It’s safe to say that Americans love our dogs – and with nearly 90 million pups living in the U.S., there’s plenty of canine love and companionship to go around. But no matter how well integrated they are into our families, dogs still bite: whether they feel protective, threatened, scared, or are simply excited and playful, it is a natural reaction to certain situations.
Fortunately, dog bites are highly preventable, and responsible pet ownership, education, and staying away from unsafe situations – especially with children, who are disproportionately the victims of severe dog bites – goes a long way. Here’s what we humans can do to play our part in preventing dog bites.
Dog Bite Prevention Tips:
- Avoid interacting with dogs who are without their owner.
- Always ask a dog owner for permission to pet their dog.
- Stay away from petting dogs while they are eating, sleeping, injured, or not feeling well.
- Minimize over-exuberant play, which can lead to nipping and biting.
How to Stay Safe When a Dog Approaches
- Don’t turn and run – dogs love to chase and catch things.
- Stand still and keep your hands at your sides. Dogs typically leave people alone when they determine they are not a threat.
- Don’t put your hand out – allow the dog to approach and sniff you on its own accord.
- Speak calmly and firmly, avoiding sudden noises or gestures.
- Always face the dog but avoid making eye contact or staring.
- Back away slowly, watching the dog from the corner of your eye until it is out of sight.
Safety Tips for Parents
- Never leave a young child or baby alone with a dog.
- Never allow your young child to discipline a dog.
- Never allow your child to feed or walk a dog unsupervised.
- Never allow your child to pull on a dog’s collar, ears, or tail.
- Never allow your child to play aggressively with any dog.
- Never allow your child to pet a dog that is in someone else’s vehicle.
Most importantly, our canine companions respond well to consistent, compassionate training in a language they understand – dog! By Learning to Speak Dog the Bark Busters Way, the whole family can learn to act responsibly and communicate more effectively while creating a better, safer relationship with our pups. Call your local Bark Busters trainer today.