Dog’s, like humans, have a vast array of feelings. To name a few dogs can love, dislike, be anxious, be happy, and be sad. It is reading these feelings that can help you prevent being bit by a dog.
First and foremost there are a few key social boundaries humans need to understand about dogs. For instance, DO NOT touch a dog that is sleeping, chewing on a toy or bone, eating or caring for young. Most bog bites happen when a dog is startled, frightened or threatened. Be cautious of dogs behind fences, on leads, are running loose, or are barking. Unfamiliar dogs should always be approached slowly and with caution.
There are key indicators in a dog’s body language that can alert you to the potential of being bit. For instance, you might want to keep a safe distance between yourself and a dog if you notice their body is tense, they have a tail stiff, their ears are pulled back, they have furrowed brow, they are flicking their tongue, backing away and are intensely staring at you. This is telling you that the dog is uncomfortable and if pushed further may feel the need to protect itself resulting in a bite. A key to remember is that if you are in this situation DO NOT turn and run. This will signal the dog to give chase and make the situation worse. Instead, remain motionless with your hands at your sides. Break eye contact with the dog and wait until they lose interest in you and proceed to back away slowly. I
n the event that the dog does attack put forth your jacket, purse or any object that you have on your person to act as a barrier. If you are knocked to the ground by an attacking dog curl into a ball to protect your head and lay motionless. Movement will only make the attack last longer.
Dogs make wonderful companions. With that being said respect their feelings. Give them their space when they need it because let’s face it we all have bad days. Here’s to safe doggy handling. #NationalDogBitePreventionWeek