Two old timers were bragging about their dogs as they sat with their whittling and lit pipes on the front porch. One old timer says to the other, “Does your dog bite?” The other old timer says, “Yep. Of course. Does he have teeth?”
The fact is that a dog, any dog when given the proper provocation, can and will bite. Whether the dog is tiny or huge or anywhere in between, he has a set of choppers that is part of his defensive arsenal. Most of our socialized dogs won’t use those teeth, but given certain circumstances, it could happen. It is a fact that on an annual basis, more than 4.7 million people are bitten by dogs and children are most often the primary victims.
While this article is not exactly about dog bites, it takes into account that most dog bites can be avoided. It’s up to us, the dog owners, to adequately train and leash our dogs, prevent occasions of hurt or provocation to our dogs, and keep them away from questionable or dangerous situations.
There is also another saying, and it’s been around for a long time, that says, “There are no bad dogs, only bad owners.” Love your dog and teach him a few basic manners.
These simply-stated hints can go a long way toward making our dogs good canine citizens.
Leash your dog when he is outside or in public
Train your dog to obey the basic commands
Keep your dog from situations where it might be prone to defend itself or bite
Teach children safe behavior around dogs
Exercise your dog regularly
Maintain current vaccinations
Teach your children:
to be cautious around strange dogs
to treat your own pet with respect
not to approach strange dogs or try to pet dogs through fences
to ask permission from a dog’s owner before petting the dog
to be aware of potentially dangerous situations
Parents must never leave a baby or young child alone with a dog – ever! Your dog could be the biggest marshmallow who adores children. In one quick moment, however, the child could somehow fall, stumble, trip, or otherwise hurt the dog – by accident or deliberately - and the animal could snap by surprise, from pain, or even instinct. Best to prevent such an occurrence!
Dogs are our most remarkable animal companions but they come with responsibilities.
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