Around 4.5 million people–adults and kids–are bitten by dogs every year. This can be prevented simply by knowing the warning signs. Dr. Sophia Yin illustrates this in the video below:
“This dog bite prevention video illustrates why so many people are bitten by dogs every year. In this animation, a child approaches a dog in spite of the fact that the dog shows many body language signs showing that he’s scared. Because the child keeps approaching and the dog feels cornered, the dog turns to aggression in order to protect himself.”
Animal behaviorists at Doggone Safe suggest using the easy-to-remember “ABC” method around dogs:
If you, as a parent, decide that you think it is safe for your child to approach a particular dog – teach your child the ABC approach:
A: Ask your parent and the dog handler before you pet a dog
B: Be a tree if the dog is loose or too excited (stand still)
C: Coochie coo on the side of the neck to pet the dog
It’s also important to recognize a dog’s warning signs to avoid the dog being unfairly labeled. Labels such as “aggressive” or “vicious” can stay with dogs forever making them unadoptable in a shelter and possibly leading to euthanasia… All because someone didn’t receive the warning the dog was trying to send.
It’s almost always avoidable, and it’s our responsibility to know the signs.
[h/t The Dodo]