With dogs, be aware of own behavior

Published Jan 30, 2013 at 12:01 am (Updated Jan 24, 2013 at 10:37 am)

I was pleased to see that people are finally addressing the issue of dogs and their possible aggression issues. I would also like to point out that, in addition to being aware of dog aggression, people need to be aware of their own behavior.

Parents, especially those with very young children, between the ages of 2 and 5, please supervise your child with a dog, at all times.

Dogs can become aggressive if they perceive aggression from an outside source. Hard or repeated “petting,” to areas that are sensitive – ears, face, paws – can result in your child being snapped at or bitten, even by the family pet.

Serious aggression in animals needs to be dealt with, but finding the source is critical, too. Please be mindful of a dog’s cues to its “mood.” Tail down and not wagging is a sign of stress. Teeth showing is a sign of potential aggression. Ears down is also a sign of stress or aggression. Of course, growling should always result in the removal, or separation, of the dog and/or child.

Try to think on the dog’s level. If you wouldn’t want someone “patting” you hard on the head, chances are your dog doesn’t like it either.

Let’s all be aware of the animals we love so much, even if they aren’t ours, and be responsible as owners and as parents. Your favorite canine will thank you.

Lynne Adams

Peters Township

With dogs, be aware of own behavior

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