This week, May 19 – 25, is Dog Bite Prevention Week.
There are many different statistics in regards to dog bites. Their accuracy is somewhat questionable given the ways in which people do or do not make reports, but the American Veterinary Medical Foundation states that each year, more than 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs. Why is this?
The truth is many humans are still lacking in skills to be able to understand dog behavior and how to read dog body language so they can avoid being possibly bitten. This is a very important aspect of prevention. We need to become better skilled in reading our dogs’ body language, as well as respect their space and needs.
Here is a great video about dog body language, courtesy of thefamilydog.tv:
Kids are the greatest at-risk victims when it comes to dog bites, because of their size and their “primate ways” coming into conflict with their family dog’s “canine ways.” As humans (primates), we love direct eye contact, hugs and a host of other ways of communicating with our bodies that vastly differ from that of dogs. When approaching dogs, kids need to be taught to not stare or approach directly, or pat on the head. Instead, it’s best to approach from the side at the dog’s pace, and pet from under the chin or the back to tail.
Here is another great, fun video for the kids about appropriate interactions with dogs, also courtesy of thefamilydog.tv!
The AKC also has a great booklet you can download and print for the kids to learn more about appropriate interactions with dogs that you can get here. We also recommend the Liam J Perk Foundation and Doggone Safe sites for more about dog bites/prevention, and how to safely interact with our dog friends.
We offer a canine communication/basics of training component to our Delightful Doggy Finishing School that is designed to know how to read your dog and use humane methods as a foundation to interact with and train your dog successfully. If we can help you improve your relationship with your canine friend, please contact us for more information!
We hope these resources will help you keep you and your family safe, and your relationship with your dog purely positive!
Thank you and have a safe and wonderful Memorial Day weekend,
Owner, Delightful Doggies