Your dog is the best, you love them so much, and you consider them to be family. That’s how most feel about their pets, and it’s not difficult to see why. But as great as your dog might be for you, they might not always be the same around others.

Dog bites send more than 350,000 people to the emergency room every year, and in 2017, 39 people in the United States were killed by dogs. As much as we love our loyal Labradors and Lakeland Terriers, it’s essential to remember that they are animals, and can be dangerous. Personal injury lawyer Roger Fincher is more than equipped to deal with the aftermath of a dog bite — but since we want only the best for the residents of Topeka, we’d like to talk about some ways that you can keep others (and yourself) safe from your dog. See what you can do to help both your dog and humans alike, and contact Roger Fincher for any dog bite-related injuries that weren’t your fault.

Start Training Young

Whether you get your dog as a puppy or when they’re a little bit older, it’s important to set your expectations from the get-go. Socializing your dog with other animals and humans can make all the difference in how they interact with others. Not to mention, it can eliminate some fears that your dog might have as well. Here are a few commands to teach your pup:

  • Come
  • Sit
  • Stay
  • Leave it (or “drop”)
  • Settle (especially helpful for more anxious dogs)
  • Down

When your dog knows these commands by heart, they’re more equipped to react in a calm manner, and quickly at that. In certain situations, strangers might even say a command to them and they’ll respond, thus protecting the other person from dogs.

Don’t Assume

There are a lot of assumptions that people make when it comes to dogs. Some believe certain breeds are more dangerous than others. While it’s true that some dogs have instinctive behaviors that are a result of their breed (mostly because breeding was to promote various physical and behavioral components of a dog), much of it does boil down to training.

When you’re interacting with another dog, don’t assume that they are trained. When your dog is interacting with another dog, don’t assume that they’ll get along. When your dog is around other people, don’t assume that people want to pet them — a fear of dogs is very real for many people. When people want to pet your dog, don’t assume your dog will be fine with it.

None of these things are guarantees, and in every situation, your dog and others might be just fine. But it’s better with dogs, as is true for most things in life, to prepare for the worst and hope for the best.

We’ll continue with a few more tips for dog owners in our next blog. Until then, know that personal injury lawyer Roger Fincher is here for support, for dog bite injuries, workers’ comp, and so much more. Call today for a free consultation!