How To Avoid a Dog Bite
At Bentons Road Vet Clinic we are passionate about helping our fur friends and their owners, living on the Mornington Peninsula, stay safe and happy. This blog is focused entirely on dog bite avoidance and the signs to look out for when dealing with your pet friends.
Tips on how to avoid dog bites
Unfortunately any dog can bite. Any dog experiencing a scary situation that finds itself unable to easily escape may resort to biting in fear. Never treat any dog as completely bomb proof and consider this from the dog’s perspective. Look at the dog and ask “is this dog enjoying this interaction or is it fearful”? Not all dogs love interacting with unfamiliar people or dogs. If your dog reacts ‘badly’ towards strangers or other dogs it is probably feeling fearful about the interaction. Don’t push it. Allow your dog to choose not to interact if it doesn’t want to.
Learning some basic dog behaviour can also help. Dr Sophia Yin has some great rescources on animal behaviour. This is a great place to learn the difference between an anxious dog exhibiting fear and a happy dog enjoying an interaction. There are many wonderful blogs and videos clearly demonstrating dog behaviour and training methods on Sophia’s website.
Ways to stop children being bitten by dogs
Sadly children are more likely to be bitten by dogs. Never allow small children to interact unsupervised with dogs. Some dogs may find the unpredictable way that children behave very unsettling and may growl or snap in fear. This is not the child’s fault, this is normal child behaviour and also not the dog’s fault, they are scared. Avoid putting either the child or the dog into this sort of situation and monitor these interactions at all times.
Always ask permission before greeting a dog. Ask the owner’s permission and then also remember to ask the dog. Don’t lunge at the dog with a hug and a kiss, the dog may not want one and it is their personal space, respect it! Offer the back of your hand in a non-intimidating manner and if the dog shows encouraging and confident body language, then move closer.
Dogs have evolved as the human’s companion over many thousands of years and if treated with respect and kindness, should want to interact with humans. Poor behavioural choices on the part of some humans can bring about a state of anxiety in some dogs and these are the dogs that can bite in fear. Avoid dog bites from occurring by bearing these points in mind.
Dr Kelly Halls , Dr Kerrie and Dr Sophie have many years of experience in giving advice on behavioural problems in dogs and if you have any concerns regarding the potential for a bite to occur, please ask their advice before it happens. Simply come into our Mt Martha vet clinic, call us or book an appointment.