Recent research conducted at the University of Liverpool has found that prevention recommendations for dog bites are far too simplistic and thus may not be the answer to preventing dog bites as originally thought.
Many experts have come out and said that dog bites can be prevented if their owners are properly educated on how to read canine behavior. By being able to identify high risk situations, experts believed a great deal of dog bites could be prevented.
Current data suggests that dog bites are increasing, likely a result of more and more people owning dogs as pets, the research team at Liverpool sought to gain a better understanding into the victim's perceptions by interviewing victims of dog bites.
In many cases, there was no interaction with the dog before the bite occurred and therefore no opportunities for the owner to assess canine behavior. Many victims blamed themselves for the attack, rather than the animal; though in some cases where the dog was not known to them, they blamed the owner.
Odds are many of us have grown up around dogs or have a dog of our own. As a result, many of us perceive that a dog bite would never happen to us. As a result of this belief, there is a tendency to overlook warning signs and continue to act in a manner that may be evoking a dog bite.
"Nobody wants to believe that their beloved dog would cause harm, but all dogs have the potential to bite whether it be in aggression or in play," said Dr. Carri Westgarth, a dog behavior expert at the University of Liverpool's Institute of Infection and Global Health.
Researchers are quick to highlight that there is not enough knowledge of how dog bites occur to know how to prevent them entirely. The best thing to do right now is to raise awareness that it could happen to you.
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