Every dog has its day – and sometimes it can be a bad one. Now a new Department for Environment and Water information campaign provides advice to help you deal with it.
Even good dogs have a bad day and it’s important to understand why and what to do to help avoid becoming a victim of aggression or an attack. That’s why the Dog and Cat Management Board this month launched a campaign to provide advice to both dog owners and the general public.
The campaign comes as latest figures show 500 people received hospital treatment in South Australia due to a dog bite in the 2021/22 financial year.
The three-month campaign - Good dogs have bad days - features advice via radio, television, outdoor and digital advertisements. Safety advice brochures are also being sent to the state’s registered dog owners.
To mitigate the risk of dog attacks on humans and other animals, the campaign will also urge people not to be complacent around any dog.
Experience shows even friendly, well-behaved dogs can become aggressive and bite someone completely unexpectedly and for a range of reasons.
Research also shows biting incidents can often be caused by a lack of understanding of a dog's behaviour, accidental situations, and owners not recognising potential warning signs, highlight the urgent need for increased awareness and education.
- Keep your gates shut and yard secure so your dog can’t escape.
- Provide a safe, comfortable space your dog can retreat to when there are people around.
- Never let young children (even family) interact with your dog without you present.
- Show all your visitors how your dog likes to interact.
- Train and socialise your dog as soon as possible.
- Avoid punishment methods that create fear or aggression.
- Not all dogs want to make friends with other dogs. If your dog is happier going solo, keep them under control and away from dog parks.
- If your dog is displaying aggression, see an animal behaviourist or your vet.
Advice for the public includes:
- Always supervise children around dogs at home or in public.
- Do not enter a dog’s territory, like their bed, yard or toy box.
- Never startle a dog.
- Never touch a dog while it’s eating.
- Never disturb a sleeping dog.
- Never put your face near a dog’s face.
- Teach children to always ask owner for permission before approaching a dog.
- Dogs can bite when they’re tired, frightened or annoyed.
- Understand dog body language and the fact that most dogs show specific warning signs – such as growling – before they bite.
Consider yourself a dog lover? Read our blog on 17 national parks in Adelaide where you can walk your dog.