can cause a serious problem.
- - Play with him. Sometimes the teeth marks in our house are the consequence of long periods of inactivity and boredom. A dog that plays is a healthy and happy dog.
How dog toys should be to bite
Bite toys for puppies must meet a number of conditions so that they are completely safe.
The toy must be softotherwise, both gums and teeth may be damaged. Regardless of its shape, it is convenient that the teether is of sufficient size so that it cannot be swallowed, likewise, check that the toy does not break into small pieces when bitten.
It is essential that the toy easily clean, after all, he will spend the day biting him, and therefore it will be bad for your puppy to accumulate bacteria. Finally, it is always better than the teether be one piece, avoiding parts that can detach.
The best ones are those of latex, they are soft and, if, by chance, a piece were swallowed, they are not toxic, so we do not have the problem we have with plastic ones.
We hope we have helped you, arm yourself with patience and sweets and much encouragement!