Many of our clients have either been bitten or put in a situation where they might have been bitten at least once in their lives. This can be a scary thing and often makes people afraid of dogs for as long as they live. This is very unfortunate because it doesn’t have to be that way…
There are two types of situations that many of our clients have experienced in the bast when it comes to dog bite situations. The first situation is where they come up on a dog or a dog comes up on them and the dog “challenges them” in an aggressive manner. The second situation is where there is interaction between a dog and child that could escalate into a dog bite scenario. With a little precaution and appropriate communication, both situations can end with safe and happy results.
Let’s first discuss the scenario where we come into contact with an aggressively posturing dog. Believe it or not, many times WE cause the bad situation and possible bite to take place. Here are some things you need to remember:
- I know this is hard, but what ever you do, don’t turn and run. Dogs naturally love to chase and catch things.
- Stand still with your hands at your side. This shows that you are non-threatening. In most cases, dogs will go away when they determine you are not a threat.
- Do not put your hand out. This can be seen as an aggressive act from the dog’s perspective. Stay still and allow the dog to approach you to sniff you.
- Don’t scream! If you say anything, speak calmly and firmly. Use your “regular, inside” voice.
- Face the dog at all times, but don’t stare. Avoid eye contact.
- When things are calm and the dog begins to loose interest, back away slowly while you watch the dog from the corner of your eye. Continue to back off slowly until the dog is out of sight. If the dog regains focus on you, stop and stay still a little longer.
I totally understand that some of these tips might appear difficult to accomplish (like not moving), but they work. I have used them many times and still have my fingers and toes.
I want to review what to do (and not to do) for parents. Everything I am going to review might seem obvious, but we have often been called out because one or more of these rules were broken. So, let’s review and really get these rules nailed down once and for all:
- Never leave a young child or baby alone with any dog.
- Never allow your young child to correct or actively engage a dog.
- Never allow your child to feed or walk a dog without your supervision.
- Never allow your child to pull on a dog’s collar, ears or tail. (Obvious, but it can happen so fast!)
- Never allow your child to play aggressive games (like wrestling) with any dog. The dog can quickly overpower the child.
- Never allow your child to pet a dog that is in someone else’s car or truck. You have no idea how the dog will react.
Robin and I always place our whole focus on safety; both for you and your dog.
Please call Robin or me at (770) 718-7704 if you need any dog training help. We are blessed to have been your local dog training professionals for over fifteen years. We have trained over 5,000 great dogs and loving families and are ready to help you.