Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Didn’t see that bite coming? Look a little harder

By Nina Stively, DogTime.com Contributor

Being a professional in the world of animals, my social media feeds are generally chock-full of doggy photos, kitty memes, and adorable pet videos. But recently, there has been a disturbing trend among these videos and the longer it goes on, the more dangerous the situation becomes. I’m talking about the videos where a baby, toddler, or child is interacting with a dog in an unsafe manner and, in spite of the clear inappropriateness of the situation, and the dogs many clear demonstrations of stress, an off-camera adult is holding the camera and chuckling.

 “Battle of the Cookie! Pug vs. Baby” is one video where a dog displays several warning signs of a potential bite (thankfully, no one was hurt).

Perhaps equally disturbing are the comments below each video, such as “No way a yellow Labbie would hurt anyone” or “People, not all dogs have food aggression,” and “Baby is in no harm.” Really? No harm?

Dogs give warning signs nearly every single time before biting someone. No matter what breed, or how well trained or socialized, it is incredibly rare for a dog to bite someone actually out of the blue. But, if you are not watching for the signs, you are not listening to what your dog is so desperately trying to tell you, before he resorts to his last option — a bite.

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