Dog Bite Prevention

About 4.5 million Americans are attacked by dogs each year, and about 20 percent of these cases are serious enough to require medical attention. Dog bites can be fatal or extremely painful, and are completely preventable in most cases. It is up to the dogs’ owners and those that come in contact with dogs to take the necessary precautions to prevent dog bites.

Training for Dog Bite Prevention

Any person wishing to own a dog should attend a training course on interaction with dogs or do research. Training and research can help dog owners recognize warning signs that a dog will display prior to attacking. Dog owners will also learn how best to avoid situations that will provoke dogs to attack.

It is important for owners to learn the best ways to train the dog, so that the dog will be less likely to respond to a situation with aggression and violence. Dogs should be taught to properly socialize with people and other dogs. Spaying or neutering the dog will also reduce aggressive tendencies.

Children and Dog Bite Prevention

Children are the most common victims of dog attacks, accounting for at least half of all dog bites. Children are much more likely to be severely injured in a dog attack than adults. Most dog attacks involving children occur while the child is interacting with a familiar dog. Instructing children on proper interaction with dogs can help prevent dog bites.

When a dog is present, children should be taught that:

  • A strange dog should never be approached or acknowledged
  • Any dog should be allowed to smell hands before petting is attempted
  • A dog should never be touched while it is sleeping or eating
  • Hitting or hurting dogs is completely unacceptable
  • Dogs should be treated respectfully at all times

Dog Bite Prevention Safety Precautions

Dog owners should be aware of the dog’s disposition and make an effort to actively prevent dog bites. If a dog is visibly uncomfortable in certain situations, such as dog parks or street fairs, the owners should avoid these situations. Close work with a professional could help to rectify some of the dog’s anxieties, but continuing to put the dog into situations in which it is uncomfortable can result in the dog attacking a person or animal.

Dog owners can also prevent dog bites by:

  • Vaccinating dogs
  • Never leaving dogs alone with children
  • Avoiding games that foster aggression
  • Teaching submissive behavior

 

 

Sources:

“Dog Bite Prevention.” American Veterinary Medical Association. American Veterinary Medical Association, n.d. Web. 9 Jan 2014. <https://www.avma.org/public/pages/Dog-Bite-Prevention.asp&xgt.

“Home & Recreational Safety.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. USA.gov, 25 Oct 2013. Web. 9 Jan 2014. <http://www.cdc.gov/homeandrecreationalsafety/dog-bites/index.html>.

Presutti, John. “Prevention and Treatment of Dog Bites.”American Family Physician. American Academy of Family Physicians, 15 Apr 2001. Web. 9 Jan 2014. <http://www.aafp.org/afp/2001/0415/p1567.html>.

“Prevent Your Dog from Biting.” The Humane Society of the United States. The Humane Society of the United States, 15 Oct 2012. Web. 9 Jan 2014. <http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/dogs/tips/prevent_dog_bites.html>.