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Nationally Accredited Canine Trainers

Dog Bite Prevention Week: Raising Awareness

dog bite prevention raising awareness
11 April 2023

Currently the USA is observing Dog Bite Prevention Week, but in Australia, there is no equivalent event. However we are using this occasion to raise awareness in our community.

Canine Evolution conducts around forty dog bite prevention workshops every year for various stakeholders including the government, the dog industry, and the community. In the past month we have held ten workshops and have five more scheduled for the coming month. During these sessions, we hear about terrible incidents that have occurred to staff and incidents in the community which are now under investigation. Although some of these incidents are the result of a “perfect storm” type of situation, most of them occur due to preventable human errors or negligence.

There are numerous ways to decrease the number of dog bites/attacks. We recommend the following actions:

  1. Educate children about appropriate interactions with dogs and establish boundaries; teach your dog impulse control and boundaries.
  2. If you are not familiar with the dog, avoid it and enjoy it from afar.
  3. Responsible dog ownership is crucial. Evaluate whether your dog is an “accident waiting to happen” and take appropriate action if necessary.
  4. Participate in dog bite prevention training.

Educate children about appropriate interactions with dogs and establish boundaries; teach your dog impulse control and boundaries

The highest rate of dog bites occurs with dogs known to the victim, such as dogs in the same household, neighbors’ dogs, or friends’ dogs. Unfortunately, many of these bites happen to children and they can severely damage relationships between family and friends. Establishing structure is critical, and if you are uncertain how to do so, seek professional advice from industry experts; not social media!!

If you are not familiar with the dog, leave it alone, and enjoy it from afar

Undesired interactions with any dog may result in a dog bite. Many people in the community have a dangerous view that the cute puppy or dog being walked in the street or park is there for their entertainment and they should be able to pet the dog. Similarly, many dog owners believe that unknown people petting their dog is beneficial for socialisation, even when the dog is clearly uncomfortable with the interaction. A significant number of dogs do not enjoy interacting with strangers and forcing these interactions may lead to aggression problems.

Responsible dog ownership is crucial, Evaluate whether your dog is an “accident waiting to happen” and take appropriate action

Community safety should be a top priority. Some people own dogs that could be described as “loaded guns” or “accidents waiting to happen.” Some owners do not understand the severity of their situation, while others appear not to care. Some are even afraid of their own dog, which is a dangerous situation. The majority of severe dog attack injuries are caused by dogs with known aggression issues. Last year, we worked with a council that had ongoing legal issues with a dog that attacked a young girl. The dog attacked the girl without provocation, biting her on the shoulder, dragging her to the ground and shaking her, causing severe injuries. The dog had a prior history and the owners have demonstrated that they are unable to manage the dog. However, the matter is still unresolved after more than 12 months. Unfortunately, we see many other issues like this.

If the community adheres to all of the above, dog bite/attack situations should be rare. However, we live in an imperfect world.

Participate in dog bite prevention training

It is beneficial to attend community dog bite prevention training, which is periodically held by Canine Evolution and various Councils.

Contact us or your local council to see if such training is available in your area.

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