Dogs are emotional beings like humans and feel the same range of feelings we do. From love to fear to sadness, it’s important to take into account what an animal may be feeling when you approach them. Assessing their emotional state is one of the key ways on how to prevent a dog bite, among other situational factors.
If you wouldn’t want to be startled while you were asleep, neither does a dog. Never touch a dog that is sleeping, chewing on a toy, eating or nursing. Dogs will often only bite when startled or frightened because they feel threatened! Always be cautious of unfamiliar dogs, and approach slowly when dealing with dogs off leash or behind fences.
Dog Bite Warning Signals
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
- They are backing away and are intensely staring at you
If a dog is demonstrating these behaviors, they are telling you that they are uncomfortable and if pushed further may feel the need to protect themselves resulting in a bite.
How To React To Aggression
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.
What To Do During A Dog Bite Attack
In 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