Dog Bite Prevention
You’re on your way to the coffee shop and you see a dog tied to a pole without an owner in sight. He’s a big fluffy dog with an innocent face. You reach out to pet him, and he snarls at you and flashes his bare white canines. You realize that he wasn’t so friendly after all.
Always be aware when reaching out to pet a dog no matter what size, breed, or age of the dog. All dogs are susceptible to biting, even the nicest, friendliest dog on the street is able to charge at another when they are feeling anxious, unsafe, or threatened. In circumstances where a dog has nowhere to hide and needs to protect himself, he will charge, lunge or attack.
In stressful situations where there are unfamiliar people, loud noises, or large crowds, a terrified dog will be very protective of himself. If you know your dog is uncomfortable in these environments, it is best to leave your dog at home. To get your dog more comfortable in these social settings, bring your dog in areas with less people and noise first, such as a park or a friend’s house. It will take several trips before your dog adjusts to new surroundings.
Understand a dog’s body language.
An anxious or scared dog will show fear by lowering his head, having a curled tail between the legs, pulling back his ears, and crouching down. If you see any of these signs, do not try to pet the dog. There is a high chance that he will attack once he feels that he is in danger.
An aggressive dog will have his tail straight up, fur on his back standing, and ears perked up. He may snap, show his teeth, or bark aggressively. If he is in a lunging position and ready to charge, avoid eye contact, turn away and cross your arms.
Always ask the owner to pet the dog, because the owner will know their dog best. If the dog is friendly, and has his tail wagging, the right way to pet a dog is to allow him to smell your hand before petting.
Warn others, especially young children.
If you are an aggressive dog owner, please warn them when they reach to pet your dog for safety reasons and be sure your dog has received all his vaccinations before taking him out to public areas.