Monday, May 23, 2011

All Dogs Bite…That’s Why We Have Teeth!


Hi Y’all,

May 17 to 23 is, was National Dog Bite Prevention Week.  Seems like I missed posting anything of interest that applied to dog bite prevention.

  Then I got to thinking about how stupid you humans really are around us dogs.  Ever thought about the dumb stuff you do? 

Hey look at our mouth!  Look at the teeth and how our jaws stick out in front of our eyes.

I don’t know about most of y’all, but I don’t see that well.  My nose sticks out in front of everything and my smeller is what registers first. 

So, now that you understand the design of a dog’s head, you know that it should just be common sense to ignore a dog when you go visiting or see one in public.

When people come to my house, I like to make a loud announcement and try to scare them off.  If the Humans expect them, they’ll tell me to sit and go open the door.  Then I get to do the sniff approval.  I don’t want you to pat me.  I want to find out who you are first.  If I want attention, I’ll let you know later.

Now, in public it is even more important to ignore us.  Talk about dumb stuff y’all do everyday! 

It should be common sense not to reach into someone's car and try to pat the dog inside! Hey, you're in his territory!  Of course I’m going to snap at you!  You’re threatening me.  How do I know what you’re going to do?  Remember you get to my teeth before you reach the top of my head, which is where most people try to pat a dog…a very threatening move in our view!

Probably the dumbest thing a human has ever done was one day when I was leaving the vet’s office after being treated for an ear infection.  Now, I wasn’t feeling well to begin with, and after the techs had messed with my head and ears I was feeling worse.  I’m very obedient, but my Human doesn’t let strangers pat me.  Now, I’m trained to allow people to handle me, but why let strangers reach down when I might feel threatened? 

Anyway my Human tells me to sit and wait.  I do.  She turns her back to me to pay for my visit.  Yes, she’s holding my leash, but she’s signing stuff and getting my medicine from the girl at the desk. 

All of a sudden this woman walks up to me and reaches to pat my head.  Let me tell you, that lady is lucky she still has a hand!  She was quick on the withdraw!  Or maybe I just felt so bad I was slow on the snap! 

Some people must take leave of their senses trying to pet someone's dog while the handler is checking out in the vets office!

I have one other “do not pat the strange dog” warning that is very important. we retrievers are often found working as service dogs.  You wouldn’t walk up to a police dog on duty and pat it, so you shouldn’t walk up to other working dogs and pat them either. 

These dogs work leading humans who are legally blind or assisting the physically handicapped and some work warning or alerting their person that they are about to have a seizure.  You may not know what the dog’s job is, but distraction by a stranger is never welcomed.  Don’t talk to the dog, don’t pat the dog.  Some handlers don’t mind answering questions, but remember, like you, they are trying to go someplace and often have time restraints that would make your interruption unwelcome.

Have a great week!  Remember, it’s summer now and people will have their windows open in their cars when their dog is with them.  Don’t stick your hand inside! 

Use your heads people!  We’re supposed to be the dumb animals!  You can’t blame us if we feel threatened and bite you! 



  1. Hawk, who knew you could be so eloquent! You totally speak for us.

  2. Woof! Woof! Totally true. I was at PETNIC this weekend ... so many nice people and ask permission to pet me. Lots of Golden Woofs, Sugar

  3. That's some very good advise, Hawk! You hit the nail on the head :) with this post. I know how you feel when you are way too tired or not feeling great--I get a little snappy, but don't tell anyone. Mom knows I just need a little nap, then all is fine!

  4. Thanks for stopping by for a Storm update (which I posted this morning finally). She had a good weekend and earned one pass. Would have liked two, but we'll take the one. :)

    People always want to pet Thunder. I don't know what it is with him...he draws people. Most people overlook Storm, but rarely Thunder. Luckily Thunder is very laid back. You would think with such a big dog people would not randomly want to pet him.

  5. Excellent post... people really don't think!

  6. Great alternate perspective! I have to remind the mini-people not to try and pat unfamiliar dogs (until the dog clearly wants to be patted) all the time.

  7. Great post!

    One thing that my trainer really stressed with our puppies was teaching them bite inhibition. So, if instinct were to tell them to bite later in life, they'd do it without much force. We taught it by letting them mouth us but making yelping noises if they bit too hard (when they were puppies).

    Your post caught me on a very appropriate day. R hurt his toe quite badly (not sure yet if it's broken). Today, when I tried to touch it to check it out, he grabbed my hand in his mouth (if it had been any harder, I'd call it a "bite"). Yet, he inhibited his bite and didn't even come close to hurting me. His message was loud and clear! It hurts - please leave it alone!

  8. Well, I do pet dogs on the head but I always let them smell the back of my hand first...and that is after asking the owner's permission to pet their dog.

  9. Very well put. This is information everyone needs to know. Thanks for putting it out there.

  10. Good advice, especially with the warmer months here. Love your water background, Chessie.

    Scout at RiverDog Prints