Larchmont Animal Clinic
National Dog Bite Prevention Month
We all know the fallacy concerning big dogs being vicious. For example, Pitbull’s have always had a negative outlook in society as most would assume that they are vial mean creatures due to the media or hearsay. When in reality these are all assumptions based on appearance. More often than not it’s the actions of strangers that spook dogs into thinking they are in danger. So how can we prevent Fido from feeling unsafe? In honor of National dog bite prevention month, we here at the Larchmont Animal Clinic are going to give you tips in order to better understand your dog. In other words, we're here to help you “speak “dog in order to have a smoother safer relationship with not only your pet but other dogs as well.
Although It may seem ludicrous to speak dog, it's actually essential in decoding subtle signs that you wouldn’t normally pay attention to. By watching carefully you’ll be able to train your dog much more effectively and manage behavioral problems as well. For humans recognizing that your fellow man is tired, enraged, or melancholy is quite easy to tell (especially if they are swearing). However, a common mistake most people misinterpret is a dog’s yawn. Naturally in your mind, if a human yawns they are tired, (or bored out of their mind) when in reality if your dog is yawning it's often indicative of emotional stress. In order to differentiate between a sleepy yawn and stress yawn look at your dog’s facial features and body language. If Fido extends his or her tongue and stretches their legs that’s demonstrating fatigue. On the other hand, if Fido yawns and doesn’t extend their tongue or stretch out then that’s an indicator of stress. Since we're already talking about the tongue lets transition into another action that most would easily miss. Lip licking in the context of humans usually means that they are about to devour a meal as if they were stranded on an island for months. Lip licking for dogs, which can range from pushing the tongue out slightly or licking their muzzle, is a sign of mild stress. Some dogs will lip lick more than others but pay attention to the surrounding area and overall body language when lip licking occurs. This will help you to ascertain how your dog is feeling especially if it’s a new setting he or she is not used to. The last indicator we will go over and that you should look out for is the breathing pattern of your dog. Panting, closed mouth breathing, or closing the mouth after painting may precede a bite. These breathing signs can be a warning of significant tension or nervousness. So, pay close attention to your dogs breathing as you’ll be able to differentiate if they are just tired or getting ready to bite. It can make the difference between a pleasant day or a horrible altercation.
Although I am concluding, you may be wondering if there are other indicators. To make a long story short there are but I could not fit all of them into this paper or it would be 2000 words long. The signs mentioned above are those usually missed but if you have any other concerns always talk to your local Vet. You can also search for any questions on the Larchmont Animal Clinic website. Together we can stop the stigma that dogs want to bite when all they truly want is love.