Saturday, May 14, 2011

Dog Bite Prevention Week

That's right - there's actually a dog bite prevention week. Millions of people are bitten by dogs every year and several hundred thousand require trips to the hospital. Most of these could probably be avoided. 

When I was 7 years old I was bitten in the face - 24 stitches! I didn't have a dog of my own, but I LOVED dogs! I was visiting neighbors (who did not educate me about their dog) and had cornered the dog with a box of dog treats. I was going to feed him. I thought that would fun. He didn't like being in a corner. He didn't like kids. He didn't like that I had the treats. I teased him by pretending I was going to eat his treat. I was right up in his face. The skin on a child's face is very soft and tender. It tears easily. It was a horrible experience. 

I wish someone had told me that my behavior was intrusive and rude, had taught me how to approach a dog politely. It would have been nice if the owners had been paying more attention, especially if he was a fearful dog. Not all dogs want to be touched by strangers. Educate your kids!

Here's a great video on how to approach a dog. And if you want to read more on this or other behavioral stuff, check out the blog of Dr. Sophia Yin, an expert on dog behavior.

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