Stay Safe Around Dogs

It is indeed devastating every time we hear of someone being bitten by a dog and my heart genuinely goes out to them.

With the news and events over the past months and particularly of the past week, sadly everyone should now take this as a wake up call to look at themselves and their behaviour around dogs. When I say everyone, I mean dog owners and non dog owners.

Some basic points to follow when around dogs:

If you are out with your dog, whatever breed, please stay alert to your surroundings. Don’t put earphones in or worry about who’s tagging who on social media, don’t drift off in a daze and assume all is well. Being aware of what and who is around you can help massively to avoid any potentially negative situations and you will be able to stay one step ahead of your dog. Once you develop an instinctive awareness it will become second nature.

Even if you are not walking a dog please think logically. Would you run in front of a moving car? I’m hoping the answer would be no! So, don’t run towards a dog, some dogs will feel threatened by someone coming towards them at speed. Joggers drive me nuts when they don’t slow down or give people with dogs space, as do children running or on bikes and scooters.

Educate children to calm down around dogs, not to run at them, not to race up to them on scooters and bikes, from any direction. Any dog, when startled, could have an instinctive reaction and possibly snap.

A dog does not know when it’s doing wrong, it will act as it sees fit unless otherwise guided. Showing aggression comes naturally to some dogs when feeling threatened or uncomfortable in a situation, and it’s down to us people to read their communications and respond appropriately.

Above all, do not scold or tell a dog off for growling or barking. This is their way of communicating that they are not happy and are giving a warning. I can’t find the original post on Facebook, but I read one a while ago saying ‘would you take a battery out of a smoke alarm?’ and, obviously, we wouldn’t, so why tell a dog off for sounding their own alarm! By knowing your dog’s triggers you can avoid putting them in a position where they could feel unhappy and knowing their motivations can help you diffuse a negative reaction and exit promptly to be a more suitable environment.

Unfortunately, not everybody thinks as most of us do, so it’s important for us to think for all and see a potentially bigger picture, and remember that we ALL have a responsibility and duty of care to ourselves and others to avoid any form of danger and stay safe.

If you want a more in-depth chat and guidance, please feel free to get in touch to arrange an appointment. You can email me at hello@dogsandusconnect.com.