Help Prevent Dog Bites!
National Dog Bite Prevention Week takes place during the third full week of May each year, and focuses on educating people about preventing dog bites.
There is an estimated population of 70 million dogs living in U.S. households, most of them nice, but any dog can bite. Millions of people – most of them children – are bitten by dogs every year- see numbers below. The majority of these bites, if not all, are preventable through supervising, training, socializing and properly caring for puppies and dogs, watching visual cues, choosing the right dog breed and understanding dog behaviour, neutering, monitoring small children with dogs and other means.
Send us your thoughts, tips and experiences.
Watch for information from the AVMA. Dr. Bain – DVM, a board-certified veterinary behaviorist and chief of the Behavior Service at the UC Davis William R. Pritchard Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital (VMTH)- joins the American Veterinary Medical Association, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Humane Society of the United States in reminding pet owners and other members of the public of some tips on how to avoid dog bites (source : https://www.vetmed.ucdavis.edu/whatsnew/article.cfm?id=2716)
If you own a dog
• Learn about dog bite prevention, including the basics of responsible ownership and veterinary care
• Never leave a child or baby alone with a dog without direct adult supervision
• Talk to your veterinarian about the best ways to socialize your puppy and keep it healthy
• Introduce animals to new situations gradually
• When out and about, be aware of others around you; obey leash laws
• Neuter your pet, as it may help reduce some aggression in dogs (not to mention helping reduce pet overpopulation)
• Learn to read your dog’s body language so that you will be aware of potential situations that could lead to aggression
• Teach young children to be cautious and respectful around dogs, staying away from strange dogs and asking owner permission before petting an unfamiliar dog
• Respect a dog’s behavior tendencies
• Whether or not they own pets, adults should teach children to respect a dog’s natural instincts. Do not disturb an animal that is eating, resting, or caring for its puppies
If you encounter an aggressive dog
• Stay still and calm. Children can learn to stand very still and “be a post” or “be a rock” until the animal leaves
• Stay quiet, or speak in a low, calm voice
• Avoid eye contact with the animal
• Try to put something between you and the dog. If you are on a bicycle and a dog chases you, stop the bicycle and dismount. Use the bicycle as a barrier between you and the animal
• Back away slowly, and remain facing the animal until it is gone
• If you fall or are knocked down, curl into a ball and use your hands and arms to protect the face, neck and head
Jack Z. Lucas says
Nice article. I just wrote an essay on dogs body language and included some about the tail below.
The tail is a wagging and this mean the dog is friendly, or maybe not. With most dogs that have tails it can convey many messages, some nice, some nasty. Specialists say a dogs wagging tail can mean the dog is scared, confused, preparing to fight, or be confident, concentrating, interested, or happy.
How do you tell the difference? Take a look at the speed and range of motion in the tail. The wide-fast tail wag is almost always the message of “Hey, I am so happy to see you!” wag. The tail that is not tight but sticking straight back, or close too, means the dog is curious but unsure, and probably not going to bite but remain in a place of neutral affection (Verdict is not in). This dog will probably not be confrontational.
The slow tail wag means the same; the dog is gauging the friendly meter as to friend or foe. The held high and stiff, or bristling (hair raised) tail is the WATCH OUT! ‘Red Flag’ for humans to be cautious. This dog may not only be aggressive but dangerous and ready to rumble. If you come across this dog it is time to calculate your retreat and escape plan.
Not only the speed and range of the wag is to be noted while reading the doggie body-language. One must also take note of the tail position. A dog that is carrying its tail erect is a self-assured dog in control of itself. On the flip side of that, is the dog with their tail between their legs, tucked in tight. The tucked tail is the “I surrender man, I surrender, please don’t hurt me” posture. This applies to humans and its fellow K-9’s. The chill dog, a la Reggae special, is the dog that has her tail lowered but not tucked in-between her legs. The tail is just down and relaxed stating the dog is the same.
While training your dog or simply playing, it is a good idea to take note what his or her tail is doing.
Talent Hounds says
Thanks so much Jack. Love to get tips and feedback from trainers! Feel free to register you business under listings and/or send any tips or ideas to info at talenthounds. We focus on responsible pet ownership so understanding behaviour perfect, positive training and healthy/safety. best S