Dog owners are more often the victims of dog bites than are people that don’t own a dog. This makes sense because it is more likely that dogs approach the people who behave more calmly with them, however, this increases the risk for them being bitten by a dog.
However, this is not a rule! If you are a dog lover who is familiar with dog behavior, then you should know how to reduce the risks of being bitten by a strange dog.
What we should try to do when approaching an unfamiliar dog is to figure out whether it will properly accept our attention. The first step is to ask the owner if the dog is friendly! If yes, take a moment to evaluate the behavior of the dog and his behavior towards you. There are many reasons why a dog can be aggressive, and you should understand the situation in which it is not recommended to approach an unfamiliar dog.
Some people find it very rude that people approach their dog without asking. Some dogs, such as guide dogs that are trained, shouldn’t be approached by strangers. Always ask the owner for permission before you approach their dog, even if the dog obviously wants to get attention from you.
Some dogs can become aggressive in noisy or crowded situations (entertainment parks, parks for dogs, veterinary clinics) because of excessive stimulation. It is also common for dogs to have problems with certain types of people. The presence of women or small children makes some dogs fearful which may lead to “fear aggression.”
After you get the “OK” from the owner that you can approach his dog, always check it again! Your second check should be when you pause for a moment and look at the dog and its behavior. If the owner fails to recognize that his dog is timid, stimulated or upset, you can become a victim of a dog bite. When you look at the expression on the face of a dog, dogs that are willing to interact with other people will have their ears back and will look at you without staring. They usually have a relaxed body posture, relaxed tail waving, and will approach you with a little hesitation.
Dogs that are fearful are potentially dangerous. The description of facial expressions at such dogs is ears that are laid back on the head, while avoiding the eye contact with you. They may have the position of the body as the “prowl”; they will crouch low to the ground and draw the tail close to the body. When they show aggression, they will probably start to show their teeth first. These dogs should not be approached because your presence makes them feel uncomfortable.
Despite the many different causes of aggression, aggressive dogs ready to attack usually look the same. Their ears are protruding and will show the teeth at the same time. Their posture is a very stiff with tail held high. An aggressive dog can wag his tail stiffly. But that does not mean he’s friendly, it simply means that the dog interacts with you. Often these dogs are ruffled. Never approach these dogs because they are very confident and are not ready for peaceful interaction with you.
It is important to know how to recognize a situation where you can meet with an aggressive dog. Dog does not intend to have a conflict with people, therefore will show signs described in the previous text. These signs should alert you and allow you to avoid a situation in which you could sustain a bite. There are several key situations in which a dog can become aggressive. In these situations, a dog is not “bad” or “evil.” He just reacts in a natural way. You should be extremely careful when approaching an unfamiliar dog in these situations.
Dogs are usually possessive when it comes to food and their favorite toys. Avoid reaching for or taking away from them their food bowl, a treat or a toy dog. This also applies to the territorial possessiveness. Do not set foot in the territory of a dog – let the dog approach you. The dog does not know your intentions. Finally, be very careful when approaching an injured dog. His threshold and tolerance are greatly reduced and aggression may be manifested simply as a defense mechanism.
Although dogs are domesticated for a long time, we cannot separate them from their ancestors. When you approach an unfamiliar dog, always remember that there’s a chance that he bites you. Make sure that you first contact the owner, and then consider the behavior of the dog. Avoid interaction with an unknown dog in certain situations, for example, in addition to its facts with food. Above all, if you’re nervous or unsure of whether or not the dog wants to interact with you, think of your safety and do not approach him!