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We hear many times  after a dog bite (or attack) that "There was no warning, it just flipped”. Although this is true of dogs which have  either been trained to fight, or have lived under intolerable circumstances of  abuse or downright cruelty, and have either escaped, or an unwary person has  inadvertently encountered the dog, no well-balanced dog bites without reason,so do not give them a reason to bite. 

They WILL have given  the warnings (often many, in quick stages), which have not been recognized.

The reasons for a dog  to bite are many, but if you do not put yourself in the situation where you  could be bitten, you will not BE bitten. So, if a dog is bounding up, do not make eye contact, which will be seen  either as an invitation or a challenge. Do as dogs do – turn your head away, until the dog has come up to you,then (if he has not jumped at you – in which case cross your hands across your  chest out of reach and keep turning away from the jumping), if he is just  waiting for your response, slowly move away, studiously avoiding looking at the  dog at all.

Tell children never to  approach a dog.  If the dog is with its  owner and the owner says it is friendly and you can approach him, do not take  their word for it.  Stand at least three  feet away, make warm eye contact and invite the dog to join you.   If he does not, it is because he does not  want contact.  Respect this and do not approach– he is telling you that he does not want interaction with you, so if you  ignore the tacit, non-aggressive, warning and go into his space .....

Never allow children  to play unsupervised with the family dog, they cannot know how near the end of  his patience the dog has become, so keep the games low key and watch your dogfor signs of stress at all times.  Take control  before the dog has to take matters into his own paws. 

If there are excited,uncontrolled dogs in an area where your children want to play – find another  area (or keep the children close to you). Dogs are much quicker on their legs than we are, and you cannot move  fast enough to protect your child if a dog has made a beeline for it.

Do not allow all and  sundry to lay hands on your dog – you wouldn’t allow it for your young  children, so give your dog the same care. Just because he is cute an love-able does not mean that all can touch  him.  Dogs often appear excited and  bouncy at the approach of strangers – often this is a manifestation of stress,not a desire for contact.

You must take  responsibility for your own dog – you cannot control the actions ofothers.  If you are observant and protect  your dog from stressful situations, he will learn to trust that you are therefor him, and will look to you to deal with uncomfortable (for him) scenarios,and will not need to deal with it himself.

OCTOBER 21ST, 2015 @ 10:14:25 UTC


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