Safety Recommendations for Aggressive Dogs
- All animals have the potential to bite. Euthanasia is the only way to absolutely guarantee a dog will not bite.
- It is the owner’s responsibility to take appropriate precautions to prevent the pet from causing harm. These precautions may include, but are not limited to, medication, informing persons near your pet of its aggressive behavior, keeping it on a leash and muzzled, and/or keeping it restrained behind doors, gates or fencing.
- It is also the owner’s responsibility to be aware of and to comply with all state and local ordinances concerning aggressive animals.
- Animals usually give preliminary warning postures prior to an actual bite; all warnings should be heeded and all interaction with the animal discontinued.
- To decrease aggressive episodes, avoid all known situations that trigger aggression. If your pet exhibits warning signals or actually bites when you physically interact with them, then this interaction must be avoided. This may include petting, hugging, pushing, stepping over them, grabbing by the collar, picking them up, wiping feet, cleaning ears, etc..
- If your dog shows aggressive behavior to other dogs, avoid walks in high traffic areas or where you are likely to encounter other dogs. The dog must be walked by a competent adult. Never let a child, or frail persons walk an aggressive dog.
- Avoid all physical reprimands, as these are likely to increase rather than decrease aggressive responses.
- If your pet aggresses toward visitors to your home, the pet must be confined before visitors are allowed in the house.
- The aggressively aroused pet should be segregated in a secure location with necessary resources (water) and minimal stimulation until the pet is calm again. Periodic visits to the containment may allow owner to assess the animal’s reactivity and ability to rejoin the household.
Never, ever, leave a child or infirm person alone with any dog, whether you believe the dog to be aggressive or not! An adult must closely supervise all interactions with children and the elderly and infirm. If close supervision is not possible, the pet needs to be confined away from the children and infirm. If you have a babysitter, the dog must be confined before you leave.
- The pet should be placed in confinement by an adult.
- Confinement must be some place secure such as a room with a lock, a kennel or crate, or a fenced back yard.
- If your pet exhibits aggression when outside in the yard, they must not be outside alone. They should be supervised by an adult and preferably on a leash for additional control. They must never be left outside when no one is home.
- Do not tether aggressive dogs in the yard or any public place. Electronic containment systems should not be used with aggressive animals
- If your pet exhibits warning signals or actual bites when you approach his/her food or when in possession of a toy, chew bone, or stolen item, this must be avoided.
- If your animal is aggressive around human food, the pet should not be in the room while food is being prepared and consumed. Children must not walk around the home eating food if the animal is in the house.
- If your animal is aggressive around human food, they should not be in the room while food is being prepared and consumed. Children must not walk around the home eating food if the animal is in the house.
- If your pet is aggressive around their pet food, food bowl, and/or treats then one should:
- Prepare the pet’s food when the pet is outside or contained in another area of the house.
- Place the prepared food in a room that can be closed/locked.
- Let the pet into the room with the food.
- Close and lock the door, allowing the pet to eat without any contact.
- Once the food is consumed, let out the pet and put outside or contain in another area of the house.
- Once the pet is contained away from the feeding room, the human can go into the room and retrieve the food bowl and put it away.
Also see Dog Aggression; Owner Directed Aggression