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Don’t reach out and never punish growl: The vet reveals how to keep your kids safe around dogs and the tell-tales they’re about to bite
- An Australian vet has revealed the best way to approach a dog to avoid bites
- dr. Tim Montgomery said to approach the dogs on the side and not put out your hand
- Sydney vet said he has seen children with facial scars from dog bites
- He advised parents to teach children about dog behavior to keep them safe
- dr. Tim said give dogs space when they seem anxious and to never punish growling
An Australian vet has revealed what not to do to prevent you and your child from being bitten by dogs – and said don’t hold out your hand to let them smell.
dr. Tim Montgomery, regional clinical director of Sydney Animal Hospitals, said it is important to know how best to approach a dog to prevent them from biting out of fear or stress.
The vet, who specializes in pet behavior, reported seeing many children with horrific injuries from dog bites, all of which could have been prevented with some basic education about the behavior and body language of our furry friends.
dr. Tim Montgomery, regional director of Sydney Animal Hospitals, said it is important to know how best to approach a dog to prevent them from biting out of fear or stress.
The 32-year-old vet, who has been practicing for eight years, said that while everyone – including him – has always been taught to let a dog sniff your hand before petting it, this could be one of the most likely times. be bitten for someone.
“The reality is that a dog often wants to sniff you before you touch it, but some dogs don’t even want to sniff you,” he told FEMAIL.
“Pushing your hand in their face puts you in their space, and if they’re already feeling nervous or anxious, that might be the most likely time for you to get bitten.”
dr. Tim said when approaching a dog, it’s best to avoid coming forward, bending over him, making too much eye contact, and placing your hand on his head.
How do you recognize a dog that it is going to bite?
1. Growling and snapping
2. Lip licking, yawning and an avoiding stare
3. Sclera sighting – when the white of the eye becomes noticeable when a dog moves its head in one direction and stares at something in the other.
4. Stiff Posture – stiffened body, tail lifted above head and ears swollen
5. Upright neck hairs – when the hair in the neck, back and/or tail is raised.
6. Wagging tail – an ‘aggressive’ wagging is a fast, rigid, back and forth movement
7. Tucked tail and crouched
Instead, said Dr. Tim that when approaching a dog whether they are familiar or strange it is best not to come forward, bend over them, make too much eye contact and place your hand on their head as this is how is. a common time to get bitten.
“Get to the side, squat down and have the dog come to you if they allow them to smell you not reaching out yet — let them get to know you at their own pace,” the Sydney vet suggested.
“Then if the dog pushes, rubs against you and seems to want a pat, go for a gentle pat – the best places are initially on the base of the tail, back, chest or under the chin. ‘
dr. Tim said it is vital that parents teach their children how to handle dogs and take steps themselves to avoid a trip to the emergency room.
“Both dogs and children are very impulsive. They are reactive, excitable and unpredictable — as a result, sometimes a dog and a child can be a perfect storm,” he said.
“I have personally seen children in animal hospitals who have lost eyes or developed a disfigured face from accidental bites from pets who showed no previous indication of that type of behavior.”
While dogs and their young owners usually get along just fine, said Dr. Tim says it’s important for parents to monitor their interactions and know that there are signs that a bite is on the way.
dr. Tim does not recommend punishing your dog for growling as it is one of the few ways they can communicate discomfort with us
“A dog has only a few limited ways of telling a person that they are uncomfortable or want to be left alone by showing some fairly subtle signs of fear or discomfort, such as lip licking, panting, yawning, huddled or hiding. ‘
“If these don’t work for the dog, the next step is growling and if the growling doesn’t work or the dog is very scared, the only option is to bite.”
dr. Tim doesn’t recommend punishing your dog for growling because it’s one of the few ways they can communicate discomfort with us.
“My advice to owners is to always respect a growl by giving the dog that is growling the space they are looking for – get out, leave them alone,” he said.
“If they’re snuggled in bed and they’re growling, just walk away and leave them alone — let’s not forget that dogs are all individuals and they are allowed to feel and behave in different ways.”