Dog Bite Prevention

dog-bite-300x300With the warm weather here if you’re anything like us, you’re going to be spending a lot of time outdoors walking, hiking, biking or swimming with your four legged friends. This can also mean that you and your dog are going to be exposed to a lot of new people and pets throughout the summer. If your dog isn’t used to this, it could spell trouble if you’re not taking the proper precautions.

We’d like to take a moment to share a few dog bite prevention tips to ensure everyone has a wonderful summer together.

Learn to read your dog’s body language.

At HappyTails Pet Sitting we’ve spent years learning to recognize all types of warning signs that a bite may occur. However, most people do not have much experience with many dogs other than their own. Before you allow anyone to approach your dog, please be sure to make note of their body language. This chart above should help to give you a better idea of how your dog is feeling.

doggie-language

Stay calm and relaxed around other people with your dog.

So many times while walking dogs with HappyTails Pet Sitting we’ll see another person walking their dog down the street. Once they see us they’ll suddenly stop and drag their dog to the other side of the road, walk in the other direction, or worst of all tense up and pull their dog’s leash tighter. All this is doing is confusing your dog and associating other people and animals with a dangerous situation which could lead to a dog bite. If you want your dog to be calm and relaxed in social situations with other people and dogs, you yourself must be calm and relaxed.

Do not let children approach your dog without proper supervision or permission.

Children are often unafraid of strange or unknown dogs and will run right up to them with excitement. Unfortunately this is how most dog bites occur. Make sure that if a child wants to say hi or pet your dog it is done 100% on the dog’s terms. Let the dog make the effort to approach the child. If your dog’s body language suggests that their comfortable, instruct the child to pet your dog on the back or chest, never on the head. Do not hesitate to correct or stop children from approaching your dog in a way you deem unsafe.

These are just a few tips but we’d love to hear your thoughts. What ways have you used to prevent your dog from biting others?

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