I totally understand the helplessness one feels when there dog bites (whether it be another dog or even worse a person) I understand that you feel confused, angry frustrated and might not even know what to do, but there is one thing I have a hard time with… RESPONSIBILITY! Dog owners are responsible for the socialization and supervision of the dogs they own. If you adopted the dog and don’t know the dogs background then taking the dog to the dog park to find out is probably not the best idea. If you don’t know how the dog is around unfamiliar children then finding out during a sleep over with your child’s friends might not be a good idea either. A majority of bites come from fear and lack of socialization!!! I do not want to come off as crass or uncaring here but once a dog bites it is us the humans who have now taught the dog that biting will make scary things go away… In many cases this is the point where the phone call comes to me the dog trainer wanting me to fix the situation.

I hate to break it to folks but once a dog has bitten it is virtually impossible, even with training to ever say the problem can ever be completely fixed. Why? Because if the dog is ever pushed past his or her stress/fear threshold they are going to fall back on what has worked in the past, and they have already proven to themselves biting works… Our only real hope is that we can begin to increase the threshold but that is not solution it is an improvement! We must along with training add management.

People must realize that training is only a small portion of the solution… Management is the key to all dog ownership or what I like to call being a dog’s ADVOCATE! Take a deep breath and realize that it was you that allowed your dog to be in a situation it was not ready for and a terrible situation has occurred. You and only you are going to be the one that has to deal with it! You will now have to consider things like public safety! Yes you are going to have to now consider things like muzzles, tethering, crating, isolation and even the possibility of euthanization depending on the severity and number of bites that have taken place. Don’t blame the messenger here I would much rather teach folks how to avoid these incidents but in many cases my first contact with dog owners is after not before a bite takes place. People have to understand that as dog trainers our responsibility is not only to our clients but also to the safety of the community in which we live and trust me it is a responsibility we take very seriously.

So if you are reading this and your dog has never bitten then congratulations on a job well done from a socialization and training point of view, or if however your dog has never bitten but you see parts of your dog’s behavior that make you feel nervous now is the time to talk to a trainer! Your goal at this point should be education about these situations and how to manage them before the unthinkable happens. I know this topic is one no one wants to discuss but trust me waiting and hoping the situation will get better, will only result in a conversation with me, or worse a lawyer that no one wants to have… 


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