Dog Bite Prevention Week
May 24, 2012 at 8:46 pm
It’s not my favorite week of the year – this is a subject that brings up all kinds of intense emotions. It’s the one week of the year where I worry that the strangers that Boogie has bitten in the past will change their minds, come back to sue me or request to have Boogie euthanized. Yes, I know I am being paranoid and over-reacting. I am always worried that the percentage of people who have no idea why dogs bite and why it’s unsafe to invade a dog’s personal bubble, who are quick to blame the dog/owner is still way greater than the percentage of people who are educated and compassionate.
Dr. Sophia Yin has a great article about what people do around dogs to get bitten and how things are from the dog’s perspective.
Article: A Time To Take Responsibility For Dog Bites
Dickinson (director of the Sacramento County Animal Care and Regulation) describes one common scenario, “People get bitten because they see a dog they don’t know. It’s not acting aggressive. It’s just kind of walking around. They go up to it and they think the first thing you should do is put their hand out and let the dog sniff your hand.”
This may surprise most people, but even though we are commonly told that we should greet dogs by reaching out, in actuality, this can be very scary, especially if you’re a stranger to the dog.
Dickinson explains, “The dog doesn’t know you’re reaching out in friendship. You’re just coming at them. A lot of times people get nipped that way. It’s just the dog’s way of saying, ‘You’re in my space. Stay away from me. I’m not interested in you right now.’”
Dog Bites are preventable…
Help! My Dog Bites!
Dog Bite Prevention Week blog post (last year’s blog post)
And this video, animated by me for Dr. Sophia Yin.
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