Practically daily, a article about a dog bite victim is viewed on the nightly tv news. City and state governments struggle with the way to implement aggressive dog laws. Wouldn’t it be less complicated if we could learn how to avoid dog bites entirely?
According to the Centers for Disease Control almost five million dog bites are reported every single year and additional than 800,000 of those bites needed medical care. Estimates from insurance companies and hospitals range as high as $250 million dollars spent annually for the treatment of dog bites. Provided that the bulk of puppies are euthanized due to behavior concerns, this is definitely an issue that not only impacts humans, but can, really obviously, impact puppies in an extremely adverse way.
When you study by way of the Bureau of Labor Statistics internet site, you may well be inclined to feel that doing work with pets can be an extremely harmful proposition. Through a six year study, a lot more than 18,000 injuries or illnesses were described involving puppies or cats and 8 of those events had been fatal. An incredible reality nevertheless is veterinarians and veterinary staff accounted for less than 5% from the total, in spite of their apparent closeness with their patients. What advice can this profession educate us about preventing these injuries as well as related costs?
Based on Dr. Kersti Seksel, a noted animal behaviorist and veterinarian from Australia, dogs will generally provide a number of warning signals just before attempting to bite. “It is important to look at the whole dog, its body language as well as its facial expression,” says Dr. Seksel. “A dog may growl, bark menacingly, lift its lips and grimace. The body is often tense, the hackles along the back and neck may be raised indicating a heightened state of arousal, and the tail may be slowly wagging.”
Because of the substantial numbers of dogs seen on a day-to-day basis, veterinary personnel members have learned to monitor a dog’s body language, preparing for virtually any possible aggressive movement. And even though this is important information to learn, Dr. Seksel cautions everyone to bear in mind that a lot of of these signals might be subtle and you can find situations when a dog may not give the typical signals. A pertinent illustration may well be the dog who has been previously punished for growling. As Pavlov and other behaviorists have shown, puppies will learn avoidance if negative stimuli are used soon after certain behaviors. Thus, a dog owner who reprimands his puppy for growling might be unknowingly eliminating the dog’s only outward expression of emotion or displeasure.
Veterinary experts suggest that all puppies undergo an initial “puppy training class” and socialization exercises. Just like youngsters, some puppies will instantly take to their new friends and some will take a little longer to overcome their shyness. Unless the puppy is going to be utilized for police or military work, no puppy really should receive positive reinforcement for any sort of aggressive behavior. Owners should seek out veterinary assistance when considering purchasing a breed of puppy they may be unfamiliar with or in the event the description from the breed talks about “extreme loyalty”, “intolerant of children”, or “prefers single owner household”.
Lastly, an important element of avoiding puppy bites is the education of our little ones. The large majority of puppy bites happen in children 4-9 years of age as well as a larger percentage takes place in young boys. Teaching your young children some with the subsequent suggestions could assist to stop a painful lesson and possibly even save his or her life. When faced with an unknown puppy, or a puppy whose behavior seems to be odd, Dr. Seksel recommends the following:
# don’t approach the dog
# look at your feet or even the ground – don’t make eye contact with the dog
# stand very still – don’t run when the dog comes toward you
# continue to keep silent- you should never shout or yell at the dog
# you should never attempt pat any dog on the head
Children need to be taught to under no circumstances run up on a dog, especially one who’s eating and that not every pet dog could be as friendly as their own pet. Instructing a child to check with the pet dog owner if it is fine to approach the dog and then if it can be ok to pet him can help to avoid a lot of of the common errors made by dog bite victims.
As dog owners, we love our pets and want the really best for them. Animal shelters and humane societies would like to see the number of puppies euthanized for behavior issues decrease and our society, like a whole, has a strong wish to see a reduction in the quantity of puppy bites every year. Using the recommendations of veterinary behaviorists and other animal specialists could be the very first excellent action to reaching these goals.
Should you are having problems with your dog and aggression, please see your veterinarian immediately.