In New Jersey, a doctrine of strict liability is applied to all dog bite cases. That means a dog owner is always liable for injures caused by their pet, regardless of whether the pet owner was aware that the animal posed a risk.
Dog bites can have serious consequences for victims, with some animals causing disfiguring injuries or even worse. That is why dog owners must take the proper steps to prevent bites and attacks before they occur.
Enroll the dog in obedience classes
Pet owners should enroll their dogs in obedience training as soon as possible. Dogs as young as eight weeks are can undergo training, and the earlier it takes place, the less likely it is that a pet will pick up bad habits. Pet owners should continue to use reward-based training techniques to well after their dogs have graduated from obedience classes.
Have the dog spayed or neutered
Dogs that are not fixed have a greater chance of behaving aggressively. Female dogs in heat are more likely to escape the home in search of a mate, while male dogs pursuing a female may lash out at other animals or even people. Spaying and neutering procedures can take place once the dog reaches eight weeks of age.
Make sure the dog is socialized
Aggression does not just stem from anger, it can also occur when a dog is feeling fearful or anxious. Dogs are that are exposed to different types of people (meaning different genders, ages, etc.) as well as many different animals will be more social in general. Dogs that are more social are less likely to react fearfully in new situations because they have a greater range of experiences.
Take aggressive behaviors seriously
Dogs often provide many clues before they actually lash out and bite someone. Pet owners should be on the lookout for things like snarling, cowering, lunging, and the bearing of teeth. When these behaviors are exhibited, the pet owner has a duty to remove their dog from the situation to prevent others from being injured. If the pet continually shows signs of aggression, more advanced obedience training is necessary.