Dog Bite Prevention
Learning what to look for in the actions of a dog and how to prevent dog bites I believe are a fundamental tool all of our communities should embrace. Regardless of whether you are a dog lover or not, knowing how to prevent a dog bite is crucial. As dog owners I believe it is our responsibility to make sure that our dogs are not a safety issue when we take them out in public. A dogs instinct is to follow their pack leader, therefore it is truly up to the owner to lead their dog and provide the appropriate handling for overall safety.
All dogs can and will bite, period. Never think that simply because you or your children are familiar with a dog (including your own) that the dog will not bite if it feels threatened in some way. Dogs bite for a variety of reasons, and often children are the unfortunate targets. Many dogs find themselves confronted with a child who does not know how to handle a dog respectfully, then if put into an unknown situation by the child the dog will bite...and the bite could range from minor to life threatening. If the dog is ours we must know our dog, period. Understand what issues your dog has and be prepared to use caution when having that dog around anyone or anything unfamiliar to it.Teach children who come into contact with your dog,how best to handle it to prevent a bite (or not to handle it at all).
Unfamiliar or Stray Dogs:
Teaching children (and adults) these simple rules could prevent a dog bite:
- never approach an unfamiliar dog
- ask the handler or owner before petting any dog
- never reach your hand into the dogs space to begin petting, allow the dog to come to you
- when petting a new dog, never place your face in close proximity to the dogs face (this can be considered a challenge)
- when approaching a new dog, use less verbal cues and instead use calm and comfortable body language
- avoid making direct eye contact with a new dog
If confronted by a unfamiliar dog here are a few basic tips:
- Stay calm and focused on the dog
- make direct eye contact
- stand your ground...do not run away
- try to prevent the dog from moving around behind you (it is preparing to attack)
- if you have a walking stick or umbrella use it as a buffer between you and the dog **never hit the dog with it unless you have absolutely no other option**
These tips are for informational purposes. If you own a dog with issues including aggression or fear biting please contact a professional to assist you in resolving those issues to ensure both the safety of your dog and the public.
Dog bites are common among Canine Professional, regarless of how good or careful we are. I want to show a couple of my dog bites in order to provide a visual aspect for this information.
One of my Dog bites:
Other photos of my dog bites
Interdog Aggression and Dog Bites:
Most often when we have dogs that fight with each other (interdog aggression) we as owners automatically want to break them up. However this can lead to us ourselves getting bit by our own dogs. As a Canine Professional I try to avoid getting bit just like everyone else, however in the course of my work I often encounter owners that have broken up dog fights and received the worse end of the fighting...a serious dog bite. Obviously there are no instant fixes when our dogs get into a fight, however avoiding getting bit is crucial to us being able to truly resolve the fight. Using a simple party air horn or loud noise (other than yelling) can often help to distract the dogs long enough to separate them, you can also throw a blanket over the dogs (which often causes some distraction)...if you must separate them physically always make sure that you are prepared to contain one of the dogs immediately (like placing it in a bedroom and shutting the door).
If you are experiencing interdog aggression contact a professional to assist you with your dogs, an experienced professional can help to correct the issues with your dogs and provide you with safety tips to avoid more potential bites.
Jocko and Rudy :
Both dogs seen below were experiencing interdog aggression and the owner was bitten in the process of breaking up one of the fights. Now, as seen below, both dogs are able to be a pack and experience life as balanced dogs. The process of correcting interdog aggression is just that a process and thanks to Jocko & Rudy's owner in following the plan that I gave her, these guys can now be buddies again.
Dog Bite that owner received in the attempt to separate Jocko and Rudy
Jocko and Rudy now