Merry Christmas!

Did someone in your household get a Christmas puppy? There is no way to guarantee that that adorable little puppy will never bite anyone. However, there are steps that you and your family can take to significantly reduce the risk of Wisconsin dog bite attacks.

1.      Spay or neuter your puppy. Spaying or neutering can be done when your puppy is six to eight weeks old and weighs at least two pounds. Spaying or neutering reduces a dog's desire to roam or to fight with other dogs. This makes them happier to be at home and much less likely to bite.

2.      Socialize your puppy. While your dog is young, expose your puppy to a variety of people and experiences. This will help your dog learn to not be frightened or nervous under normal social situations.

3.      Train your dog. Sign your dog up for an obedience class. Not only will he learn to respond to your commands, but he will also learn to deal with social situations. Every family member should participate in your dog's training.

4.      Teach your dog appropriate behavior. Don't allow your dog to chase after or attack others, even in play. It’s hard for a dog to understand the difference between playing and real-life situations. Set appropriate and consistent limits for your dog's behavior.

5.      If your dog behaves aggressively, take action. The first time your dog exhibits dangerous or aggressive behavior toward a person or animal is the right time to ask your veterinarian or dog trainer how to discourage and counteract this behavior. Don't wait for a Wisconsin dog bite to happen.

6.      Keep your dog healthy. Sick dogs are more likely to bite. Make sure your dog is properly vaccinated and make regular veterinarian visits a priority.

7.      Treat your dog as a member of the family. Dogs that are left tied up or unsupervised for long periods of time are more likely to bite.

8.      Be cautious in new situations. If you don’t know how your dog will react in a new situation, watch him carefully—especially if there are children around.

If your dog bites someone, confine your dog and check on the victim. Cooperate with animal control officers and answer all questions about vaccinations. If your dog must be quarantined, ask about quarantine requirements and follow them.

If you have been injured by a dog in Wisconsin, you have rights. Contact the Milwaukee dog bite attorneys at Hupy and Abraham at 800-800-5678 and ask to schedule a free legal consultation.