What we as dog lovers need to remind ourselves is that almost all dogs will bite if it thinks someone is invading its territory or threatening a member of its pack.
Some breeds are more prone to biting than others, but even the most well trained, socialized dog can bite in the right situation. Even when you’re sure the dog doesn’t bite. Once when someone picked me up as a joke, Timmy, my little Poodle stud muffin bit him on the ankle. He has no sense of humor and he thought I was in danger.
Chamois, our sweet generic dog, seems like the world’s mellowest dog, but when the air conditioner serviceman climbed down from our roof where he had been working, Chamois ripped the hem of his pants in an effort to protect us from an intruder from above.
This isn’t just a problem with irresponsible owners. Biting gives all dogs a bad reputation.
Each year, over 800,000 Americans seek medical attention for dog bites; half of these are children. Many of these were dogs that the owner thought “doesn’t bite.” I've had children rush up to hug (and frighten) my smaller dogs while their parents looked all smug because their children weren't afraid of dogs.
This is National Dog Bite Prevention Week. One way for adults to avoid dog bites is not to become a mail carrier or meter reader.
Here are some tips to pass on to children (and uninformed adults):
§ Never approach or try to touch an unfamiliar dog.
§ Assume that any dog not your own will see you as an intruder or threat until he gets to know you.
§ Avoid even the appearance of threatening the dog’s owner.
§ Don’t touch a dog, including your own, without letting him see or sniff you to know who you are.
§ Don’t disturb a dog that is eating, sleeping or caring for puppies.
§ If an unfamiliar dog approaches you, stand still and don’t make eye contact,
§ Don’t scream or turn your back to run away from a dog. Children who have been made afraid of dogs often do this. The dog’s natural instinct is to chase a prey.
§ If you fall or get knocked down, try to curl into a ball with your hands tightly over your ears.