An 82 years old woman, Savitri, was fatally attacked by her pet dog and suffered grave bite injuries in her abdomen and neck and died during treatment at a trauma center in Qaiserbagh area of Lucknow, on Wednesday. This unfortunate incident raises a lot of questions on why pets attack the very owners who train and raise them.
Is it because of the fact that the pet owners in most cases, while selecting the breeds, are ignorant about the temperament of the animal they bring home. Also, people who live in close proximity with aggressive pet breeds are not well equipped with knowledge about the special training needed for breeds like Pit Bull. In the above incident the dog of the said breed, attacked its owner to death.
Dog care and training go hand-in-hand. Even if you consider your dog as your family member, you cannot turn your back to the fact that it is, after all, an animal and would behave in a certain manner.
Some dog breeds are considered to be aggressive and they require special training. In certain cases, people love to own fancy dog breeds as a ‘fashion-statement’, while they don’t pay much attention to the special care these breeds require. It is entirely not about the breed of the dog, it is about proper care and training. Many breeds have special training requirements.
If you wish to bring home a pet and make it your family member, you must keep certain things in mind:
Dogs are social
Dogs of all breeds are some of the most social animals. They have excellent ‘people-skills’ and they love to be surrounded by other animals and humans. The more they interact with people, the better their mind functions and they remain calm and composed.
According to a research based article, Dogs Supporting Human Health and Well-Being: A Biopsychosocial Approach, “Through the processes of domestication and natural selection, dogs have become adept at socializing with humans.”
In reality, it is discouraging to see most people keeping their pet dogs confined to a particular area, away from people. Such dogs become very tired of their solitary state and tend to develop an overtly aggressive behavior.
Treat them well
Dogs require special treatment at times. Once domesticated, they must be allocated a particular place and their boundaries must be defined for them. Catering to their needs is considered as a motivating action and dogs are very reciprocative to the ones who treat them well.
According to The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), “The safest and most effective way to treat an aggression problem is to implement behavior modification under the guidance of a qualified professional. Modifying a dog’s behavior involves rewarding her for good behavior so you’ll likely be more successful if your dog enjoys praise, treats and toys.”
Training is very important especially if you live with a dog breed which is considered aggressive. The root cause of any untoward incident involving a dog is; human behaviour itself. The very concept of being a “dog lover” is misconstrued. Domesticating an animal is against its very basic nature, which is meant to behave untamed. With proper training by a certified dog trainer, the behavior of the dog can be mended according to the domestic surroundings. It is just like sending your kid to school. It is for their and your benefit. A well trained dog would know about the areas where they are allowed inside the house and how to conduct themselves.
According to Importance of Puppy Training for Future Behavior of the Dog, published in Journal of Veterinary Medical Science, “Adequate socialization is necessary for producing a well-balanced and well-adjusted dog.”
Some important tips to keep in mind:
- Always keep the dog in a well-ventilated and cool area of the house
- Make sure the dog has access to drinking water at all times
- Do not keep the dog leashed or confined at all times
- “Potty-training” is must
- If you take your dog out for a walk, always carry a “poop scooper” with you
- Let your dog meet your friends, relatives and acquaintances
- Most dogs love kids, let them near the little-ones
- Make sure your dog understands and responds to your commands
Above all, mend your own behaviour. If you are disciplined, your dog will replicate.