Dog Bite Prevention

Dog bite injuries have the potential to vary from minor to life threatening.

Thankfully, the vast majority of dog bites can be prevented. The most important element is our (the human’s) ability to read the signals the dog is using to communicate with us. The challenge is for us to understand the dog’s non-verbal communication. This is especially difficult for children, many of whom expect all dogs to be friendly and responsive to their affection.
As a consequence, there are over 4 million dog bites each year in the US. About 800,000 are serious enough to require to require medical attention, and of these, half are children. The more serious injuries occur much more often in children

Most dogs that are close to biting are already sending messages that they are afraid or uncomfortable or feeling threatened. Some of these signs are obvious such as growling with hair raised, cowering or flattened ears. Others may be more subtle such as a furrowed brow, ears out to the side, hypervigilance, nervous yawning and licking of their lips.

Examples of these can be seen on this poster produced by veterinary behaviorist, Dr. Sophia Yin. Click here for poster.

As parents, there are many things we can do to try to reduce the risk of dog bites….

As dog owners, there are many things we can do to try to reduce the risk of dog bites….

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There are many great articles on dog bite prevention and dog safety. Please see a selection of links below for further information on these subjects; just click on the logos to go to their pages.