The Carson City Sheriff’s Office has responded to several calls about aggressive dogs recently, with one incident ending with a five-year-old being mauled.
Public safety and animal experts say dogowners should be educated about how to create a pet-friendly community in order to keep both pets and people safe this summer.
One key piece of advice is to learn who your dog is, said Kimberly Wade of the Nevada Humane Society. Know if your dog is fearful of things such as crowds, certain kind of people or kids, so when you’re in certain situations you can have a high awareness of your dog and try to avoid those kinds of stressors. Wade said the Humane Society recommends not putting your dog in a situation where they can be set up for failure, for example, if a dog isn’t good in crowds, don’t take them to a festival or party.
Part of that situational awareness is also to help guide people with how to approach your dog, Wade said. A pet owner who sees a person or another animal approach a dog incorrectly needs to inform them on the right way to approach the dog.
It’s also important to teach kids at an early age how to be around pets in order to avoid getting hurt or upsetting the dog.
The Humane Society advises to explain to kids dogs may not love everything a child does to them, such as hugging the dog or tugging his tail or being overly energetic. Parents and dog owners should also teach kids to never take away a dog’s toys or food while they’re eating or playing, as the dog may feel the need to protect it.
Dog training classes are always recommended, Wade said, especially when the dog is a puppy, to better the dog’s relationship with other humans and pets. For a list of trainers in the area, visit http://nevadahumanesociety.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/Dog-Training-Resources-in-Washoe-County-5-20-15.pdf.
For more information on how to teach children about being around dogs safely, The Nevada Humane Society recommends visiting https://drsophiayin.com/blog/entry/kids-and-dogs-how-kids-should-and-should-not-interact-with-dogs/ or https://www.avma.org/public/Pages/Teaching-children-about-dog-bite-prevention.aspx.