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Friday, Sep. 30, 2016

Be A Rock, Be A Tree

Posted Thursday, January 31, 2013, at 6:34 PM

This is Boomer practicing his tree pose:-)
Dogs will bite and dogs do bite. I will never dispute that fact, but what's important for a human to know is what to do when this does happen.

Whether you want to admit it or not, dogs bite because a human has crossed the line. We make them uncomfortable, or tease them to their breaking point. So what are you going to do when those teeth make contact with your skin?

I've done quite a bit of research on this topic as I feel this is something that should be taught in every classroom and to the general public as well. Let's face it, it is highly unlikely that you will never encounter a dog in your lifetime.

So, you are going to your friends house and they have a dog. You walk in through the gate and approach the house. Suddenly their dog appears barking and growling. Your first reaction will probably be either A. Turn around and run back out of the yard yelling and screaming the entire way.

B. Keep a hard stare on the dog showing you are the dominant one and are not going to back down.

Both of those reactions will get you bitten. Why, you ask? Because running and screaming only makes the dog more anxious and excited. Dogs were bred to help their owners hunt. A dogs initial reaction is to chase and capture its prey. Yes, dogs are certainly more domesticated now days, but they still have that instinct to a certain degree.

A hard stare to a dog is very threatening to them and they certainly are not about to back down. In fact, you should never look right into a dogs eyes when you meet them. They perceive it as a challenge, so upon meeting a dog, you can glance their way, but never stare.

What you should do is be a tree. Trees are boring to dogs. They don't make any sound, they don't move, they're just there. Your body needs to be very still, arms to your sides, hands in a fist, staring straight ahead. More than likely, the dog will approach you, sniff you, and walk away. Once the dog has lost interest in you then walk away. Hopefully that will be the end of it, but in case it isn't, be a rock. A rock is big and round and hard to get in a dogs mouth. Drop to the ground, knees tucked in under you, chin to chest, elbows in, and hands over your ears. The key here is not make any part of you easy to grab. Have you ever watched a dog try and get their mouth around a bowling ball? Again, don't make any noise or wiggle around, it only amplifies their adrenaline.

If you are bitten, and there is an open wound, you should seek medical attention as well as the dogs owner. You will need to know if the dog is current on its vaccinations. Your wound will be cleaned and possibly covered. Most bites are puncture wounds where the dog bites and lets go. If the skin tears, you may need stitches and in both instances you will probably be on some antibiotics to fight any infection.

I hope that you will share this information with others. It is a simple concept that anyone of any age can grasp, and can save you from a bite.

Showing comments in chronological order
[Show most recent comments first]

What if you are a tree whose "apples" may hang a little too low for comfort?

-- Posted by Cookster on Sun, Feb 3, 2013, at 10:52 AM

Very informative. Dogs are territorial and its the owners responsibility to make sure they are not going to bite someone. Ive never hit my dog but when he growls in anger i usually roll up a daily reporter and hit my hand and shout NO! Works every time. The loud noise gets their attention off who they are growling at.

-- Posted by brian48 on Sun, Feb 10, 2013, at 1:25 AM

brian48 - A squirt bottle filled with water does the trick too. Any unwanted behavior gets a quick squirt, preferably to the face. It serves the same purpose as the newspaper, only they see it, hear it, and feel it. After a awhile all you need to do is reach for it and the unwanted behavior stops and they usually put themselves in a time out.

-- Posted by Foster Mom on Sun, Feb 10, 2013, at 7:18 AM

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It's a Dog's Life
Stephanie "Foster Mom" O'Brien
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My name is Stephanie O'Brien. I'm an animal lover and enjoy volunteering. I have combined those passions into providing a temporary home to animals that would otherwise be sitting in a shelter or worse, euthanized due to lack of room in a shelter. For the past two years I've fostered pit bull type dogs for a rescue in South Dakota. I've also had the opportunity to do some presentations on responsible pet ownership and have been involved in fighting breed specific legislation in SD and IA. I'm looking forward to providing the readers with animal related topics and possibly answer any questions you may have. Enjoy! Stephanie Sioux Empire Pit Rescue Volunteer
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