Dog bite prevention has been a hot topic recently, especially due to the debates concerning breed-specific regulation. Ideally, we strive to coexist safely with our furry friends. Unfortunately, incidents still occur, but by adopting certain policies and methodologies, we can easily reduce the number of dog bites and make for more peaceful relationships, regardless of breed.
Recently, breed-specific regulation has targeted the “pit bull”, though there is no actual breed named as such, rather a few that closely resemble each other, i.e. American Staffordshire Terrier, American Pit Bull Terrier. The regulations have not proven to be effective in reducing bites and attacks; as such incidences are typically an issue of irresponsible ownership, not breed type.
Animal scientists and professionals have compiled research showing that dog bite incidents are not more likely to occur with specific breeds.
The same scientists and professionals emphasize a more comprehensive approach to the prevention of such incidents, rather than these narrow-minded ‘breed bans’.
Responsible pet ownership is key in reducing dog bites
There are several things an owner can do to ensure they maintain a friendly pooch, regardless of breed.
- Firstly, procure your dog from an ethically sound, clean, and safe source. A dog’s initial origin can be a huge factor in its behavioral development.
- Spay or neuter your dog.
- License and provide proper identification for your pooch.
- Provide training (whether on your own or professionally) and adequate socialization to ensure your pet integrates with other dogs and people.
- A good diet and medical care are essential not only for your pet’s physical health, like reducing the risk of dog joint pain, but also mental health as well.
- Never let your pet become a threat or nuisance to the community.
By following these policies, dog bite incidents can easily be reduced. All of these are typical models of responsible pet ownership, and should be considered prior to purchasing or obtaining a pet. We each need to do our own part to foster a healthy coexistence with our furry friends.