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Dog Bite Prevention Tips

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Dog Bite Prevention Week is May 17-23, 2015
I was recently browsing some tips I was sent about dog bite prevention. We no longer have a Dog, but it is not uncommon for families to take the spring and summer seasons and bring home a new puppy or dog for the family. In summer, the kids are home more and the days are hot. Between busy schedules, summer trips and the heat, animals can become easily stressed and even a dog that is loyal to a family can have ways of reacting abnormally. I used to work as a Veterinary Assistant before I moved to human medicine and I know and have seen the benefits of a dog or puppy well-trained. The best gift you can give to your new pet or to a family with a new pet is proper training. 
The second tip I would give is to never leave young kids alone with even what appears to be the sweetest of dogs. Dogs may not feel like being poked at and may go hide under a table or chair without you noticing and all it takes is a young child to provoke that dog while he is cornered and bad things happen. Training a dog is a great family event. The entire family should be involved as I really feel it helps plant that seed in a child’s mind that these ARE animals and they behave differently than we do. You can train a child to not aggravate a dog much easier than training a dog to not react when cornered. Even my own 6 year old son knows he is to ask to pet a dog. He will even look at me for a second opinion when an owner says yes. He has been scolded by me for running up to dogs. He has been taught to not trust a dog he does not know.

I have permission to share these tips below with you and these really are great tips!

Tips for Preventing Dog Bites
  1. Seek Proper Help to Ensure You Pick the Right Dog – Whether it is through a trainer, a shelter, or a local rescue organization, recruit an educated individual to help you find a dog that best suits your lifestyle. For example: If you have a child that is fearful of large dogs, get a smaller one.
      2Know How To Identify and Manage Key Warning Signs:
  • Lip Licking, Yawning, Wide Eyes and Spiked Fur  All are indicators of a stressed dog. It is important to always asses the exact situation. If a dog is lying on the couch by itself and licks its lips, most likely it is not stressed. If a dog is being hugged, tugged on, etc., and begins to emit warning signs, this is a clear indicator that he/she is now stressed.
  • Growling and Snapping – Never try to get a dog to stop growling; we WANT it to growl, as it lets us know that he/she is uncomfortable. If a dog gets in trouble for growling, it will stop and can immediately go to biting.
  • A Stiff Wagging Tail – A dog that is experiencing stress (and may bite) will wag its tail in a stiff manner. Look out for a tail that is pointed high and moves even more quickly back and forth.
  • Averting Their Gaze – Avoidance behavior indicates that the dog is not comfortable with the particular situation.
  • Cowering or Tail Tucking – This behavior indicates that a dog is fearful. It doesn’t mean the dog will bite, but could if the dog’s fear continues to increase.
  1. Train Your Dog and Yourself – Enlist your entire family and dog into a reward-based training class. A reputable trainer will help educate you and your family on the proper ways to interact with your dog. They will also teach you how to notice signs that your dog may be experiencing stress and needs to be given space.
  2. Never Leave a Child Under Ten Years Old Alone With a Dog – This rule must be enforced at all times, no matter how much you trust your four-legged friend. Dogs tend to give off warning signs when they are uncomfortable and may bite in response. In most cases, children aren’t able to pick up on these signals and can easily get hurt.
  3. Always Ask “May I Pet Your Dog?”  – If there is a dog you or your child wants to touch, ask the pet parent first, so that they can inform you as to whether or not their pet is comfortable interacting with kids or new people.
  4. Remember That All Dogs Can Bite – Even your family pet, if put in a bad situation, can bite. Educating others on the proper way to interact with your dog will help prevent dog bites. Inform individuals not to grab the dog’s fur, ears, tail or any other part of its body and to not play with your dog unless you are available to supervise.
  5. Properly Manage Strange Dogs – If you encounter a dog that is off leash, never scream or run. Stand still, ignore the dog and wait for him/her to leave.
  6. Never Chain Your Dog – Dogs that are chained-up in your back yard or any other area are more likely to bite because they can become protective of that particular territory.
  7. Supervision is Mandatory – Always supervise your dog around your family members, especially children 12 years old and younger. A dog can go from normal to stress to biting in seconds. Don’t be afraid to ask the parents of your children’s friends if their family dog will be around your child.
Are you following these tips in your home? 

These tips were given to my by Heidi Ganahl, CEO and Founder of Camp Bow Wow,North America’s largest and fastest growing pet care franchise and Behavior Buddies, the training component of Camp Bow Wow, offers a series of tips to help educate individuals to take proactive measures to help reduce the risk of dog bites – as prevention starts with the person, not the dog.


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