October 26, 2018
With over 4.5 million people suffering dog bite injuries and 885,000 of them requiring medical attention, dog bites are a problem that can no longer be ignored.
In many cases, preventing a dog bite requires just a few common sense strategies just about anyone can follow.
General Dog Attack Prevention Tips:
- Never tease a dog.
- Never approach a dog behind a fence or tied to a leash.
- Don’t disturb dogs while they eat, sleep, chew on a toy, or care for puppies.
- Only approach a new dog if its owner is present.
- Never leave young children or babies alone with any dog, including your own.
If you’re considering getting a dog, do the following:
- Take the time to research which dog breeds may work best in your household.
- Dogs and dog breeds (Pit-Bulls, Rottweilers, Doberman Pincers etc…) that are aggressive are simply breeds you shouldn’t own if you have children.
- Take some time and get to know the dog before purchasing it.
If you do get a dog and bring it into your home:
- Have it spayed or neutered. This reduces aggression in most cases.
- Don’t teach your dog aggressive behaviors by playing aggressive games such as wrestling.
- Train your dog before it enters your home. Teach it submissive behaviors such as rolling over so that it learns to be submissive to humans.
- If your dog does become aggressive, immediately consult a professional. Aggression left unchecked will only increase.
- Follow the “No Free Lunch Rule.” Have your dog follow a command before it gets something it wants.
Young children are the most frequent victims of dog bites and attacks. Here are a few strategies you can teach them in order to lower their chances of being bitten by a dog:
- Tell them to “be still like a tree” around an unfamiliar dog.
- Let the dog approach them.
- Be quiet when first meeting a dog so it doesn’t get startled.
- Always meet a dog from the front.
- Avoid direct eye contact with an unfamiliar dog.
- Only play with dogs when supervised by an adult.
Not all dog bites and attacks are preventable. In fact, many young children are bitten during routine activities they engage in with familiar dogs.
What can you do if a dog attacks you or your child?
In the unfortunate event that a dog attacks you or your child, the best you can do is:
- Attempt to “feed” the dog and place anything (a jacket, purse, or briefcase, for example) between yourself and the dog.
- If you aren’t near any objects, curl up in a ball and don’t move at all. This will protect your major organs from damage, and hopefully the dog will realize you’re not a threat and will leave.
- If your child is bitten, tell them to remember as much about the situation as possible and find the first adult available.
While no one is really sure why dog bites are increasing, there are a number of safety measures people and communities are taking to reduce dog bites and attacks:
- Passing laws requiring owners to give up their dog if it becomes too dangerous
- Enforcing jail sentences and large fines on irresponsible dog owners
- Encouraging people to observe common-sense safety strategies such as not approaching a stray dog, going inside if a stray dog is loose, and avoiding startling a dog
Dog bites are becoming an increasing problem in the United States. But, by being a responsible neighbor and dog-owner, you have the power to reduce the chances of dog bites and attacks in your own neighborhood.
Don’t find yourself knee-deep in an expensive lawsuit because of your irresponsible actions. Do what you can now to make your area a little safer for everyone.