Dog Bite Prevention Week begins May 15

TORONTO, May 12 /CNW/ - May 15 to 21 is National Dog Bite Prevention Week and The Toronto Humane Society (THS) would like to remind people to learn more about how to practice safe canine ownership and avoid potential bites.

There are several ways that people can prevent dog bites, beginning with carefully selecting your animal — ensuring you are aware of his/her lifestyle requirements and behavioral issues, if applicable — as well as being cautious around strange dogs. "Fear and anxiety are the source of aggression and biting is the worst possible ending for aggression," explains Shaswar Ahmad Arahman, THS Canine Behaviour Specialist. "Dog bites can be prevented by setting your dog up for success with proper socialization, exercise and training."

Shaswar, whose core focus is accessing all shelter dogs and ensuring they are behaviourally ready for adoption, says the most common behaviourial problems he sees and treats canines for include different types of aggression, separation anxiety and general handling.

Here are some of his tips on how to prevent a dog bite:

  • Don't set your dog up for failure. Build on your dog's confidence and independence by introducing new types of safe stress to condition him/her to act calm and relaxed at all times.
  • Learn to read your dog's body language in order to stop incidents before they escalate.
  • Socialize young puppies so that they feel at ease around people and other animals.
  • Don't put your dog in a position where it feels threatened or teased, such as leaning over him/her in a domineering way or placing your hand firmly on its head.
  • Educate your children on how, or if, they should approach a dog. For instance, never approach a dog from behind or sneak up on it in any other way.
  • Train your dog. The basic commands "sit," "stay," "no," and "come here" help dogs understand what is expected of them and can help build a trusting relationship between the dog and its owner(s).
  • Walk and exercise your dog regularly to keep it healthy, both physically and mentally.
  • Avoid games that may incite agitation like wrestling or tug-of-war.
  • Ensure he/she receives the proper and right amount of veterinarian care needed. Have your dog vaccinated against rabies and preventable infectious diseases.
  • Neuter or spay your pet.
  • If you have a fenced yard, make sure the gates are secure.

About THS:
THS is an independently operated humane society that services the needs of Toronto. Injured and/or ill animals receive veterinary care and abandoned animals are given safe shelter. The THS receives no government funding and is operated entirely through private donors and sponsors.

SOURCE Toronto Humane Society

For further information:

or to schedule an interview, please contact:

Ann-Marie Colacino
Communications Manager
Toronto Humane Society 
Phone: 416.392.2273 ext. 2149

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