- Consult with a professional (e.g., veterinarian, animal behaviorist, or responsible breeder) to learn about suitable breeds of dogs for your household and neighborhood
- Spend time with a dog before buying or adopting it. Use caution when bringing a dog into a home with an infant or toddler. A dog with a history of aggression is inappropriate in a household with children
- Be sensitive to cues that a child is fearful of or apprehensive about a dog. If a child is or seems fearful or apprehensive, delay acquiring a dog. Never leave infants or young children alone with any dog
- Have your dog spayed or neutered. Studies show that dogs are three times more likely to bite if they are NOT neutered
- Socialize your dog so it knows how to act with other people and animals
- Teach children to refrain from disturbing a dog that is eating or sleeping
- Play non-aggressive games with your dog, such as "go fetch." Playing aggressive games like "tug-of-war" can encourage inappropriate behavior
- Avoid exposing your dog to new situations in which you are unsure of its response
- Never approach a strange dog and always avoid eye contact with a dog that appears threatening
- Immediately seek professional advice from veterinarians, animal behaviorists, or responsible breeders if your dog develops aggressive or undesirable behaviors
Dog Bite Claims Now Take A Bigger Bite Out Of Homeowners' Wallets; The Hanover Suggests Ways To Avoid Instances And Lawsuits
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