Michael’s Pack Urges You to Recognize National Dog Bite Prevention Week with Crucial Training Tips

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

(Mineola, NY) — Each year, about 4.5 million people in the U.S. are bitten by dogs and one in five of those individuals need medical attention, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association. This year, May 19-25 is considered National Dog Bite Prevention Week. Michael Schaier, Canine Expert and Owner/Head Trainer, Michael’s Pack, knows how important it is to raise a healthy puppy or dog and suggests that owners try their best to understand why their dog bites, because there is always a reason behind the anxiety-driven act.

Below is a list of suggested reasons that Mr. Schaier has provided on why your dog may be biting:

● Not Enough Exercise — Exercise is the key to a healthy, calm dog. It helps your pup burn off emotional and/or physical energy that they have been building up. Just like humans, exercise in dogs provides endorphins, which are chemicals that get released to the brain during physical activity that help relieve stress in humans and dogs. Try taking your dog out for a long walk or run each day to boost his/her mood.

Lack of Socialization — Socialization can help center your dog’s energy. It is imperative to introduce your dog to other dogs and humans at a young age. If not, your dog may become anxious and frightened of anybody that’s not in your home, which could lead to nervousness and more biting.

Fear of the Unknown — Dogs are curious creatures; therefore, viewing something out of the ordinary can cause additional anxiety. For instance, hats, sunglasses, small children waving their hands at them, people who walk with a cane or a walker, and wheelchairs are some of the situations that may cause dogs to be on the defense. This goes back to the last point of socializing and why it is important to introduce them to a variety of different individuals in different settings at a young age.

● Resource Biting/Territorial Biting — Almost all dogs have the biting resources trait. After discovering what their favorite meal is and where their most-visited spot is, or whatever has extremely high value, your dog may become anxious and bite when they sense someone is threatening their meal or area of the home.

After assessing what the cause of your dog’s anxiety may be, Mr. Schaier recommends the below tips to fix the problem:

● Keep Your Dog on a Leash — First and foremost, the most efficient way to control your dog’s biting is to always have him/her on a secure leash. You can control who your dog interacts with and let him/her know when they have to calm down with positive reinforcement.

Hire a Certified Dog Trainer — A trainer will help you verify the reasons why your dog may be anxious/aggressive and will suggest adequate, professional tips on how to calm your dog. After assessing your dog and getting to know him/her, you will be one step closer to a calm, cooperative dog. Your trainer will help you work through whatever your dog is going through at the time.

“Dog bites can signify different issues,” says Mr. Schaier. “Is your dog just nipping? If so, that might be a source of play for your dog. A more serious bite is due to fear or anxiety on the part of the dog. It’s best to get a dog that may bite on a behavior modification program right away and reward them for good behavior.”

For more information on tips for National Dog Bite Prevention Week, please call (516) DOG.PACK (364-7225) or visit www.michaels-pack.com.

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About Michael’s Pack

Michael’s Pack provides private and group dog-training sessions that are based on positive reinforcement, coupled with holistic methods. Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced sessions are offered, both at the Mineola training facility and in private residences. The author of Wag That Tail: A Trainer's Guide to a Happy Dog, Michael Schaier holds the following certifications: AKC-C.G.C: American Kennel Cub — Canine Good Companion Evaluator; ABC-D.T: Animal Behavior College Dog Trainer; and CPDT-K.A.: Certified Professional Dog Trainer — Knowledge Assessed. For more information, please call (516) 364-7225 or visit www.michaels-pack.com.