Dog Bite Prevention Week (May 20-26)

Posted: May 20, 2012 in Helpful Advice
Tags: , , , , , ,

I have noticed lately, a surplus if you will, of people just walking up to my dog and petting him or loving all over his face. Luckily for them, he is just a big walking teddy bear and adores every minute of it. But for the life of me, I simply cannot fathom why people don’t ask first anymore. 4.7 million people are bitten by a dog in this country alone every year. It seems to me that this number could be reduced greatly with a simple five word question, “May I pet your dog?”

As a dog lover, I hate seeing anyone get a bad rap. It is not just the dog, the dog owner, or the unknown approaching stranger at fault, but a little bit of everyone is responsible. So in lue of Dog Bite Prevention Week, let’s take a look at the easy steps in avoiding an accident.

When Approaching a Strange Dog:
1. Always ask that pivotal question (“May I pet your dog?”) before going any further.

2. Squat down to the dog’s level. Towering over them may be considered threatening to some animals.

3. NEVER put your face up to a strange dog’s face.

4. Pay attention to the dog’s behavior. If they seem fearful, do not press yourself into their personal space. It is always best to let the dog come to you. If they do not come to     you, leave it alone. You’ll get a chance to pet another dog somewhere who is more open to the affection.

5. NEVER stare a dog in the eyes. This is considered a challenge to a fight. Some dogs may back away but there is always a dog who won’t back down.

When a Stranger Approaches Your Dog:
1. You know your dog better than anyone else. If the person does not ask for permission and you know that your dog isn’t that friendly. BE VOCAL. Tell the person that it is not a wise idea. They may think you’re a jerk but what it is really important is avoiding an incident and/or a lawsuit.

2. Training and socialization are HUGE in a dog’s development. Be a responsible owner and take the time to properly train your dog and socialize them to various environments. The more your dog is used to, the less likely an accident is to occur out of fear.

3. Always walk your dog on a leash. Whether they will stay by your side or not, there are other people out there who do not train their dogs that well. Having control of your dog in a hairy situation can be crucial.

4. Be alert for any potentially dangerous situation. Acting promptly can make a world of difference.

5. Spaying/neutering will help to control your animal’s behavior when they aren’t being bothered with hormones that can easily cause fights.

The most important lesson of all is to make sure your children know the rules when it comes to other people’s dogs! Children are the most common victims in dog bite cases. My father taught me at a young age to never approach a strange dog without the owner’s permission. I am 25 years old and have never been bitten by a dog. Yes, that can change at any moment but following these guidelines has proven truly useful.

(I didn’t have a spare fake hand laying around, nor would my dog cooperate with acting “tough” for a picture so I stole this little photo from Google. ~_^)

  1. Amanda K says:

    The photo made me laugh 🙂

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