Breed Awareness and Safety No Matter What the Breed 

Brought to you by the AKC GoodDog! Helpline – the AKC’s 7-day-a-week training support service
By Hilarie Erb, AKC GoodDog! Helpline Trainer

When you see a dog of a particular breed do you automatically make assumptions about its likely behavior? When you see a “friendly” breed, do you automatically assume that he is, indeed, friendly?

While certain breeds evoke fear at first glance, the fact is every dog can bite. Large dogs with big teeth can cause serious injury, but small ones can certainly cause damage too.

Safety should be practiced around all dogs, no matter what their breed is or how friendly they seem. Families with young children should always stick to a safety plan, specifically never leaving a child alone with a dog – no exceptions. Children should be taught that dogs, like all animals, must be treated with kindness and respect. They should never be allowed to take something away from a dog, climb all over a dog, or bother a dog while they’re eating or sleeping. Here are some good basics on how to behave around dogs: Ten Tips for Preventing Dog Bites

When you are out with your dog and encounter another dog, do not assume that means your dogs need to meet. Don’t be shy about declining the interaction if the other dog owner is insistent that your dogs be friends. Not all dogs want to be pals with each other, any more than you want to be best friends with every person you run into. Learn how to read dogs’ body language and how to be proactive in avoiding dangerous situations.

Earning the AKC Canine Good Citizen title is a good start to making sure your dog has good manners and that you are a responsible dog owner. This is important for any breed, but if you have a breed that people think of as dangerous, you should make an extra effort to teach him good manners.

It’s easy to assume that dogs know when they are behaving in ways we consider unacceptable, but we must remember that they are animals, not humans in furry suits. Loving them for their animal qualities rather than their human ones can make it easier to understand why we must follow basic safety rules – for their well-being as well as ours.

Join the AKC GoodDog! Helpline TODAY at the discount price of $59.99 – $20 off the regular fee. This provides lifetime training support for your dog. No renewals ever necessary.

For more tips and advice on training your dog, join the AKC GoodDog! Helpline, a seven-day-a-week telephone support service staffed by experienced dog trainers: www.akcgooddoghelpline.org.

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