In honor of National Dog Bite Prevention Week, May 18-24, Kristin Yonkers of Perfect Pooch Dog Training visited with the two Small Animal classes at the LoGuidice Center, Erie II BOCES. Yonkers' interactive PowerPoint presentation included topics of canine body language, bite inhibition, signs of stress and fears in dogs and bite prevention.
Yonkers explained that if more people understood canine body language, the 4.7 million dog bites per year in the United States would greatly decrease. Fear is the leading cause of dog bites; understanding when a dog is scared or stressed is the first step to stopping a dog bite from occurring.
According to Yonkers, tail tucked in, body low, ears back, whites of the eyes showing, panting when the dog isn't hot, yawning when the dog isn't tired, lick lipping when there is no food, pacing back and forth, tense face, rigid body, showing teeth, air snapping and growling are all signs of stress and a potential bite.
Kristin Yonkers of Perfect Pooch Dog Training (standing) presents on dog body language in order to help prevent dog bites for National Dog Bite Prevention Week at the small animal class at BOCES LoGuidice Center.
"Should your dog exhibit any or all of these signs, don't punish them, but change the situation as soon as possible," Yonkers said.
Along with understanding body language, Yonkers talked about what potential dog owners should look for in breeders, to ensure a well-rounded puppy. Breeders need to be handling the puppies, introducing them to new situations and keeping pups with their mom until eight weeks of age. These methods encourage bonding, socialization and curiosity at the earliest stage and also help the pups with learning bite inhibition from their littermates.
Yonkers explained how puppies are programmed to bite anything and everything in order to learn to control it, and demonstrated the positive steps to implement instead of punishing a puppy for biting. Yonkers invited the students from the small animal class at the LoGuidice Center to attend one of her puppy classes at the Perfect Pooch Dog Training space in Brocton.
Students from the small animal class visited the Lakeshore Humane Society for a class field trip and volunteer day shortly after Yonkers spoke to the group.
For more information regarding Yonkers' community presentations, the Lakeshore Humane Society, or to enroll pets into upcoming classes, visit www.perfectpoochdogtraining.net or contact Kristin Yonkers at 680-3501.