Please select a topic below:
- Things to Consider Before You Get a Dog
- Early Education on Bite Prevention
- Create a pet-not a threat!
- CDC Study on Fatal Dog Bites
- ANY DOG CAN BITE!
Consult with a professional veterinarian, animal behaviorist, or responsible breeder to learn about the most compatible breed of dog for your household. Carefully consider your pet selection based on your lifestyle. Do you have time for frequent daily walks? Can you afford at least two hours a day to spend quality time with your new puppy? Will you have the energy to play fetch after a hard day’s work? Dogs have different temperaments and different requirements however, one thing remains same, every dog needs love, attention and solid training. Consistence is the key to creating a well-balanced dog. A good match between owner and pet is a life long commitment of mutual love which begins the moment you meet.
True love is just a shelter away…adopt a “Pit Bull” today!
- Puppies should not be obtained on impulse. Before and after selection, your veterinarian is the best source of information about behavior and suitability.
- Dogs with histories of aggression are inappropriate in households with children.
- Be aware of breed specific legislation in your town or city. Always check for breed restrictions prior to buying a house in a new town. Dangerous dog acts may prevent you from moving in with your pet.
- Dogs like “Pit Bulls” need adequate fencing, training and housing. “Pit Bulls” are great climbers and diggers. It is very important to have a safe, secure area so that your dog does not stray or get lost. If you cannot be sure that your backyard fence is strong, high and tunnel resistant you should not leave your dog unattended.
- Some insurance companies will not issue home owner’s policies for the owners of some breeds like “Pit Bulls”, Rottweilers, Dobermans & many “Pit Bull-type breeds.
- Historically, “Pit Bulls” stem from the blood sport of pit-fighting which means an owner must be extra careful with their dog at all times. Even though your Bully is a people-loving, face-licking, mush-ball, just one playful nip or accidental scratch from its toenail could result in legal action; that probably would not happen if the dog were of a different breed. A responsible owner avoids all negative possibilities.
- Many dog bites happen to young children. It is suggested that parents wait until children are older than 4 years of age before getting a dog.
- Be sensitive to cues that a child is fearful or apprehensive about dogs and if so, delay acquiring a dog or consider a different pet.
- Spend time with the dog before buying or adopting it. Make sure it has an even temperament especially if you have children in the household.
- Use extra caution when bringing a dog into the home of an infant or toddler.
- Socialize & train any dog entering the household. Teach submissive behaviors like rolling over to expose abdomen and relinquishing food without growling.
- Never leave infants or young children alone with any dog, even your own.
- Do not play aggressive games with your dog like wrestling or tug of war.
- Spay & neuter virtually all dogs. Neutered dogs are three times less likely to bite.
Early education is the best way to avoid dog bites in children. A dog is a wonderful companion, and loving addition to any family with responsible supervision. By acting responsibly, owners and parents can reduce the annual number of dog bites by following these preventative steps. Training and socialization begins the moment you bring your new puppy or dog into your home. Children must be taught to respect their pets at all times. Healthy play-time must be learned by children as well as puppies or dogs. Correct unfavorable behavior ASAP to avoid conflict.
- Be extra cautious around strange dogs, even when the owner is present.
- Always ask the dog’s owner if it is friendly before you or your child approach the dog.
- Treat all dogs and pets with respect and love. Never tease hit or frighten a dog.
- Educate your children, including toddlers, to be careful around pets.
- Parents must also reinforce the importance of acceptable behavior and proper handling of dogs and other pets in the household. Gentle & quiet handling is best.
- Never leave an infant or small child alone with a dog, even your own.
- Be alert! Watch for potentially dangerous situations and avoid them.
Be a responsible dog owner. Dogs are social animals; spending quality time with your pet is very important. Daily walks play a big role in your dog’s happiness along with human and canine social interaction. Every dog desires attention, exercise and consistent leadership. It is every responsible dog owner’s job to establish leadership to ensure a healthy relationship with their dog. Dogs without a “pack-leader” will assume the role and these dogs have a greater chance of developing behavior problems and even canine or human aggression. Always obey leash laws, and use common sense. Educate children, including toddlers, to respect dogs and all animals. Because young children are bit frequently, early education on bite prevention is essential to your child’s safety! License your dog with the community as required.
Keep your dog healthy. Have your dog vaccinated against rabies and other preventable infectious diseases. Parasite control and other health care are very important, because how your dog feels directly affects how it behaves. Spay/Neuter your pets. An intact male dog is three times more likely to bite. Neutering your male dog also decreases his chances of developing health issues like prostate cancer. Always provide your dog with daily exercise, a healthy diet and plenty of water. Dogs should never be left outside in severe weather.
Train your dog. The 4 basic commands "sit," "stay," "no," and "come" can be incorporated into fun activities which build a bond of obedience and trust between dogs and owners. A puppy must be gently, but firmly taught the behavior expected from him as an adult. Avoid highly excitable games like wrestling or tug-of-war until your dog understands the 4 basic commands. These games are a form of aggression which will teach a dog to resist its opponent. To keep it safe and fun your dog must respect you as the leader. Teach your dog submissive behaviors like rolling over to expose abdomen and relinquishing food without growling. Aggressive behavior should be corrected without hesitation. Immediately seek professional advice from veterinarians, animal behaviorists, or responsible breeders if your dog develops any aggressive or undesirable behaviors. Every dog is a direct product of its environment. A well-bred, well-socialized, well-trained, dog will rarely have aggression issues.
Socialize your dog as a young puppy so he feels at ease around people of all ages and races and other animals. Gradually expose your puppy to a variety of situations under controlled circumstances; continue that exposure on a regular basis as the dog gets older. Never put your dog in a position where it feels threatened or teased. A frustrated dog is a dangerous dog. Lots of exercise will keep your dog healthy while giving him a chance to have fun. Dogs that have daily play-time are less likely to get into trouble in the home. Chew toys will save your shoes and remember long play-time always leads to a long nap!
Fencing. Some breeds have a tendency to escape and run away. “Pit Bulls” are known for their amazing ability to escape from even the most secure areas. A 6’fence is the best way to protect your dog from the potential dangers of getting off your property, or becoming victim to dog-nappers. Fences also protect the community from accidental injuries caused by wandering dogs. Dogs should never be allowed to roam the streets unsupervised by an owner or handler. Good owners = Good dogs!
A CDC study on fatal dog bites lists the breeds involved in fatal attacks over 20 years between 1979 and 1998. The study does not identify specific breeds that are most likely to bite or kill, and thus is not appropriate for policy-making decisions related to the topic. To see the complete study visit: WWW.CDC.GOV/NCIPC/DUIP/DOGBREEDS.PDF
Each year, 800,000 Americans seek medical attention for dog bites; half of these are children. Of those injured, 386,000 require treatment in an emergency department and about a dozen die. The rate of dog bite-related injuries is highest for children ages 5 to 9 years, and the rate decreases as children age. Almost two thirds of injuries among children ages four years and younger are to the head or neck region. Injury rates in children are significantly higher for boys than for girls. (See CDC MMWR article)
Each year, 4.7 million Americans are bitten by dogs. These bites result in approximately 12 fatalities; about 0.0002 percent of the total number of people bitten and key experts believe that public education will help prevent many of these bites. These relatively few fatalities offer the only available information about breeds involved in dog bites. There is currently no accurate way to identify the number of dogs of a particular breed, and consequently no measure to determine which breeds are more likely to bite or kill.
The third full week of May is National Dog Bite Prevention Week. Get educated about dog bite prevention!! Each of these organizations are working hard to help America prevent unnecessary injury to friends, neighbors and loved ones.
- The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA)
- The United States Postal Service
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
CDC is committed to reducing this public health problem by working with state health departments to establish dog bite prevention programs and by tracking and reporting trends on U.S. dog bite injuries. Dog bites are a largely preventable public health problem. Adults and children can learn to reduce their chances of being bitten by taking proper precautions.
THIS INFORMATION WAS GATHERED FROM THE NATIONAL CENTER FOR DISEASE CONTROL WWW.CDC.GOV
The Humane Society of the United States www.NoDogBites.org
General Questions About Dog Bites
Q: How many dog bites occur every year in the United States?
A: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia, estimates that nearly 2% of the U.S. population is bitten by a dog each year. This translates to more than 4.7 million people per year, most of whom are children.
Q: How many people die every year as a result of dog bites?
A: Ten to 20 people die every year as a result of dog bites in the U.S. By far, the majority of the victims are children. In a three-year period between 1999 and 2001, 33 people died after being bitten by a dog. A vast majority of these victims (24 of 33) were under 12 years of age.
Q: Why do some dogs bite?
A: There are many reasons why a dog bites. Dogs bite out of fear or to protect their territory or to establish their dominance over the person bitten. Some owners mistakenly teach their dogs that biting is an acceptable form of play behavior. And every year a number of newborn infants die when they are bitten by dogs who see them as "prey." Because dog bites occur for a variety of reasons, many components of responsible dog ownership—including proper socialization, supervision, humane training, sterilization, and safe confinement—are necessary to prevent biting.
Q: Which dogs most commonly bite? Are some breeds more likely to bite than others?
A: The breeds most commonly involved in both bite injuries and fatalities changes from year to year and from one area of the country to another, depending on the popularity of the breed. Although genetics do play some part in determining whether a dog will bite, other factors such as whether the animal is spayed or neutered, properly socialized, supervised, humanely trained, and safely confined play significantly greater roles. Responsible dog ownership of all breeds is the key to dog bite prevention.
Q: How can local laws prevent dog bites?
A: The most effective dangerous dog laws are those that place the legal responsibility for a dog's actions on the owner rather than on the dog. The best laws hold the owner accountable for the bite victim's pain and suffering, and mandate certain corrective actions such as spay/neuter and proper confinement of the dog. For more information on legislation that will effectively reduce dog bites in your community, contact The HSUS. For guidance on developing a dog bite prevention plan in your community, read the American Veterinary Medical Association's A Community Approach to Dog Bite Prevention.
Q: Is my community's animal care and control agency or humane society affiliated with The Humane Society of the United States?
A: No. The HSUS, the nation's largest animal protection organization with more than seven million members and constituents, is not legally affiliated with local animal care and control agencies, humane societies, or SPCAs. However, The HSUS publishes guidelines and recommendations for their operation and offers guidance and training to animal care and control personnel. The HSUS and local organizations work hand-in-hand on important animal protection issues in your community.
Surprisingly, most people are bitten by their own dog or one they know. Even the friendliest dog can bite if provoked. Some owners train aggression into their dogs or allow aggression to go uncorrected which is a big part of the problem. From nips to bites to deadly attacks, dog bites are a serious issue in America. According to AVMA.org There are approximately 800,000 dog bite victims requiring medical attention in the United States annually. Countless more bites go untreated. On average, about 12 people die each year from dog bites. Statistically, dog bites are significantly higher in children than adults. Other victims included are, the elderly and home service providers such as mail carriers. Fortunately, there are steps we can take to address this nationwide problem.
- Do not approach an unfamiliar dog and avoid direct eye contact.
- Immediately report stray dogs or dogs displaying unusual behavior to an adult.
- Do not run from a dog and scream. Dogs naturally love to chase and catch things.
- Remain motionless when approached by an unfamiliar dog. In most cases, the dog will go away when it determines you are not a threat.
- If knocked over by a dog, roll into a ball and lie still with your hands over your head and neck. Protect your face.
- Do not play with a dog unless supervised by an adult.
- Do not disturb a dog that is sleeping, eating, or caring for puppies.
- Do not pet a dog without allowing it to sniff you first.
- Never leave a baby or child alone with a dog even your own.
- Know your dog. Be alert to signs of illness. Also watch for signs your dog is uncomfortable or feeling aggressive (Raised hair, stiff tail and stiff ears).
- Neuter your pet. It's a fact: neutered dogs are three times less likely to bite.
Every year, more than 4 million people in the United States are bitten by dogs. Most of those victims are children under the age of 13. The youth education division of The Humane Society of the United States, the National Association for Humane and Environmental Education (NAHEE), hopes to change that.
NAHEE's dog bite prevention resources are designed to help you keep kids safe around dogs, reduce the number of dog-bite-related injuries in your community, and enhance the bond between people and dogs. The resources are perfect for use by teachers, humane educators, and parents.
The BARK (Be Aware, Responsible and Kind) Dog Bite Prevention Program is the only one of its kind proven effective in teaching elementary-school students how to behave safely around dogs. The programs consists of Dogs, Cats & Kids, a 25-minute video and a fun, easy-to-use 31-page activity book of lessons, reproducible worksheets and coloring pages designed to teach kids how to avoid being bitten.
In addition to teaching children important lessons on avoiding dog bites and providing hours of fun, Play It Safe with Dogs/Fuera de peligro en compania de perros lets kids learn Spanish or English. The 32-page coloring book features English and Spanish text and large, easy-to-color pictures on reproducible-quality paper.
Other available resources include The Doggone Crazy! board game and the Play It Safe with Dogs™ Megaposter, teaching children the dos and don'ts of safe behavior around dogs and helping them learn to interpret dogs' body language.
The complete BARK Dog Bite Prevention Program costs $25 (The video and activity book can also be purchased separately for $22 and $7 respectively.) The Play It Safe with Dogs/Fuera de peligro en compania de perros coloring book is just $3. Discounts for large quantities are available.
Order online at the NAHEE web site or send a check or money order to:
67 Norwich Essex Turnpike
East Haddam, CT 06423-1736
Please add 6% sales tax for orders shipped to CT.
Resources available from HSY to assist in teaching children about bite prevention:
How can you ensure that children learn those valuable lessons, and put them into practice? Humane Society Youth offers the following teaching tools to help parents, teachers, and animal care professionals do just that—in a way that will grab children's attention and make learning fun.
To order HSY's dog bite prevention materials for kids, please visit the Humane Society Youth website or call 860-434-8666.
Check out www.humanesociety.org during National Dog Bite Prevention Week the third week in May for tips on how to "bite proof" your pooch.
Dog bites can be avoided when people behave safely around dogs and pet owners act responsibly. Download this free coloring sheet & help educate kids about the do’s and don’ts. http://www.hsus.org/web-files/PDF/PETS_dogbite_colorpg.pdf