Promoting Safe Interactions with Dogs
Here are some great tips to help protect you and your family!
MEETING A NEW DOG
After you ask the owner-
Let a dog decide if it wants you, a stranger, to touch it.
Just TAP the side of your leg repeatedly, relax and act friendly.
Talk to the dog in a higher pitched voce so it knows you are a friend, not its foe or its prey!
If it wishes to be patted it will relax too, wag its tail and come over and nuzzle.
If it stiffly sniffs you or stays away, keep talking and tapping but AVOID touching when it says NO THANKS!
Avoid patting a held dogs or trying to pick up a small dog. They are stuck, unprotected and can’t tell you no thanks. Nipping is a way to to keep you back.
SEEING IS IN THE EYES OF THE BEHOLDER
Dogs have POOR EYESIGHT. When greeting, remove sunglasses and hats if possible before the dog sees you, avoid sudden movements or outbursts and talk to them reassuringly.
If you must carry something in or out of a home or near a dog-put the dog away. Equipment, bags, canes and crutches can scare them.
Always talk to a dog reassuringly. They don't minimize conflict by pretending they are alone like we do.
Happily keep your eyes on a dog when you leave.
Protect a child and save dogs!
Dogs do not hug each other to convey love, affection or support. Dogs hold onto each other to convey superior position and rank.
Kids are often bitten in the face because they hugged a dog, often when not in the presence of an adult.
PERSONALITIES AND BEHAVIOR CAN'T BE BOUGHT
Dogs are individuals and not breed stereotypes. Their behavior towards you depends on how both you and their owner acts. Act like a FRIEND!
ITS NOT A GAME
Avoid tug o’war. It’s not a game but a battle for possession of resources. Resources (toys, food, places to sleep, attention) belong to you, the leader not the subordinate which should always be the dog. Dogs should back away from resources not fight you for them.
NEVER PULL A DOG BY THE COLLAR
NOT YOUR DOG? LET THE OWNER DO IT.
Whether it’s a tick, something stuck in their fur, they have debris or food-let the owner remove it from their dog. Your hands and fingers are too important.