I’m not sure if the media is just more aware of dogs that are biting humans, or because dog bites on humans are increasing. Just recently here in South Africa, a “service” dog bit a child quite badly, and even more recently a dog in the US bit a young anchorwoman. This video has been aired quite extensively. Jennifer Shryock, who does a lot of work in the United States with dogs and kids and has studied dog body language has commented on the video of the dog bite to the anchor woman in terms of the signals that the dog was sending and that were being ignored by all present, including the owner.
Have a look…
What is extremely important for anyone who approaches a dog, particularly a strange dog, and particularly if you are teaching your child about dogs, is to become familiar with how dogs communicate their anxiety and discomfort. This video clip quite clearly illustrates many of the more obvious ways a dog will communicate it’s state of mind.
Try to REALLY look at dogs and try and understand what they are saying. The really sad thing is that so many dog bites can be avoided if we just learned to read what our dogs were trying to tell us.