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Humane Society of
Wayne County, New York

1475 County House Road, Lyons, NY 14489

315.946.3389

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More than 25 years of shelter operations

This page was last modified on Sunday November 18, 2012

Celebrate Dog Bite Prevention Week

Dog bites are no laughing matter. According to the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, each year 800,000 people seek medical treatment for a dog bite related injury, with half of those treated being children. The highest incidents of dog bite related injuries occur in children between the ages of five and nine. Dog bite injuries in children are significantly higher in boys than in girls.

You can reduce your child’s risk of being injured by a dog through education. Before you bring a dog into your home, consult with a professional such as a veterinarian, animal behaviorist, or other knowledgeable individual about a suitable breed of dog for your household. If you have children, avoid acquiring a dog with a history of aggression. Be sensitive to your child’s fear or apprehension around a dog. Spend time with a dog that you are considering adopting, and use caution when bringing a dog into a home with a toddler or infant. Spay or neuter your dog because this will frequently reduce aggressive tendencies. Never, ever leave young children or an infant alone with ANY dog. Do not play aggressive games with a dog like wrestling. Properly socialize and train your dog by teaching the dog submissive behaviors like rolling over and belly rubbing. Train your dog so you can take food away without it growling, snapping, or snarling. Seek immediate help from a professional if your dog demonstrates aggressive or undesirable behavior.

Tell children never to approach a strange dog. Never scream or run away from a dog. If you are approached by a strange dog, stand perfectly still and let the dog sniff you. If you are knocked down by a dog roll into a ball and protect your face and neck while lying quietly. If you are approached by an aggressive dog get something in between you and dog like a bicycle, an umbrella, a lunchbox, or feed the dog your jacket.

Avoid direct eye contact with a strange dog; direct eye contact in the dog world is confrontational. Never allow children to play unsupervised with any dog. And do not allow children to disturb a dog that is eating, sleeping, or caring for puppies. When approaching a dog that does not know you hold your hand out first for the dog to smell. After the dog has had a chance to smell your hand and you have not observed any threatening behavior from the dog, pat the dog under the chin, not on the top of the head.

Dogs are naturally protective of their pack and you and your family are part of your dog’s pack. Barking is a way to warn the pack of something out of the ordinary. Of course, if you have an aggressive dog make sure that your dog is safely restrained when stranger comes to call. Otherwise when people visit your home help your dog become comfortable with the visitors by reassuring your dog that it is ok. Allow your dog to smell the visitor while you supervise the meeting and ask the visitor to address your dog by name.

Let’s be smart and reduce the number of dog bites in Wayne County this year!.