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Before The Dog Bites

Dec 18, 2007
What is the main motivation when a dog bites? Normally dogs do not bite, not by nature. There are some circumstances that can be avoided and watched for to prevent a dog bite from ever happening. Dogs are known as Mans best friend and I will always believe that to be true if they are loved and trained properly.

There are a lot of dog bites every year, more than 4.7 million. There is actually a National Dog Bite Prevention Week every year to help educate the public on dog bites and how to protect you. Half of that number are children age 12 and under. Others are the elderly and mail carriers.

When you purchase a dog for your family, consider the breed. There are some breeds that are more prone to bite if provoked, and some just don't do well with children. If your child shows some hesitation about getting a dog, then wait until he is ready. Dogs need a lot attention, they want love and they want to feel secure in their environment. If a child is insecure, the dog will sense it and there will be more stress for both, the child and dog.

When playing with your dog, don't play games that are aggressive, teach your dog how to play gently. Teach your dog to be submissive, and spay or neuter your dog (this at times will reduce aggressive behavior).

When your dog is out, keep him in a fenced yard or on a leash. Never let your dog run loose, no matter how safe you think he may be. Keep your dog vaccinated against rabies. Train your dog the basic commands like sit, stay, heel, come, and down.

The most common bites are to children. There are some things you can teach your child about safety around dogs. I will list a few here:

1. Do not approach a dog you don't know

2. If you are near a dog and afraid, don't run and scream

3. Be still if a dog approaches you, don't move, be a statue

4. If a dog comes at you, roll into a ball and be very still

5. Do not wake a dog that is sleeping, eating or has puppies (it may be tempting to go see the puppies, the mama dog is very protective)

6. Allow a dog to sniff you before you try to pet it, hold your hand out, palm up like you are handing the dog something.

7. Do not look a dog right into their eyes if they don't know you

8. If bitten, tell a grownup right away

Education is the key before the dog bites. Let's prevent it before it ever happens. Go over these tips with your child on a regular basis. They may forget and it helps just as a reminder. Then if the time ever does come, they won't even have to think about it, they will just react the way they were taught.

You can find more great information at the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) on how to protect yourself and children from dog bites. Do everything you can to prevent dog bites by training your dog to be gentle and not one of the statistics.
About the Author
Joann Henry operates "Doggie Health Care" http://www.DoggieHealthCare.com, a blog all about our pooches health. Sign up to receive her newsletter, & not only will you get some free tips to keep your dog healthier, but FOR A LIMITED TIME, she'll give you a FREE ebook. http://www.DoggieHealthCare.com
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