Children and Dogs Dog Attacks Why

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Children and Dogs Dog Attacks Why

by Rena Murray

There are hundreds of dog bites in the United States every year. I say with absolute confidence that a minimum of ninety-five percent of dog attacks or dog bites on people could easily be prevented or avoided. That includes all manner of dog attack, such as problems between children and dogs, as well as dogs chasing or charging someone.

Often people ask me: "Big numbers ? Where is your proof?"

The proof is simple truth. Thousands of people in this country are dog owners, but very few are educated in the way to read dog body language, or how to stop a dog in attack mode. Very few dog owners understand dog instinctive behavior.

What usually happens when an adult and child are involved in a dog attack is something like this:

A mother (call her "Mary") and elementary school child (call him "Joe") are walking down the sidewalk. Out of nowhere looms a HUGE dog who really seems threatening. They follow the old school of "avoid eye contact and run ? he won't see you as a threat and he will not get you." Terrified, they make a run for it.

Those poor people are in for it! This is one bubble I am happy to bust. Dogs are stimulated by a chance to chase. Mary and Joe turn themselves into targets as the dog goes into prey mode. Dog instinctive behavior is to run down their prey, or to run off intruders.

The dog MAY decide not to pursue you. But what you have done is contribute to his confidence, make him powerful in his own mind, and encouraging his dog aggressive behavior. Next time, you or someone else may really be bitten.

So here is the correct way to handle such an encounter and why.

Once again, same scenario ? Mary and her young son, Joe, are out for a walk. A huge, frightening dog suddenly appears and starts to charge. Mary should shove her child behind her for safety, demonstrating that she is in charge.

What should Mary do then? Straighten her shoulders and lift her head, for a body language which projects power and control. LOOK AT that dog - not with anger, but with authority. POINT at the dog. Immediately, walk TOWARD the dog with confident strides while watching the animal. Say, "Hey, STOP" ? or "stay" or similar language, again with authority but not shouting (as that would escalate the problem). As you do so, spread your hand out toward him with the firm "stop" gesture. (No flailing hands and screaming, please, or you become a more attractive target!)

After advancing toward the dog with the authoritative "stop" words and gesture, HOLD YOUR GROUND. Hold it unless the dog moves forward. Then you must move forward to maintain control of the situation.

How am I sure this will work? Simple. Dogs use eye contact and confident posture to speak to one another. The dominant dog always stands his ground. It is the dog of lower rank who runs away. You must stay in control at all times. It works. I know. I have done it over and over in otherwise "impossible" situations.

Use dog instinctive behavior to your benefit, not against you ? and do not be victims of dog attack!

GET HELP from Rena Murray at the Dog Obedience Training website. An accomplished Dog Behavior Modification expert, Dog Obedience Trainer, and Platinum Expert Author, Rena provides self-help Articles and free "Best Ezines"-recognized newsletter: PAW PERSUASION POINTERS to help you better understand communication and control of your dogs, debunk dog training myths, explore right and wrong dog training techniques for specific situations, address destructive dog behavior, excessive and obsessive dog behavior, and other canine issues, from new puppy to old dog. Subscribe for free at, visit Rena's BLOG -, find the dog products, crates, and gifts you need at, and Contact Rena for Coaching

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