Author Archives: Judy Luther

Good Dogs Bite Too: Training Can Help

A dog pet health insurance growls and shows his teeth.

This year, the first Dog Bite Investigation, Treatment, and Prevention Conference was held in Atlanta, Georgia. I attend a lot of training and animal behavior seminars, but this one was different. The attendees were made up of various professionals, all with a common interest of decreasing the number of dog bites. Lawyers, doctors, veterinarians, animal control officers and teachers, law enforcement officers and forensic investigators were present as well as dog trainers and behavior consultants.

The goal of this conference was to spread the word about the growing problem of dog bites, team up with other professionals to help decrease the number of bites, and educate people about why bites happen in an attempt to reduce the number of incidents.

The numbers are astounding. More than 4.7 million reported dog bites occur each year. 800,000 require medical attention. Fatalities are increasing each year. As of August 12, there have been 16 fatal dog bites in the United States, 12 of which were small children. The sad part is that these numbers are increasing, and the truth is, that any dog can bite.

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Knock Knock, Doggie Door Manners

A dog with pet health insurance jumps in the air.

Arriving at my friend’s house, I prepared myself in anticipation of her 80 pound Chocolate Labrador Retriever waiting to greet me at the door. I knew Harley was inside because as I got out of my car I heard his enthusiastic barking and jumping at the door.

Harley loves visitors, but he truly needs to tone down his adolescent enthusiasm. When my friend opened the door, Harley bounded out to greet me, jumped up and grabbed my jacket sleeve. Being prepared for this boisterous guy, I grabbed a tennis ball out of my pocket and tossed it towards the porch. Harley released my arm and ran after the ball.

Once inside, my friend admitted to me that Harley was out of control when visitors arrived. She said while it was cute when he was a puppy, now that he’s full grown his behavior is no longer endearing. Her family was coming in town for a visit and she was concerned that Harley would hurt her elderly grandparents. Harley’s crazy greeting behavior needed to change.

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