Not every rescue dog exhibits aggressive behavior but if yours does, there is hope. When dogs bite, attack, or behave in a negative way consider the following: Why do dogs bite? What can you do to protect yourself?
Based on current statistics at cdc.gov (Center For Disease Control and Prevention), roughly 4.5 million dog bites occur in the United States each year. As rescue dog owners, we need to be aware and prepared in order to not be a statistic.
Why Dogs Show Aggressive Behavior
The first time your new puppy barks with aggressive behavior, you will be alarmed. It’s not if they bark aggressively, it is when they do. Therefore, it is good to be prepared with these following tips:
- Be mindful of your dog’s stress level – dogs tend to bite in reaction to high-stress situations.
- Become familiar with things that frighten your pup – dogs may bite when scared or threatened.
- Remember your family is now your dog’s pack – dogs will protect their owners, their puppies, and themselves.
- Be aware if your dog is feeling under the weather – sick dogs startle easy.
- Always keep in mind your dog is not human – playing most often includes nipping at each other. You are part of the pack, so expect it will happen.
Keep these tips in mind to protect your dog and other family members. Possible bite scenarios can be diminished or eliminated by the precautions of alert pet owners.
How To Prevent Being Bitten
You find yourself on the same side of the street of a lone stray dog. The dog is looking at you, what do you do? If your answer was, stay calm, you win the “knowing your dogs’ award.” High anxiety is the usual first response when facing a stray dog. But, the calmer you are the more controlled the situation remains.
Here are some additional quick tips to avoiding aggressive behavior in dogs:
- Don’t walk up to an unfamiliar dog – cross the street in a calm fashion.
- Do not look the dog in the eyes – this prompts aggression in the dog.
- Do not run from a dog – remain motionless and calm.
- Don’t scream in fear – yelling causes the aggressive behavior to increase.
- Maintain a controlled posture, or as Cesar Milan would say, “Use calm assertive behavior.”
- When you go walking carry a big stick – not to hit or hurt but to stand bigger as a sign of force.
These tips can be used with dogs under your roof as well. The key is to become familiar with your pack and help each dog become the best they can by being alert to life in your home.
The first three months after dog adoption is crucial, here’s what to do.