Dog Trainers in Texas Striving to Decrease Number of Dog Attacks
According to State Farm Insurance, dog-related injury claims in Texas decreased in 2014, dropping to 169 attacks from 209 attacks in 2013. But dog bites are a much bigger problem than that: according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, about 4.5 million Americans are bitten by dogs each year. Dog bites are a prevalent enough occurrence and such a severe problem that there are stories in the news all the time.
Just recently in Kyle, Texas, a woman was walking her dog when she and the dog were attacked by 4 pit-bull mixes that had gotten loose. The woman was hospitalized for her injuries, and sadly, her dog did not survive the attack. The couple that owned the dogs face felony charges of attack by dog for their failure to keep the dogs contained. The dogs were euthanized following the attack.
Another tragic story occurred in Pecos, Texas on July 2. An 83 year old man was attacked and killed by 3 pit bulls. The man was in his daughter’s backyard, feeding her dog, when the 3 dogs entered the yard and attacked him. What a horrible, terrifying way to die. Again, the owner consented to having the dogs euthanized.
There is much argument over whether dogs that bite should be given a second chance. But regardless of their opinion on that, dog trainers do agree that there are some ways to lessen the chances of an attack by your own dog. First and foremost is to learn as much as you can about a dog’s breed before bringing it home, to make sure the dog is a good fit for your living situation. Second, it is important for the dog to know who is in charge. “They are family, but they can’t be allowed all the same privileges as us,” says dog trainer Kheli Harless. She says that when dogs are allowed on beds and furniture, it can be confusing to the dog, and can lead the dog to believe that they are in charge. She says the chances of an attack increase in these types of situations where the dogs believes it is dominant. And lastly, take all growling very seriously, and take action to put an end to the growling. A growling dog is sending a very clear message, one that may be followed with a snap or attack.
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