It is so important to remember that dogs are animals, and they behave like animals, especially when they’re scared, stressed or injured.
I see stories of people being ‘savaged’ by dogs more and more, and 99% of the instances are completely and utterly avoidable.
The size and breed of the dog plays a huge role in the general perception of aggressive behaviour. When we think about dogs attacks and dog bites, we’ve been conditioned to think of Staffordshire Bull Terriers, German Shepherds and Rottweilers. This perception has created a false sense of security when it comes to approaching and interacting with other, ‘non-threatening’ breeds like Labradors, Spaniels, Terriers and Crossbreeds.
The majority of reported bites that occur are on children under 10, particularly on the face (cheeks and lips). While in adults, bites typically result in finger amputations, scarring and nerve damage.
So while there are always going to be unfortunate and unavoidable circumstances, the vast majority of these incidences can be completely prevented by following some very simple and sound advice.
1. Don’t leave children and dogs alone together.
2. Stop asking for owners permission for either you or your child to stroke them, just appreciate them with your eyes. You do not need to touch strangers dogs.
3. Don’t interact with a dog that is sleeping or eating.
4. Don’t chase and the forcibly remove something from a dogs mouth once they’ve picked it up. Exchange it for something appropriate instead.
5. Be aware of other owners and dogs nervousness. Give them extra space where possible and respect their attempt to control their dog as best they can.
We all love dogs, and we all come into contact with dogs we’d love to engage with. Please be careful and avoid pressuring any dog to engage with you, even if ‘they’re friendly and won’t bite!’