Dog Bite Prevention: Safety Tips from Daily Dog Walkers & Pet Sitters

Pet Sitter Fort Lauderdale Angry dogLet’s talk about dog bite prevention. Did you know that most dog bites involve children?  It is true.  A dog bite is a serious matter, especially when directed towards a child.  A child has a greater chance of suffering a more severe injury because they usually do not understand how they should act and what to look for.  In fact, many adults who own dogs don’t know what to look for and under what situations a dog might be bite.  Read on to learn more about the common reasons dogs bite and how to read the body language of a dog that might be about to bite.

Why would a dog bite? Tips on dog bite prevention:

Fear: Early socialization is very important to a dog’s mental health.  A confident dog is less likely to bite.  Socialization includes trips to the vet and exposure to any unfamiliar situations.  The more positive experiences your dog has early on in life, especially in stressful situations, the better equipped he’ll be to handle uncertainty later in life and the less likely he’ll be to develop unnecessary fears.  Avoid startling your dog and teach children to stay away from dogs while they’re sleeping.  Most dogs don’t appreciate being startled and loud noises will almost always put your dog on edge.

Maternal Instincts: The most gentle of dogs may become aggressive after giving birth to puppies.  Teach your family members and friends to respect the Mom and her puppies.  It is always best to only allow children to handle puppies when the mother is not around.  Even adults should show respect and exercise caution when handling puppies around the mother dog.  A mother dog should have a special area that she can rest and take care of her puppies without the distraction of noise.

Pain: If your dog appears irritable, you should consider the fact that he may be in pain.  Bring him to the vet to get him checked over.  It is very possible that he has sustained an injury or developing a chronic illness.  If your dog does have a chronic illness or injury, or is just elderly, teach children to be very gentle and to avoid petting the affected area.  A dog that is in pain, is more likely to show aggression and bite.

Possessiveness: We all like to protect what we value.  Well, so do our dogs.  Your dog’s possessions may include toys, food, people, other dogs, and even territory.  Begin to teach them early on what to expect when being fed.  Make your dog “sit” and “stay” when you are putting food in his bowl.  You should also teach your dog the “leave it” command.  An obedient, trained dog will be easier for you to handle during stressful situations and while you spend the time training them, they realize early on that it’s “ok” for other people to touch his things.  Reward your dog with treats as you practice giving and taking his possessions from him.  He’ll get used to it and associate sharing his “possessions” with the positive reward of a treat.

Prey: Dogs are driven by natural instincts and by instinct they are predators.  They may become aggressive and chase anyone or thing that presents itself as prey.  That is why dogs will sometimes run off in hot pursuit of runners, cyclers or even cars.  If a dog beings to chase you, don’t continue to run or cycle away.  He will remain in hot pursuit. Stop and stand tall as you face the dog while avoiding eye contact.  Eye contact may be viewed as a challenge and that should be avoided.  In the unlikely event the dog doesn’t just sniff you and walk away and he decides to lunge at you, roll up on the ground and cover your hands, face and neck.  It is imperative that you teach children to do the same.  Following these instructions could save your child’s life.

How do I know if a dog is about to bite?

Watch for these warning signs:

  • Intense eye contact
  • Showing the whites of his eyes
  • Yawning
  • Pinned back ears
  • Fur that is standing up along the back
  • Any behavior that appears stand-offish

To learn more about dog bite prevention and other safety tips, give us a call at Daily Dog Walkers & Pet Sitters.  We strive to keep you and your pet safe.

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