Our dogs can be the most loveable and friendliest animals ever, however, there are some cases where dog bites may not be unusual, especially where the dog is being threatened or provoked. National Dog Bite Prevention week is a public service campaign that focuses on educating the public on ways to prevent being bitten by dogs. The campaign takes place on from May 17th through the 23rd.
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, more than 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs in the each year in the Unites States alone. It is a known fact that most of the victims of dog bites, unfortunately, tend to be children. Children are the most common victims of dog bites and are far more likely to be severely injured from dog bites.
Teaching your children how to properly handle and treat dogs is the first step in preventing a small child from being bitten. Children have very little concept of how hard or rough they can be with another life, and some dogs may have very little patience when faced with an uncomfortable or what they consider to be a dangerous situation. Children also have a tendency to become loud, or make sudden movements which some dogs may also find to be threatening.
Make sure that your children do not tease or go near dogs that are behind fences or chained in yards. In the event that a dog becomes loose, teach your children not to scream or run from the dog but also not to approach the dog as well. Standing as still as possible is the best option in this case.
Socializing your dog from a young age is another way to help prevent your dog from resulting to biting. “The absolute best way to avoid having a dog that bites a person or another dog is to ensure he or she is well socialized as a puppy,” says Dr. Pamela Reid, Vice President of the ASPCA’s Anti-Cruelty Behavior Team. “Puppies go through a period from about 6-16 weeks during which they are very impressionable and, if they have good experiences with people and dogs, are likely to grow up as confident, relaxed, friendly members of society. If the dog is integrated as a member of the family, he or she continues to meet people and maintain good social skills.”
The American Veterinary Medical Association and the Humane Society of the United States both report that the elderly, children, and Postal Service carriers are the most common victims of dog bites. It is also said that the number of dog bites exceeds the reported instances of measles, whooping cough, and mumps, combined. Additionally, victims of dog bites account for up to five percent of hospital emergency room visits.
For more information, see DOG BITE PREVENTION
Dog Training – Dog Bite Prevention Video