In New Zealand one in four dog bite victims are under four years old and sustain mainly face and neck injuries, often from the family pet.
All dogs have the potential to bite. Any loose dog may be aggressive and should be avoided. If a dog is showing signs of aggression the owner should be notified. Often, an owner may be unaware of their dog’s behaviour and this caution could prevent an attack.
Or, when they attempt to be:
Biting and nipping in pups can easily be corrected and prevented. Biting in older dogs is more difficult, and correction methods may not work, resulting in the dog having to be put down.
To prevent a pup from growing up to be a biter, an owner should consider the following:
Biting and aggressive behaviour is socially unacceptable and can be placed into the law's hands. Any aggressive behaviour should be dealt with immediately after an incident occurs. A dog that bites from fright needs different attention to a dog that bites because it is dominant or territorial. An owner should seek professional help, such as a veterinarian, for a treatment programme.
If you are a victim or witness to an aggressive dog, you should report the dog to Animal Management by contacting the Council.