How to safely approach a dog

Affectionate, loyal, friendly, gentle – these admirable qualities are the reasons why dogs are considered as man’s best friends. Not all dogs though are the epitome of gentleness as a number of breeds are noted to have a ferocious nature and ownership of these dogs is actually restricted by law. Breeds of dogs that were specifically bred to be utilized as protection dogs are actually trained to hone an already aggressive temperament.

Dogs have been domesticated for thousands of years and these animals have become well loved members of the family. However, these animals have retained their predatory instinct and a stimulus can easily stir up the latent ferocious nature of the dog. Because of this, over 4 million dog bite incidents occur in United States every year. Majority of the dog bite cases were caused by the victim’s own dogs. In order to prevent similar incidents it is necessary to learn how to safely approach a dog.

Learning how to approach the dog safely is a must. Dogs are highly territorial and food motivated. Guarding the territory, the food and even the toys is a natural behavior of dogs. Even the most gentle dog would react ferociously if a threat to its territory is perceived. It would never be wise to just approach the dog to get a toy or to get the food bowl especially if the dog is eating. Even if your intention is to add more food to the bowl, the dog can still bite.

Children are always attracted to dogs. It seems kids can’t let a sleeping pet alone. A pat would startle a sleeping pet causing it to instinctively bite. Children must be made to understand that it is dangerous to startle a sleeping dog. Dogs must be approached slowly and make sure that the dog can see you.

Because of the close bond, a dog will tolerate family members to access its territory but aggression will certainly be shown to unfamiliar people. Dog lovers will always be enticed to touch a handsome dog. The handsome dog may have an aggressive temperament . Always ask the owner’s permission before approaching the dog. If it’s OK to pat the dog, slowly approach the dog directly but do not stare directly into the eyes of the dog lest the animal take your look as a challenge. Approach slowly and extend a hand with the palm down or the fingers curled under to be sniffed by the dog. A friendly dog will sniff the offered hand.


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