Dogs are a common sight in Illinois, but this does not mean that these animals are always docile. Many of these pets are capable of biting, particularly if they are not trained. As any Lake County dog bite lawyer would know, these bites are often very serious. However, if dog owners train their pets early and consistently, many of these bite injuries could be prevented. Below are a few tips that owners may find useful in proactively addressing aggressive behavior in their dogs.
Start training early
Much like babies, puppies investigate their environments with their mouths. According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, puppies will chew on almost anything. While this is a natural part of growing, the behavior must be addressed early. If allowed to go unchecked, puppies’ chewing may lead to habitual biting.
One popular method of bite training is known as bite inhibition. In this method, puppies are allowed to bite a person’s hand. That person then gives out a sharp yelp, showing the puppy that the bite led to an injury. This teaches the puppy that human skin is sensitive, which in turn prevents dog bites when the puppy grows up.
Require obedience, even in stressful situations
According to the Humane Society of the United States, many dogs will react to stress with aggression. As any Lake County dog bite lawyer would attest, a number of factors may lead a dog to feel stress. While dog owners may try to avoid such situations, this may not always be possible. As such, the issue must be addressed through training.
The Humane Society explains that when a dog becomes anxious, it may refuse to follow commands it would normally obey. Therefore, owners must specifically train their pets to be obedient in stressful situations. Otherwise, dogs will be conditioned into believing that when they feel threatened, they no longer have to follow the rules. This is extremely dangerous because a stressful situation can quickly escalate if a dog cannot be controlled by its owner.
Reduce territorial aggression
As the ASPCA explains, dogs often behave aggressively because they are scared or in pain. Biting in these situations is usually a defense, at least in the animal’s mind. Territorial dogs are another issue altogether. When dogs believe they have a set territory to protect, they may engage in active attacks. Owners can train against territoriality by consistently reinforcing submissive behavior whenever someone enters the home or walks near the property.
If a dog bites someone, the legal responsibility for that injury lies with the animal’s owner. Dog owners are responsible for injuries caused by their dogs if those acts are unprovoked, regardless of whether the owner was negligent or not. The owners of dogs are covered by their homeowner’s insurance for these attacks. If you have been injured, you absolutely should discuss the matter with a Lake County dog bite lawyer. Taking this step may help you obtain compensation for your injuries.