Did you know that this week, from May 20 – 26, is Bite Prevention Week? This initiative was created by the non-profit organization Doggone Safe whose mission is dog bite prevention through education. Their goal is to not only protect children from dog bites that could have been prevented by knowing dog body language, but to also save dogs from being uselessly euthanized or sent to a shelter. Since we cannot strike up an easy conversational rapport with the canine member of our family, we must rely on more subtle signs of communication that consist of dog body language. Learning to read what your dog and other dogs are feeling is the key to safety. In honor of Bite Prevention Week, we are elaborating on canine body language.


Watch Out!

-Tail between the legs
-Ears back
-Whites of the eyes showing
-Teeth bared
-Head down
-Excessive yawning or licking
-Tense furrowed brow

Situations to Avoid

-Do not approach a dog that is eating or chewing a bone
-Adhere to the old adage, let sleeping dogs lie. Never interrupt a slumbering dog.
-Do not force a dog into a submissive position.
-Do not approach a dog that is tethered

Be My Pal!

-Tail wagging
-Relaxed expression
-Tongue out, mouth open

Dogs may not be able to tap you on the shoulder and say, “Hey, I’m scared!” or “Hey, I’m annoyed right now!” but their body exhibits these signs in numerous ways. Subtle though it is, we would all benefit from tuning our radar to these important canine signals.