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5 Smart Ways to Prevent Dog Bites

5 Smart Ways to Prevent Dog Bites

National Dog Bite Prevention Week is May 18-24th. You may have seen the Care2 post last week about the little boy who was attacked by a dog when he was on his bike, but his cat came to the rescue and chased away the dog. The ASPCA predicts that 50 percent of children will be bitten before they turn 12-years-old.

According to the National Center for Injury Prevention and the Center for Disease Control, dog bites were the 11th leading cause of nonfatal injury to children ages 1 to 4, 9th for ages 5 to 9 and 11th for ages 10 to 14 from 2003 to 2012.

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) offers these dog bite facts:

  • Each year, more than 4.5 million people in the U.S. are bitten by dogs.
  • Almost 1 in 5 people bitten by dogs require medical attention.
  • Every year, more than 800,000 Americans receive medical attention for dog bites; at least half of them are children.
  • Children are, by far, the most common victims of dog bites and are far more likely to be severely injured.
  • Most dog bites affecting young children occur during everyday activities and while interacting with familiar dogs.
  • Senior citizens are the second most common dog bite victims.

Internationally renowned dog trainer Victoria Stilwell is a spokesperson for National Dog Bite Prevention Week. She says, “Most dog bites are preventable and are a perfect situation of circumstance, situation and environment. If we learn to understand dogs, learn their body language, and empower children with that knowledge, there will be less dog bites.” She offers these tips to help prevent dog bites:

1. Your dog needs to be well socialized.

2. Your dog needs to receive great, humane force-free education.

3. Teach your family how to be around your dog.

4. Teach visitors, including all children, how to be around your dog.

4. Give your dog plenty of exercise and mental stimulation.

5. Don’t judge a dog by his breed, instead observe his behavior.

The ASPCA suggests that you have your children recite the following pledges:

1.  I will not stare into a dog’s eyes.
2.  I will not tease dogs behind fences.
3.  I will not go near dogs chained up in yards.
4.  I will not touch a dog I see loose (off-leash) outside.
5.  If I see a loose dog, I will tell an adult immediately.
6.  I will not run and scream if a loose dog comes near me.
7.  I will stand very still (like a tree), and will be very quiet if a dog comes near me.
8.  I will not touch or play with a dog while he or she is eating.
9.  I will not touch a dog when he or she is sleeping.
10. I will only pet a dog if I have received permission from the dog’s owner.
11. Then I will ask permission of the dog by letting him sniff my closed hand.

Related:
Top 10 Dog Training Tips

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Lisa Spector

Lisa Spector is a concert pianist, Juilliard graduate, and canine music expert. She is co-founder of Through a Dog's Ear, the first music clinically demonstrated to calm the canine nervous system. Their new high-tech pet gadget, iCalmDog, is the portable solution to canine anxiety. Lisa shares her home and her heart with her two "career change" Labrador Retrievers from Guide Dogs for the Blind, Sanchez and Gina. Follow Lisa's blog here.

515 comments

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11:41PM PDT on Jul 16, 2014

Good information for parents, as lot of children do not know how to be with dogs.

12:47AM PDT on Jun 13, 2014

I have 2 dogs at home and I am glad that no one was ever bitten by any of my dog. I think the way the owner raise the dog reflect to their personality. However, when it comes to visitors especially children, guidance and little briefing is a big help to avoid dog's tendency to attack them. Thank you so much for sharing this list. Great help..

4:46AM PDT on Jun 9, 2014

Well Alex, it is always nice to get an update from a rude, crazy, obsessed dog-hater. Thanks!

4:39AM PDT on Jun 9, 2014

Cont...

I think that everyone is right when they say that you should have had counseling as you have obviously been mentally scared from your experience, to the point where you cannot be objective. It is never too late to get help.

4:38AM PDT on Jun 9, 2014

Hi Alex, I don't think that your "date-rate" example was a very good one, date-rape is most commonly accompanied with a drug which is normally put in a persons drink so they do not have a choice and as the person who put the drug in the drink is most likely the rapist, they are not an innocent frat boy, they are a person who has premeditated a rape; most people know, or at least should know that this is wrong and is a crime. No dog is aware that biting someone is a crime and could result in their death,

Even if you do not include a drug and a person has willingly accompanied another to their home, no means no and as if they are not in a relationship and have not established a 'safe word', this is rape and should not be justified with excuses of mixed signals. So whichever way you look at it, your comparison is not a comparable.

I CAN relate to you, I was bitten by a rottweiler/guard dog when I was 9 years old for trying to keep her away from my own small dog who she could have ripped to pieces. After the incident she hated me and tried to attack me at any chance she got, an easy solution was reached, she would be locked away whenever I had to be in the same vicinity, she was not killed for what she had done to me, nor punished for the fact that she didn't like me anymore, both of which I am glad for as I would not have liked that on my conscience.

I think that everyone is right when they say that you should have had counseling as you have obviously been mentally s

4:14AM PDT on Jun 9, 2014

Continued... the much rarer incidence of a dog properly attacking a human and doing serious damage. There are just as many road traffic accidents as dog bites in the US, and some of those drivers are drunk, irresponsible, or deliberate murderers. But they aren't the majority. Does that mean all drivers should be punished and tarred with the same brush? Or is it better to educate people and make sure they know the dangers of driving while drunk, on a mobile, fiddling with the radio etc?

Main point: YOU could be run over by a car at ANY TIME, ANY PLACE and left horrifically injured or even killed. Because there are over 5 MILLION road traffic accidents a year in the US, and that's the sort of uncivilised country you live in. (And I'd rather be bitten by a dog than hit by a car, too, since most dog bites do so much less damage than car accidents and the worst car accidents are easily as bad as the worst dog bites!)

4:12AM PDT on Jun 9, 2014

Alex G, I could just as easily post links to stats and horrific pictures of rape. You really seem to have lost touch with reality. For the record, I am not a dog owner, I just grew up around them.

By the way, your crime list link had a couple of dog bite incidents and then a load of other stuff - like a man having Thanksgiving dinner with his family and then afterwards shooting them. So all humans should be leashed and muzzled at all times, to prevent that happening...? And the dogs who did bite, by the sounds of it, were trained to do so by the owners - hardly an accurate example of most dog owners!

Also, you complained because someone "ripped into a couple of six-year-olds": six-year-olds who ran up to a strange dog who was on a lead. What if the dog had bitten them? I suppose you'd somehow blame the owner, because it couldn't possibly be the kids' fault? This is exactly the sort of thing the above article is trying to address! People acting like those kids are often what provokes dogs to bite, so surely it would dramatically decrease the incidents of dog bites if people had a little education.

Dogs do not have an instinct to chase down a human and rip them to shreds, any more than humans are all serial killers. You don't seem able to distinguish between a dog bite where a dog gives a nip in warning or defence if they feel threatened, where there's no significant injury; and the much rarer incidence of a dog properly attacking a human and doing serious damage. Ther

12:36AM PDT on Jun 9, 2014

(cont'd...)

Hence, psychopathy (or sociopathy, if you prefer - same thing, one just sounds worse). I am now 100% convinced about you dog-lovers / dog-owners... I don't need to hear anymore.

12:35AM PDT on Jun 9, 2014

And if you think these cases are unusual, check this out:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_people_killed_by_dogs_in_the_United_States

Very interesting to read the "Circumstances" of each case!

"Also the owners of dogs who have bitten someone are not as psychopathic as rapists - there is no comparison."

Most "rape" is date-rape, i.e., sex with a guy you like enough to date, get drunk with and go home with! Still doesn't make it right, but if anything, dog owners are WORSE! Funny how you dog-lovers are so understanding of a dog's instincts to chase down and rip a human being to shreds but have zero tolerance for the instincts of a drunken, testosterone-crazed frat boy getting mixed messages on a hot date!

Main point is this: YOU could be attacked and torn to shreds by a dog or dogs ANY TIME, ANY PLACE, just like the women above were! Because that's the kind of uncivilized society we live in, where this kind of thing is tolerated. If it weren't tolerated, there would be effective laws to prevent it from happening 5 MILLION times a year in this country.

You don't think it can happen to you because you think you have some special understanding with all dogs just because YOUR dog loves you, and because you lack empathy, lack the ability to put yourselves in others' shoes, lack the mental clarity to see that "oh wow - that could happen to ME!" - no - you guys think these things only happen to OTHER people, and you DON'T CARE about other people. Henc

12:34AM PDT on Jun 9, 2014

Well "ladies", since you obviously don't care about kids getting mauled (Diane and Kevin doubt and mock me for being attacked as a child, one of you admitted to slapping a 10-year-old (who probably had very good reasons for "mouthing off" to you and spitting at you), and another one of you admitted to "ripping into" a couple of 6-year-olds who showed affection to your dog - nice! You are such wonderful people!), maybe you should read the above story again: "Senior citizens are the second most common dog bite victims." So, you're not out of the woods yet! You can yet be a victim!

Like this woman:

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/crime/pit-bull-owner-charged-murder-california-mauling-death-article-1.1359513

@ s. - you said "By the way, there is no "us and them", and dog owners are not siding with dogs over humans."

Oh yes you are! Can you really not hear yourselves?

"And I find it pretty disturbing and insulting that you seem to be equating dog bites to be as serious as rape. Trust me, I would a thousand times rather be bitten by a dog, even to the point of hospitalisation, than be raped."

Really? Why don't you click through the pictures and read the captions on this link and tell me you still think so!

http://www.crimelibrary.com/photogallery/dog-maul.html

Fascinating that the owners of these vicious, murderous dogs were both lawyers.

And if you think these cases are unusual, check this out:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_people_

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