Dogs are great creatures who make wonderful companions. A dog may look sweet and innocent, but dog body language is much different from that of a human’s. Dogs bite for many reasons. They bite to show dominance, aggression, as warnings, and in times of pain. Many people make the mistake of trusting strange dogs because they were raised around their household dog. Not all dogs are alike and it is dangerous to instantly trust a strange dog. Before you go walk up to a new dog, take precautions to ensure that you are not another bite statistic.
Know dog body language
Dogs can’t talk to us in our language. They have their own that they use with their bodies. If you see a dog baring their teeth, it may be wise to not bother them. There are more signs than just showing teeth. Dogs will often times bark and raise the hairs on their back. It can be hard to tell with some dogs if the hair on their back is raised, but it almost always is a sign of less than good intentions.
If you see a strange dog that may be aggressive, don’t stare back at them. Don’t keep eye contact with an aggressive dog. Eye contact with an aggressive dog can be a sign of a challenge to that dog. Dogs will often have stare downs before they start a fight with each other. Looking away can show that you do not intend to fight.
Do you see some cute dogs at the park? What about that adorable dog behind the fence? That dog is little, they can’t be a threat! It can be tempting to race up to a cute dog and start petting away, but that is also how you can get hurt. Stay away from dogs that you don’t know. If you encounter a dog at a park with their owner, always ask the owner for permission to pet first. Slowly approach the dog with a closed fist. Always let the dog sniff you first. Never make sudden movements to pet. Make slow movements and gauge the dog’s reaction.
Don’t approach dogs that are behind fences. These dogs consider that their territory. They may seem sweet, but they can turn when they feel that their territory is being threatened. It is best to just avoid chained or fences dogs completely. Same goes for dogs wandering in the neighborhood, especially if they are roaming in packs. You cannot trust a strange dog that isn’t leashed with an owner. You can find yourself in a dangerous situation if you approach a pack of stray dogs. Call your local animal control to pick them up for you. It could prevent a bite!
If a stay dog does approach your aggressively when you are out on a walk, try your best not to turn your back and run. Running away can trigger an instinct to chase and kill in a dog. Try to stand your ground with closed fists. You don’t want your fingers vulnerable to bites. Walk slowly away without turning your back. Stand strong and stand tall. Do your best to show no fear until you are back to safety.
About the Author: Andrea is a blogger for Smith Monitoring, a Rockwall home security company dedicated to Houston home security. She is often found writing about pets and finding the best cat toys on the market.