Here are some handy-dandy safety tips from the American Kennel Club in honor of National Dog Bite Prevention Week.
1. Ask permission: It’s very important to ask a dog’s owner first if you can pet the dog. Not every dog reacts the same way to strangers petting them, and the owner will know if the dog is friendly and if it is safe for you to approach.
2. Approach calmly: If the owner says yes, make a fist, extend your hand slowly to the dog, and let him sniff the back of your hand. Dogs recognize people by scent, so letting him sniff your hand lets him become familiar with you.
3. Where to pet: Once the dog has sniffed your hand, pet him gently under the chin or on the chest.
4. Don’t hug dogs: Dogs don’t hug each other, and they don’t understand hugs to mean love and affection like humans do. Wrapping your arms around a dog can stress him out and lead to an unnecessary bite.
5. Keep your chin up: Never put your face down in front of a dog. This can be threatening to the dog and cause him to react.
Coming tomorrow: reading a dog’s body language to pick up threatening postures.
Stay safe out there!
Until next time,
Good day, and good dog!