Dog bites can be sudden and devastating, causing severe injury. If you have a dog, it is your responsibility to reduce the chances that your dog will bite or attack someone. These seven tips can help you prevent dog bites when at all possible.

1. Keep Your Dog Away From Young Children

Children can be unpredictable, and even well trained dogs can be surprised by a child and attack. Keep your dog away from young children when at all possible, and avoid bringing a dog into the home if you have a child under the age of four.

2. Spay or Neuter Your Dog

Statistics show that unneutered male dogs are more likely to bite than any other dog. However, females that have not been spayed are also highly likely to bite. Spay or neuter your dog at an early age to reduce the risk of an unprecedented attack.

3. Purchase or Adopt a Less Aggressive Breed of Dog

Some breeds are known to be more aggressive than other dogs, such as pit bulls and rottweilers. These breeds are considered more likely to bite than many other breeds of dog. Before you adopt a dog or make a purchase, consider getting a breed that is known to be friendly or less aggressive than others, like dalmatians or shelties.

4. Ensure Your Dog Is Healthy

Even the most well behaved and trained dog can bite or attack if he or she is sick and not feeling well. Keep your dog up to date on all vaccinations, and ensure that your dog gets regular check ups by a veterinarian. If your dog is acting lethargic, stops eating or drinking, or has persistent vomiting or diarrhea call or visit your veterinarian as soon as possible.

5. Socialize Your Dog

Dogs who aren’t frequently around people can become scared and will attack in situations where people are near. Proper socialization of your dog is necessary to help your dog adjust well to others and reduce the likelihood that he or she will bite. Socialization to other dogs and people is most effective when your dog is young, between six months to a year in age.

6. Consider Professional Training

Many owners simply don’t have the knowledge or time to train their pups. However, professional training can go a long way to a well behaved dog. Consider having a professional trainer in your area work with your dog to learn basic commands and obedience skills.

7. Keep Your Dog Leashed or Fenced In Outside

Even if your dog is well behaved and friendly around others, you should never allow your dog to run at large. Keep your dog in a fenced in area if you do not have him or her leashed or inside the house. When going for walks or visiting the park, keep your dog leashed at all times.

Even dogs that are neutered, trained, cared for and healthy can attack or bite suddenly, doing significant damage. If you or a loved one were bitten by a dog, you may be eligible for compensation.

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