The key to preventing bite incidents is owner responsibility.

In the past couple of posts we have been talking about dog owner responsibility as it pertains to dog bites. However the possibility that a dog may bite is not the only reason that dog owners need to take responsible for their pets, and ensure that their animals are controlled at all times. Many other reasons exist.

Let’s look at reasons why your dog should be leashed in public. (Yes THAT old chestnut again!)

1.) Leashing your dog on walks gives you control of your animal ensuring that he won’t dart out into traffic and get hit by a passing motorist.

2.) Leashing your dog allows you to control whom your dog approaches, and could possibly prevent a bite incident from taking place.

3.) Leashing your dog on walks is the LAW in most places.

Now how about care and control of your pet on your own property?

Is your property fenced? Do you use a tie out to prevent your dog from leaving your unfenced yard? Do you supervise your dog when it is outside? Or are you one of those people who lets your dog out in your unfenced yard giving little thought to the fact that it may roam or what consequences that may have? Or are you one of those people who thinks a dog belongs outside? (Just for the record there is no such thing as an outdoor dog!)

An unsupervised dog in an unfenced backyard can lead to disastrous consequences. It is YOUR responsibility as a dog “owner” to be in control of your pet at ALL times. If you can not control your dog, it is time for obedience training. “Owning” a dog comes with a lot of responsibility, and should not be taken lightly.

As a dog “owner” it is your responsibility to see that your dog behaves himself in public, but it is also your responsibility to ensure that your dog is protected from having his space invaded by strangers. This means speaking up and not allowing strangers to get in your dog’s face. It means telling parents you do not want your dog approached in a boisterous manner that might over excite him and cause a reaction you were not expecting. (For more on this read the following posts)

Why are you allowing your child to invade my dog’s space?

Hey if you don’t get this kid away from me I am going to bite it!

You see the problem is this: no one ever wants to blame themselves for a dog bite incident, it is far easier to blame the dog, and so that is what many people do. However when most bite incidents are broken down and analyzed we find that nine times out of ten it is negligence on the part of the dog’s owner, or the bite victim themselves that causes the bite to happen. (Check out these past posts for more on that)

Such a heartwarming photo…or is it?

They all have owners who failed to prevent them from biting.

Do you know what’s happening at the end of your leash?

When dogs bite who is really to blame?

So, do me a favor will ya? If you have a dog, be responsible for that dog. If you are thinking of getting a dog think long and hard about the commitment and all it entails. We can prevent bite incidents, but in order to do so everyone who owns a dog MUST be responsible for ensuring that that dog does no harm!

Have a great weekend everybody!