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  • Writer's pictureMecca Curtice, CCDT, CTDI

Dogs Can Bite: There Are Warning Signs

We all love our dogs but we all must remember they are animals. When I hear a dog has bitten someone and they are seeking help, my first questions, what were the warning signs. Was there any signs given and what was happening that lead up to this bite.

When a child is bitten it really makes my heart sink because children are small and the bites are generally in the face.

I offer educational sessions to individuals and families this session helps to have a better understanding of the warning signs that lead up to a bite. Many times dogs are giving the signs and they are being ignored. A dog turning the head away or walking away is saying "no" they don't want to participate in this.

Dogs can only take so much and when no one is listening this all starts to stack up. Trigger stacking is when a dog has warned many times and then has no choice but to bite. A good example I give to people is about how we all deal with bad days. Imagine you get wake up in the morning, you stub your toe on the bed, then spill your coffee on important papers. Your day is already going bad then on the way to work you have a flat tire. Your day is not going well at all. Your now late for work and even more bad things are happening. This is trigger stacking and when you get home you're ready to explode and you end up yelling at your spouse or taking it out on someone.

We as people can find an outlet where a dogs outlet is a bite. The dog has taken too much and now the dog has shouted.

It is important to listen to a dog's whispers to prevent dog bites. There are behaviors to be very aware of and notice the changes. Stress and fear are what lead to aggression. The sooner you seek help the better.

• Panting

• Pacing

• Shedding

• Diarrhea/ Bowel movements

• Urination

• Licking the lips

• Coughing

• Sneezing

• Turning away/avoiding eye contact

• Trembling

• Shaking ( as if the dog were shaking off water)

• Yawning

• Sweaty paws

• Increased activity

• Decreased activity

• Scratching

• "Spacing out"

It is always important to see a veterinarian first and that is the first thing I will suggest before starting a training program. Veterinarians can find if there are any underlying issues like pain or something else it could be an ear infection.

When a dog is growling that is a warning sign and we must all listen to that to prevent a bite.

It is our responsibilities to listen and understand a dogs body language and listen to their whispers. A dog snapping is a warning to back away.

When I take an aggression case I look at everything and take many questions. I observe the dog as I am working with the guardian and the dog. I am looking signs of stress to help the dog, then help the guardian to understand where the dog is going over threshold.

Most dog bites happen at home and it is usually children. We must always remember to use 100% supervision over children and the interactions with a dog.

Good management is important and having a dog takes just as much responsibility as a child. People can become so busy in their lives and it only takes one time for a bite to happen.

I offer dog bite prevention in private sessions to help others. You can learn more by contacting me at this session is $40.00 and its valuable. It is cheaper than an emergency bill, cheaper than your insurance going up and keeping your dog from having a bite record or worse the dog ends up euthanized.

Now is your time to step and learn more!

Dog bites are preventable!

Mecca Curtice, CCDT, CTDI

Certified Dog Bite Prevention Educator

Behavior Specialist

Sheboygan, WI.

© Mecca Curtice, Mecca's All Breed Dog Training, LLC.

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