Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Tips for Preventing Dog Bites ~ Barking Wednesday

This weeks Barking Wednesday is about a very serious topic for all Dog Owners.


Per the  Center for Disease Control, nearly 4.5 million dog bites occur each year (50% involving children)which often occur during everyday activities and while interacting with familiar dogs due to unforeseen stress.

I would like to share information I received from Heidi Ganahl concerning Preventing Dog Bites. 

Heidi Ganahl is the  CEO and Founder of Camp Bow Wow, North America’s largest and fastest growing pet care franchise and Behavior Buddies, the training component of Camp Bow Wow, offers a series of tips to help educate individuals to take proactive measures to help reduce the risk of dog bites - as prevention starts with the person, not the dog.

Tips for Preventing Dog Bites
  1. Seek Proper Help to Ensure You Pick the Right Dog Whether it is through a trainer, a shelter, or a local rescue organization, recruit an educated individual to help you find a dog that best suits your lifestyle. For example: If you have a child that is fearful of large dogs, get a smaller one.
      2Know How To Identify and Manage Key Warning Signs:
  • Lip Licking, Yawning, Wide Eyes and Spiked Fur  All are indicators of a stressed dog. It is important to always asses the exact situation. If a dog is lying on the couch by itself and licks its lips, most likely it is not stressed. If a dog is being hugged, tugged on, etc., and begins to emit warning signs, this is a clear indicator that he/she is now stressed.
  • Growling and Snapping – Never try to get a dog to stop growling; we WANT it to growl, as it lets us know that he/she is uncomfortable. If a dog gets in trouble for growling, it will stop and can immediately go to biting.
  • A Stiff Wagging Tail  A dog that is experiencing stress (and may bite) will wag its tail in a stiff manner. Look out for a tail that is pointed high and moves even more quickly back and forth.
  • Averting Their Gaze – Avoidance behavior indicates that the dog is not comfortable with the particular situation.
  • Cowering or Tail Tucking – This behavior indicates that a dog is fearful. It doesn’t mean the dog will bite, but could if the dog’s fear continues to increase.
  1. Train Your Dog and Yourself  Enlist your entire family and dog into a reward-based training class. A reputable trainer will help educate you and your family on the proper ways to interact with your dog. They will also teach you how to notice signs that your dog may be experiencing stress and needs to be given space.
  2. Never Leave a Child Under Ten Years Old Alone With a Dog  This rule must be enforced at all times, no matter how much you trust your four-legged friend. Dogs tend to give off warning signs when they are uncomfortable and may bite in response. In most cases, children aren’t able to pick up on these signals and can easily get hurt.
  3. Always Ask “May I Pet Your Dog?”  – If there is a dog you or your child wants to touch, ask the pet parent first, so that they can inform you as to whether or not their pet is comfortable interacting with kids or new people.
  4. Remember That All Dogs Can Bite – Even your family pet, if put in a bad situation, can bite. Educating others on the proper way to interact with your dog will help prevent dog bites. Inform individuals not to grab the dog’s fur, ears, tail or any other part of its body and to not play with your dog unless you are available to supervise.
  5. Properly Manage Strange Dogs – If you encounter a dog that is off leash, never scream or run. Stand still, ignore the dog and wait for him/her to leave.
  6. Never Chain Your Dog  Dogs that are chained-up in your back yard or any other area are more likely to bite because they can become protective of that particular territory.
  7. Supervision is Mandatory Always supervise your dog around your family members, especially children 12 years old and younger. A dog can go from normal to stress to biting in seconds. Don’t be afraid to ask the parents of your children’s friends if their family dog will be around your child.
Thank you Heidi for this excellent list of helpful tips to prevent dog bites. 

40 comments:

  1. A great list of tips. We have always taught our kids they must ask before petting a dog. Also they are not allowed to pet a dog unless there is an adult or the owner is near, even if they know the dog the rules still apply. I get frustrated when neighbors don't agree with our rules... and say "oh we don't have to be outside, you can always pet our dog, our dog would never bite" Those are our rules and for a reason.

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  2. My dog is a biter, so I love these tips for preventing those bites. Thanks for the warning signs.

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  3. This is a helpful list of signs to keep an eye out for. My kids have always grown up with dogs so they are sometimes overly confident with dogs they don't know. I am always on the lookout in public places and try to get a good idea of a dog's comfort level and owner's permission before letting my kid's go up to them.

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  4. I got bit as a kid. Right in the stomach by a rottie. Ever since then I have been extremely scared of them and bugger dogs. About 5/6 yrs ago my oldest was at our friends he ran by her brothers rottie and he bit him on the hand. Both dogs were "super nice, sweet and passive, it's OK to be near" yeah. - jeanine

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  5. What a great post and thanks for the tips. I am allergic to dogs and cats so I don't go around dogs very often.

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  6. Thanks so much for this great information. We don't have a dog yet, but with three kids, I want all the info I can get.

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  7. This is great info. You really have to be aware of your dog at all times. It's better for everyone.

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  8. I have so many people close to me that have dealt with some very serious dog bites! Some of the dogs were a shock because they were so calm and sweet. Others you kind if expected it. . . these are really great tips and I agree to never leave a young child alone with a dog! Accidents happen even with the best dogs.

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  9. My husband was bit last year, the owners never called after we reported the incident.

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  10. What a great post. This is the time of year we all start walking together!

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  11. I have never been bit by a dog, but I hear horrible stories in the news. I need to share these tips with my family so that we all know what to do if we should encounter a strange dog.

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  12. I've seen a biter but I've been in contact with some really nippy dogs. It's important to prepare yourself and your family though.

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  13. Such an important topic! It is especially helpful to children! Great post!

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  14. Great tips. We are always talking to our kids about proper behavior around dogs. And to always ask before petting any animal!

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  15. Great tips! Some of these you wouldn't really think of in your daily routines like leaving the kids alone with the dog, but I guess it really is important.

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  16. Those are great tips. My dog bit my son when he was not even 1 yet. I had her for many years before he was born.

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  17. I agree with the 1st Point. Its important to do research before getting a Dog to see which breed suits your lifestyle. While some Dogs are kind and sweet in nature .. others are more confrontational and don't work well with strangers

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  18. I've been bitten twice by neighbor's dog. He terrifies me now.

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  19. I don't think our golden retriever would ever bite, but we do know the warning signs just in case. With other dogs, I keep a safe distance!

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  20. These are all wonderful tips. Also, I agree that children should never be left alone with a dog they aren't familiar with.

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  21. This is such a great post. I was bitten by a dog as a child. It can be very scary.

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  22. I had no idea there was a week devoted to this but it's so important that you're raising awareness about this.

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  23. Such an important post! Its so imperative to be a responsible dog owner, as well as a responsible dog friend. :)

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  24. Those are great tips to prevent dog bites. I did not know that we should not stop growling. Good to know

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  25. I didn't know about the stiff wagging tail. There's something new to watch out for in the neighborhood

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  26. We do not have a dog because of my daughter's allergies however, my 4 year old son loves dogs. I am constantly having to remind him to stop running up to dogs at the park to pet them because you do not know what will happen.

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  27. This is really useful! I have a dog but didn't know some of these tips to look out for.

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  28. My grandparents used to put their dogs on a chain to get some fresh air. Back then it was the norm. I can though how you wouldn't want to do that!

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  29. Those are great tips. And let the dog sniff you first before you the pet the dog.

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  30. I always let them smell my hand, and I crouch down to their level. I love dogs but also teach our kids to keep a distance unless the owner is okay with you approaching.

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  31. #4 is so true. I also don't let my kids just walk up to any dog and pet them. They have to ask for permission first.

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  32. I need to share this post! As a dog parent, I so know how important awareness is for this!

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  33. Such important tips! Kids sometimes don't realize the importance of this kind of safety.

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  34. Everyone needs to read this. Fantastic tips to keep people and dogs safe.

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  35. We are working on teaching our kids about the warning signs. It really is critical. My sister was bit in the face when she was 3 and had to have plastic surgery so I really try to work on this with my kids.

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  36. We are trying to teach our little girls to ask the owner's permission before approaching dogs. I have a scar on my face from a dog bite when I little.

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  37. Very good advice. Someone just dumped a Blue Heeler off near our house. He doesnt bite us, bu people coming here will get nipped. Trying to figure out what to do with him. Bet I can guess why they dumped him.

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  38. Thanks for sharing such great tips. My pug has not been the same since I Started working part time outside of the home, she is such a nervous nanny lately. Barking all of the time.

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  39. These are great tips. Our dog is a little sweetie but we have small children and have been teaching them how to interact with her so we can avoid a bite.

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  40. Woah! I had no idea. But these tips are really amazing! Thank you for sharing.

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