The Best Ways to Prevent Dog Attacks
Wednesday, May 21, 2014
Most dogs may be our best friends, but some occasionally turn on us (they are still animals with moods and the inability to tell us when something is wrong). It is important to follow some basic dog-safe guidelines.
- Even though molosser breeds constitute only 9.2 per cent of Canada's dog population, they inflict 81 per cent of the harmful bites. Avoiding these breeds is the single most helpful preventative action. They include pit bulls, curs, rottweilers, presa canarios, cane corsos, mastiffs, dogo argentinos, fila brasieros, sharpeis and boxers. If you currently own and love such a dog, train it properly with the help of a professional trainer and maintain the obedience and submission training with constant commands and rewards.
- Dogs who have received obedience and submission training are not only pleasant pets, but they are much safer. During submission training, the dog is taught to associate rewards like food and attention with submissive behaviour like rolling over on their backs. Involve your children in the training so the dogs obey them too.
- Teach your kids to be gentle with dogs. They should not pull ears, pull tails, climb on backs, stick their fingers in eyes or play wrestling games. You may have to keep your children away from dogs completely until they are old enough to follow these rules.
- Spay or neuter your dogs, especially if you have children. Spayed or neutered dogs are usually less aggressive than others, and dogs with puppies become aggressive if they feel their babies are threatened.
- Know your dog and be aware of its reactions. If it looks uncomfortable with a new person or in a new situation, remove it gently so it feels safe again. Signs that a dog is unhappy include erect hair and ears, a stiff tail, a tensed body, growling, backing away and rolling its eyes back so the whites are visible.
- Since so many people are bitten by dogs outside their homes, it is important not to approach strange dogs, make eye contact with them or pet them. If they approach you, look away, keep quiet and stand still with your arms folded across your chest. Throwing an object away from you will attract the dog's attention away so you have a chance to walk away.
Our dogs deserve to feel comfortable, and our children deserve to be safe.