Understanding dog behavior and learning their body language is crucial for avoiding harmful contact. Unfortunately, according to the ASPCA, children are the most common victims of dog bites — with about 50% of them nipped before they’re twelve years old.
The next best defense is training your dog to be a “people-pup”. Dogs who are well socialized know how to behave around children and adults.
The proper training — preferably at an early age — partnered with plenty of exercise and mental stimulation to channel a dog’s energy, will go a long way in keeping your best pal cool, calm and collected around humans and quadrupeds, alike.
Training humans about dogs…
- Don’t judge by breed stereotype: Observe the dog’s actual behavior
- Try not to stare into a dog’s eyes
- Don’t taunt and tease dogs
- Don’t approach chained dogs
- Don’t touch an off-leash dog unless you know each other well
- Don’t scream if a strange dog runs toward you; stand still, remain quiet
- Avoid touching and playing with dogs when they’re dining (Hey, you don’t like it when they beg at your table)
- Let sleeping dogs…sleep. You may not mind waking up to slobbery kisses, but don’t disturb dogs as they snooze
- Get “permission to pet” from both pet parents and their dog; let him sniff your closed hand