All Dogs can bite!!! It’s Dog Bite Prevention Week.

I know what you’re thinking: ‘My dog doesn’t bite’. I feel the same way about my dog Kudo. However, if Kudo was put into a vulnerable position, he could bite. Let’s imagine that such a situation occurred, and Kudo reacted by biting. Unfortunately, Kudo would be subjected to breed discrimination. He would no longer be seen as the sweet dog he is but would instead be labelled as a dangerous Pitbull. People would say things like, ‘Did you hear about the Pitbull attack?

Okay, let’s dig into this. Why do dogs react? What was the situation leading up to the actual bite? How do we protect our dogs to ensure that they feel protected? How do we allow strangers to approach our dogs? How is this handled when introducing dogs to each other? Has your dog been socialized with people and other dogs?

I can tell when Kudo is feeling uncomfortable in a particular situation. His reaction might be to hide behind his humans, his hair might stand up on his back, or his stance might become rigid. Occasionally, he wakes up in the middle of the night and barks at the bears in the yard. In such situations, we remove the source of stress and try to distract Kudo from the situation.

When we were training our dog, Kudo, to walk on a leash, we put in a lot of effort to teach him to ignore barking dogs that were chained up, we did this by redirecting his focus to something positive. We have noticed that many dogs that bark at us while we’re walking have owners who tend to yell at their dogs instead of redirecting their attention towards something positive. However, there are other reasons why dogs may bark, some dogs are more reactive by nature. To avoid triggering other dogs, we try to steer clear of houses where we know reactive dogs live.

When someone approaches Kudo, we only allow them to interact with Kudo if Kudo seems interested. If Kudo is happy and the situation is calm, then it’s great to meet new friends. However, once Kudo is done, that’s it. If Kudo is disinterested and wants to walk past, we respect that and say maybe next time. Additionally, we don’t allow children to swarm Kudo as their energy can be overwhelming and may not allow Kudo to have a proper escape route.

When we tried to adopt Lilah, we introduced the dogs and spent lots of time with her at the shelter with Kudo. They were great at playing together and responsive to our commands. What we weren’t aware of was Lilah’s reactiveness to food. She was swift and would try to get right into Kudo’s space if there was food or water around. Having two strong dogs in a reactive situation was terrifying; the only way to protect both dogs was to bring Lilah back to the shelter where she was safe and taken care of by her servants (shelter staff) who loved her. Our hearts still hurt, and we think of Lilah often. We know it was the right thing to do in this situation.

It’s always important to trust your instincts when it comes to protecting your dog and making sure guests are aware of your expectations. Once a dog has bitten someone or something, it can be extremely difficult to undo the damage, so prevention is key.

It’s National Dog Bite Prevention Week, so keep your fur babies safe and protected during the eclipse. The best place to keep them protected is at home. If they are with you, stay aware of your surroundings and keep them on the leash.

Kudo, the dog, will be home with his dad.

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