Owner’s Responsibilities

By law, owners can be held liable for their dog's actions—including biting. You can reduce the likelihood of your dog biting someone by observing these points:

  • Socialize and train your dog. It is best to start while your dog is a puppy, however, most dogs can be socialized to not be aggressive;
  • Do not let your dog run loose. Provide a fenced run and leash your dog when you go for a walk. Avoid having young children walk dogs they cannot control;
  • When you meet children while out for a walk, be sure they approach your dog properly. This ensures their safety as well as protecting your dog;
  • Teach children to observe the simple rules of safe and considerate behaviour around dogs. In particular, teasing, chasing and yelling should be discouraged. Your dog may tolerate it, but another may not;
  • Choose your dog carefully. Pups should be evaluated in light of the parent dog's behaviour. Select dogs that have been bred to be non-aggressive family dogs;
  • The importance of sterilizing your animal cannot be overemphasized. Spaying and neutering your dog tends to reduce aggressive tendencies significantly. A U.S. survey of over 200 fatal dog attacks showed that in all but two cases the attacks were carried out by unneutered or unspayed dogs;
  • Do not leave babies or very young children alone with a dog;
  • Children should be taught to never hug a dog. Many dogs tolerate such behaviour but others don’t.