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What to do if Your Dog Bites Another Dog

 by simone on 21 Jul 2014 |
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The majority of pet dogs will be happy and healthy and, if socialised properly, will have pleasant and trouble-free interactions with children, people, other dogs and animals. However, keep in mind that any dog of any breed - large or small - can bite.

As a dog owner, you will be held responsible if your dog attacks a person or another animal, even if you are not there at the time. A dog deemed to be dangerous can be seized and euthanased, so the last thing you want is for your dog to be aggressive. If a biting incident has occurred, there a number of steps you should take to minimise damage and reduce the chance that aggression will continue.
 
Reasons dogs bite
There are various reasons why your usually placid and friendly dog may become aggressive. Some of the most common reasons are:
  • Out of fear or feeling threatened
  • Protection - Dogs are pack animals and will protect any ‘pack member’, which could mean you as well as their offspring or fellow household animals.
  • Being possessive about their territory, food, toys and pack.
  • Suffering from pain or illness
If your dog has bitten another dog
  • Remain calm
  • Get your dog under control and separate the animals. To separate the dogs, lift your dog’s hind legs off the ground and manoeuvre them away from the other dog.
  • Give assistance to the owner and injured dog. If you are able to, offer to take the injured dog to a vet and pay in full or contribute to any veterinary costs.
  • Exchange contact information with the other owner.
  • Seek legal advice in case you are asked to pay compensation or damages.
  • If, for any reason, you are unable to control your dog, you should call your local animal control organisation or police.
  • Be aware that you may be fined by your local council or animal control organisation.
  • Dogs that attack when unprovoked may be deemed dangerous and may be seized then euthanased. 
Steps you can take to lessen the risk of aggression
  • Spayed or neutered dogs tend to exhibit less aggressive behaviour
  • Exercise and play with your dog regularly to keep them active, healthy and improve their behaviour
  • Ensure your dog’s vaccinations are up-to-date and that they have regular veterinary check-ups to identify any medical conditions
  • Ensure your dog has had obedience training
  • When in public, keep your dog leashed, and muzzled if necessary
  • Keep your dog confined to your property
  • Understand the frightened and aggressive body language of your dog so you can take necessary action before the situation escalates
  • Ensure your puppy is socialised with other dogs and gets proper training to discourage biting at an early age
  • Seek professional help from your veterinarian, a dog behaviourist or dog trainer if your dog continues to display aggression 
 

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