Although dog bites might seem like the products of aggressive dogs, it is much more often the case that the bites were entirely preventable – and it is for the most part the owner’s responsibility to ensure this is the case. There are many things that dog owners can be made of to ensure that their dog is less likely to lash out and bite someone unexpectedly – the problem is that many dog owners don’t actually know what these things are. Luckily, they’re quite easy to learn – in this article, we take a look at a few ways you can more easily prevent dog bites from occurring.
Where to start with dog bite prevention
Although some might have you believing that some dogs are inherently badly behaved, this is far from the case. Much of the time it is adults and children that should be appropriately educated about dog bite prevention, as a little bit of understanding can go a long way. The first thing that should be known is the ability to understand a dog’s body language, as understanding when a dog is having a bad time – whether it be because they feel anxious, scared or threatened – is the key to prevention. If you’re unsure if a dog is becoming aggressive, you should look for any sign that the dog is making itself look bigger. A stiff body, hair on end and more obvious signs like bared teeth and growling will indicate that a dog is ready to bite. If the dog is feeling anxious, on the other hand, they will attempt to make themselves look as small as possible. Flattened ears, tail between the legs and avoiding direct eye contact are all signs of an anxious dog, and if they feel like they’re trapped, they will certainly try and bite.
Dog bites and children
Much of the time, dog bites and children are an unfortunate combination – children, like puppies, are very curious by nature, and want nothing more than to play with a dog and touch its things. Dogs are far more likely to bite someone if they’re taken off guard, scared, or are protecting something of theirs (whether it be food or puppies), so with this in mind it is very important that children do not approach, touch or that is in the middle of sleeping, eating, chewing on a toy or bone, or looking after their litter of puppies. It should also be made clear to your child that they should not approach and pet dogs they are not familiar with without first asking permission from the dog’s owner. Even then, your child should be instructed to ensure the dog sniffs their hand first, and then allow them to only pat the dog on the shoulders or chest, as their hand will be visible to the dog the entire time.
Taking steps to prevent dog bites
Although dog bites might seem like a random occurrence sometimes, there are usually both indicators from the dog and preventable actions related to others, particularly children. By being aware – and especially making children aware – of how to act around dogs and read warning signs, dog bites are far less likely to happen.