There can be many reasons why a dog bites strangers. It can be due to fear, confusion or disorientation, protecting or guarding behavior, frustration, or pain. But whatever the causes are, dealing with dog bites can be challenging and devastating. This is especially true if a stranger bitten by your animal decides to file an injury claim against you as the dog owner.
When this happens, there’s a high chance you’ll get to pay a fair amount of compensation to the injured victim. This is especially true if your state’s dog law focuses on a strict liability rule instead of the one bite rule. Under the one bite rule, the owner won’t be liable for their dog’s first bite. But with the strict liability rule, the owner will be accountable when your pet attacks someone on public or private property.
Thus, to protect yourself from paying a considerable amount of money as compensation for damages, it’s crucial to get your dog trained to prevent bites through the following ways:
Provide Your Dog With Proper Socialization
If you own a dog, make sure to introduce it to as many people, including strangers, as part of your training. This approach is what you call socialization. When you socialize your animal with other people, it’ll become less likely fearful when placed in new places. This situation will eventually reduce or control the dog’s aggression.
Remember, the less aggressive your dog is, the less likely it’ll bite people it doesn’t know.
Use Effective Training Methods
Training your dog not to bite strangers doesn’t need to be a complex undertaking. Several effective training methods might help you prevent dog bites. These can include:
- Establish Leadership Method
This training approach is designed to let your dog know who’s in charge by viewing you as a dominant leader. This is also best implemented when you and your dog are in outdoor settings such as when you’re walking them in the park.
Thus, to get started with the established leadership training, you need to do the following:
- Take your authority over your dog by teaching it to heel and follow you while it’s on a leash. Make sure to use a flexible leash to provide the control you need over your dog.
- Ensure a stranger assistant approaches you while you’re walking your dog. If the animal gives an aggressive reaction to the approach, drag it upward and tap it on the side using your leg instead of hitting it. That way, you’re showing your pet who should decide between the two of you.
- Let your stranger assistant approach you continuously at a safe distance while ensuring your dog follows your leadership.
Although this method can be effective in training your animal not to bite, you need to practice it several times over a certain period. By repeating the above-mentioned procedures repeatedly, your dog will eventually take authority, and in turn, the strangers can walk past it without the pet reacting aggressively or acting weird.
- Desensitizing Method
Another method to consider to ensure it doesn’t attack strangers is desensitizing training. The steps can include the following:
- Seek assistance from someone unknown to your pet to visit your home. Your dwelling place can be a suitable venue for the training because your dog feels less anxious in a familiar environment.
- Make sure to place a leash on your animal as a precautionary measure. With your dog on a leash, you can stop it from attacking and biting other people.
- From there, ask this someone to slowly approach you and stop when the dog begins to show aggressive behavior. When it seems relaxed, give affection and treats to reward their good behavior.
- Repeat the process by asking the stranger to move closer and rewarding them. As soon as the animal calms down more often, ask the stranger to give the reward by themselves. By doing so, you tell your dog that the other person is harmless even if they approach it.
- Alternate Behavior Training
You can also train your animal to avoid biting strangers by using this method. Typically, an alternate behavior training can include the following procedures:
- Train your animal by teaching it to respond to a down-stay command in your dwelling. This means instructing it to lie down and stay in that position for a couple of seconds. Once they do the instruction, provide it with a treat.
- Use this command to correct your dog’s unwanted behavior. In doing so, make sure to increase the time needed to keep up with the down-stay position. For instance, you can work on this training for 30 seconds to a few minutes.
- If you feel the dog is already well-trained, it’s time to teach it to follow the down-stay command when the strangers are present and approaching. Make sure your pet is still on a leash and continue rewarding it for responding to your instruction.
- Repeat the training several times to establish this alternate behavior and avoid dog bites and attacks.
Aggression and other vicious behaviors can be problems dog owners should take seriously. Hence, if you think your animal can become aggressive when being approached by strangers, keep the information mentioned above in mind to learn how to train it not to bite people. By doing this, you can save yourself from any legal trouble arising from dog bites.