Having a dog as part of our families can enrich and benefit our health and social well-being. We all love to snuggle and give our pets extra love and attention. But as a dog owner it is our duty to learn about the different ways our dogs try to communicate with us all the time. If we ignore the signs that our dog is trying to communicate with us, it can lead to very unfortunate situations with serious dog bites that may leave permanent injury or in the worst-case scenario death.
Did you know?
- There is estimated to be 500,000 in Canada this year, with 6 million dogs in Canada that is 1 in 12 dogs!
- The kids under the age of 9 are most likely to be bitten by dogs
- The majority of bites occur in children ages 5 to 7 and are usually boys
- Infants are most likely to be bitten by puppies during playtime
- Most bites acquired by children are due to their own dog or a dog that is well known to the family
- The majority of bites are to the head, neck or face
- It is common for children to develop Post Traumatic Stress Disorders a month after a dog bite
Did you know…most bites are PREVENTABLE!
Our dogs are trying to communicate that they are feeling uncomfortable before the bite occurs!
Some of these signs include, a yawn, flick of the tongue, hunched back, body orientation leaning away, flattened ears, sweaty paws, whites of the eyes are completely showing or looking away in avoidance.
All of the above signs can be warnings that your dog is uncomfortable in his/her current situation. Most people think that the only sign a dog shows before it is going to bite is baring its teeth and growling. This is usually the last sign the dog tries to give before biting when all the other signals have failed. It is also very important to not scold your dog or train them not to growl as this is their last resort before biting to warn you to rectify the situation before they do bite!
What do you think of the following pictures? At first glance they look like loving photos…
But take a closer look and think about the signs previously listed, they are both showing signs that they are uncomfortable with the situation they are in.
It is important to both our children and dogs to recognize these signs before it leads to a bite. With this knowledge, we can prevent unnecessary bites in children and dreaded euthanasia in our family dogs.