Every year thousands of people are attacked or bitten by dogs. But the question remains: what makes a dog bite?
In the wild dogs use their teeth to determine who is the strongest and domestic dogs have not forgotten this primal instinct. Pet dogs will therefore bite as a method of demonstrating their dominance over other dogs, animals and humans.
In the wild, dogs live in packs, where one dog assumes leadership. Over centuries of domestication dogs have relied on us as "leader of the pack" and they have learned to serve us accordingly. A dog is happiest when it is serving but a dog's willingness to serve and in turn its happiness can deteriorate for various reasons - including
This causes the dog to resort to its primitive instincts. It should be remembered that some breeds are naturally more aggressive than others.
Aggressive dogs show the following signs :
Select the correct breed for your disposition and purpose.
Select a female or a castrated male. as uncastrated male dogs can be more aggressive. All male dogs should be castrated to reduce aggression. Following castration there can be a marked reduction in the dog's dominance and aggression. The dog is more ready to obey commands.
Always ensure that puppies are socialised from an early age: regular interaction with other dogs, animals and humans, as well as being introduced to a variety of environments will make the dog less fearful, nervous and aggressive in later life when faced with uncertain situations. Puppies may also "inherit" fears from their mothers.
Don't approach a strange dog, especially one which is tied up or confined.
Before you attempt to pet a dog, ask permission from the owner. Let the dog become familiar with you by first allowing him to see and sniff the back of your closed hand.
Never leave children unsupervised with any dog, no matter how trustworthy.
If a dog is not to be trusted with children or visitors to the home, then consider muzzling it. Modern muzzles allow free air passage and drinking, and do not frustrate the dog.