One of my jobs as an animal control officer is to investigate dog bites. On the Health Department's bite report I'm required to annotate whether the bite was provoked or unprovoked. This bothers me because from the dogs' point of view all bites are provoked. It's my experience that the problem usually lies with the people. Granted, some dogs are just jerks and some are poorly socialized; but the biggest problem is that people -- especially children -- don't know how to read a dog. Most dogs will announce their intentions, but so many people don't "speak dog" and miss these clues. The result is often a dog bite. And in our litigious society, it rarely ends well for the dog.
Right now I'm putting together a presentation for the kids at the community center. I'm trying to come up with practical and kid-friendly tips on how to interact with a dog -- a kind of "How Not to Get Bit" thing. Do you have any ideas? I'll share what I come up with later, but for now I want to re-post something I found from the American Veterinary Medical Association. Hope you find it interesting. -- K