Dogs are beloved creatures who have a positive impact on many people’s lives. But however tame you might think your dog may be, there is always the risk of them snapping at an intruder or injuring a stranger.

While other people who don’t know your dog can take steps to avoid triggering a dog attack, there are also preventative measures that you can take to ensure your dog doesn’t bite another person.

Stay persistent with training

Training a dog can be difficult. It takes patience and endurance and often varies from dog to dog.

In many cases, reward-based training exercises are the most beneficial. This involves asking your dog to do something for a treat, ultimately teaching your dog that you will reward good behavior.

Also, any behavior that could fall under the category of aggression — such as jumping on people or pulling on a leash — could lead to an attack down the road if you don’t work to manage those habits early on.

Teach children how to act

Children are often on the receiving end of a dog attack. There are several factors that play into a child’s vulnerability around a dog. Young kids are generally energetic, and sometimes dogs can interpret a child’s rambunctious movements as threatening. Children also aren’t usually very good at reading the signs of aggression in a dog.

Make sure that any child who interacts with your dog knows how to treat them. If it’s your own children, involve them in the training process so that your dog has experience working with smaller kids. If it’s a visiting child, let them know when they should leave your dog alone to rest or eat without interference.

Maintain attentive supervision

When you’re out with your dog at a dog park or when you have guests come over to your house, make sure that you know where your dog is at all times. This will allow you to keep an eye on their behavior. If you notice any warning signs that your dog might be overwhelmed, scared or territorial, you can remove them from the scene before anything happens.

If you live in a more populated neighborhood and you often let your dog outside by themselves, consider tying them up on a rope or installing a fence around your yard so that your dog can’t charge any passersby or so that strangers can’t unexpectedly approach them.

Prevent a potential dog attack

Unfortunately, even the most well-trained, kind-hearted dogs can get defensive from time to time. But with careful attention, positive reinforcement training and respectful treatment, you can work to make sure that you and your friends, family members and even strangers alike can enjoy greeting your dog.