Approaching a dog safely

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. Many of the victims were attacked by their own dogs. Learning how to approach a dog is therefore very necessary.

Learning how to approach the dog safely is a must. Dogs are territorial animals and food motivated as well. Guarding the territory, the food and even the toys is a natural behavior of dogs. Even a well mannered dog would growl and bare its strong needle sharp teeth if it perceives a threat to what was considered as its territory. Taking away the dog’s toy or the food bowl or to approach the dog hastily would never be a good idea. Even if your intention is to add more food to the bowl, the dog can still bite.

Children will always be enticed to pat a dog. Kids would always want to hug and cuddle a sleeping pet. However, even a gentle pet can bite instinctively if startled. It is very necessary to warn the kids not to startle a sleeping dog. When approaching the dog, make sure that it can see you.

The dog may tolerate the family members to invade its territory but a ferocious temperament will be shown at the intrusion of other people. Dog lovers will always be enticed to touch a handsome dog. A gentle looking dog though may turn aggressive to the touch of an unfamiliar person . Ask the owner if it is alright to touch the dog. Even with the owner around, take care not to approach the dog directly and be careful not to stare at the dog as a stare can be viewed by the dog as a challenge. Extend a hand with the fingers curled under or the palm down to be sniffed by the dog. A friendly dog will sniff the offered hand.

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