With "Dog Bite Prevention Week" just behind us, Good Sit feels it is so important to spread knowledge on dog bite prevention. Please read our previous blog post BREAKING DOWN AGGRESSION BASED BODY LANGUAGE to learn more about the physical signs a dog gives before biting. All dogs will give some sort of warning sign before attacking, it is up to us to learn what those are in order to prevent a bite.
EDUCATE YOUR CHILDREN
Let's face it, most dogs are irresistible for kids to resist. They are furry and adorable! Kids are naturally drawn to them but not every dog will want to snuggle up and play. It is so important to teach our kids the proper way of meeting a dog.
- Never run up to a dog - This is often how a lot of bites happen. Even a small child can tower over a dog and seem intimidating. When a child is running towards a dog, the dog may feel threatened, whether out of fear or dominance. Instead, teach your child to always ask for permission from the owner on meeting their dog.
Have your child crouch down to the dogs level and call the dog from a distance. If the dog does not choose to come up, the dog may not feel like being social, and that's ok! If the dog does run up, this means the dog is curious or wants to play. However, please always be cautious. AVOID: the sniff my hand myth. Trust us, the dog can already smell you as soon as you enter the room. Sticking a fist in their face may scare them and trigger aggression. Make sure your child knows to never pet the dogs face or head. Instead try petting their chest or side of their body.
- Leave dogs alone while eating and playing with toys or chews - Make sure your children know to always leave a dog alone when they are eating or playing with toys. A dog can become very territorial with it's for and toys. As pet parents we must start training on these issues right away. Teaching a dog right from wrong can be difficult because they don't speak our language, but they do catch on quickly. Educating your children to leave them alone is even more important, because too often, the dog will pay for a mistake made by a human.
- Always teach your children to stay calm around dogs. Believe it or not, dog's really don't like to be poked in the face or have their tails pulled. Loud noises can often send them into an over stimulated state of mind. You may say, " Well, not our dog, he is so patient around our kids. He let's them crawl all over them and never does a thing." This rings directly true to the Dog Bite Prevention Week Motto: "70 million 'nice' dogs, but any dog can bite." Most pet bites happen unexpectedly with a family or friends pet! Don't be a statistic. Share this with all of the pet parents you know. Educate yourself, educate your kids and we will all live together harmoniously.
While you're at it, check out goodsit.org the world's first "online instruction manual for dogs." Giving pet parents the tools to survive adoption and teach them everything they need to know to live a #dogonaeawesome life together.