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Happy Dog Bite Prevention Week

The quiz was compiled by Dog Bite Prevention Coalition members — the Postal Service, American Veterinary Medical Assn., American Humane, Insurance Information Institute and State Farm Insurance.


Dog Safety Quiz

1. Is it okay to open a door and let dogs out when a letter carrier drops off mail? Yes OR No

Answer: NO
If a letter carrier delivers mail or packages to your front door, place your dog into a separate room and close the door before opening the front door. Dog owners should remind their children about the need to keep the family dog secured. Parents should remind their children not to take mail directly from letter carriers in the presence of the family pet as the dog may see handing mail to a child as a threatening gesture.

2. Does an angry dog wag his tail? Yes OR No

Answer: YES
People often assume that a dog with a wagging tail is a friendly dog, but this is far from the truth. Dogs wag their tails for numerous reasons, including when they’re feeling aggressive. A tail that is held high and moves stiffly is a sign that the dog is feeling dominant, aggressive, or angry.

3. Do dogs like to be kissed and hugged? Yes OR No

Answer: NO
We humans like to touch and hug people and things when we express happiness. Dogs don’t. Some dogs are very tolerant and will allow hugging and kissing while some try to get away. A dog may tolerate or even enjoy a hug on his terms, but sometimes he will not be in the mood. Think about it, when hugging a person you wrap your arms around the other and hold them in place for a few seconds. That alone is bad news to a dog since they on average do not do well with restrain. They generally don’t like to be held in place. This alone is enough to generate feelings of anxiety as well as a sense of unease and insecurity in your dog.

4. If you know a dog, is it okay to reach through a car window or a fence to pet it? Yes OR No

Answer: NO
Dogs, even ones you know have good days and bad days. You should never pet a dog without asking the owner first and especially if it is through a window or fence. For a dog, this makes them feel like you are intruding on their space and could result in the dog biting you.

5. If a dog is chasing you, should you try to run away? Yes OR No

Answer: NO
Never run from a dog! The dog may think you are playing a game and start chasing you if you begin to run away. Don’t shout or wave your arms as this will either encourage or frighten the dog. Remain calm and still and talk to the dog using a soft voice. Loud, angry-sounding words and screaming only make the dog nervous and upset.

6. Is it important to ask an owner for permission before you pet their dog? Yes OR No

Answer: YES
ALWAYS even if it is a dog you know!
 First get the “OK” from the owner.
 Hold out your hand, fingers closed, palm down, slowly toward the dog. Allow the dog to approach your hand and sniff it.

 Wait for the dog’s “OK.” If he wants your affection, he will lower his head, perk ears, or even come closer to you. If the dogs puts his ears back, flat on his head, or growls, or cowers, don’t pet him!
 Pat the dog on the top of his head, or along his back. Avoid touching his belly, tail, ears, or feet.

7. Is it okay to pet a dog while it is eating? Yes OR No

Answer: NO
Do not try to take food or toy away from a dog. NEVER bother a dog while he is eating. The most common situation where a dog bite occurs is while a dog is eating because they are protecting their source of food.

8. Is it okay to hit or yell at your dog if it doesn’t listen to you? Yes OR No

Answer: NO
When we hit or yell at a dog, we are applying pain and scaring the dog. For dogs, a natural reaction to being hurt or frightened is to bite. A fearful dog doesn’t trust people and can lead to aggression.

9. Is a scared dog as dangerous as an angry dog? Yes OR No

Answer: YES
When animals and people are afraid of something, they prefer to get away from that thing. They try to defend themselves from the scary thing. An angry dog is just as dangerous as a dog that is afraid because both will be defensive and bite.

10. Are there only certain breeds (or types) of dogs that bite? Yes OR No

Answer: NO
ALL DOGS are capable of biting. There’s no one breed or type of dog that’s more likely to bite than others. Biting has more to do with circumstances, behavior, and training.

11. Do dogs use their body to tell you how they feel? Yes OR No

Answer: YES
Dogs have a language that allows them to communicate their emotional state and their intentions to others around them. Although dogs do use sounds and signals, much of the information that they send is through their body language, specifically their facial expressions and body postures. You can tell how a dog is feeling (sad, tired, happy, angry, scared) by looking at the position of a dogs’ ears, mouth, eyes, and tail.

12. Does a good dog owner leave his dog chained up outside all day? Yes OR No

Answer: NO
Dogs are social animals who crave human companionship. That’s why they thrive and behave better when living indoors with their pack — their human family members. Dogs that are tied up or chained outside are frustrated and can become aggressive because they are unhappy. They can also become very afraid because when they are tied or chained up, they can’t escape from things that scare them.



Because of Breed Specific Ban Laws in the UK Sir Patrick Stewart known for his role on Star Trek cannot adopt a sweet adorable dog named Ginger who needs a home.  He and the dog bonded when he fostered her in the USA. Yeah she looks very dangerous, kissing and slobbering all over his face.




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Any Dog Can Bite

“Whom do dogs most often bite? Toddlers. Next, the elderly; and coming in third–you guessed it–postal carriers.”

As a U.S. Postal Service slogan in support of National Dog Bite Prevention Week says, “There are 70 million good dogs, but…ANY DOG CAN BITE.”

…Patterson of the AVMA calls insurers’ singling out certain breeds misguided. The data, she says, do not bear out the contention that one breed is more apt to bite than another, though she allows that big dogs, by virtue of their size and strength, may do more damage when they bite. “A Great Dane, a retriever can do a pretty good job of biting, if they decide to.” But if you look at “willingness to bite,” she says, there’s no evidence that pit bulls, for example, are more dangerous than Pekinese. “Communities with a lot of pit bull bites are communities with a lot of pit bulls.”

…Patterson of the AVMA calls insurers’ singling out certain breeds misguided. The data, she says, do not bear out the contention that one breed is more apt to bite than another, though she allows that big dogs, by virtue of their size and strength, may do more damage when they bite. “A Great Dane, a retriever can do a pretty good job of biting, if they decide to.” But if you look at “willingness to bite,” she says, there’s no evidence that pit bulls, for example, are more dangerous than Pekinese. “Communities with a lot of pit bull bites are communities with a lot of pit bulls.”


Children aged 12 years and younger were the victims in 51% of cases. Compared with controls, biting dogs were more likely to be German Shepherd or Chow Chow predominant breeds, male, residing in a house with ≥ 1 children, and chained while in the yard

If we want better outcomes in our communities, we need to promote responsible pet ownership: the humane care, custody and control of all dogs.

If you’re REALLY worried about dog bites, you should support correcting the things that cause them: like making sure that all dogs are trained & socialized properly, making sure that all dogs are spayed or neutered, making sure that no dogs suffer neglect and/or abuse, and if they do, making sure the dogs are properly rehabilitated.

You should NOT  fixate on one particular factor to the exclusion of all else and which is not determinative in predicting bites – the breed of dog. When you see a web site or story reporting that the breed is the SOLE determining factor, THEY ARE LYING TO YOU! And when you spread their lies, you are doing nothing to help curb the problem you’re concerned about. And when you support Breed Specific Legislation, you’re actually making that problem worse.Why? Because it is a simplistic approach to a complex problem, and it doesn’t address the real issues.


The breeds that scored the average or below average rate of or attempted bites are Pit Bulls and Rottweilers. The breeds that are the most docile with the utmost least aggression are Bassett Hounds, Golden Retrievers, Labradors, Siberian Huskies and Greyhounds.




How to “Be a Rock”. In the Be a Tree dog bite prevention program we teach kids to Be a Rock if a dog knocks them down, or they are playing on the ground when a strange dog comes near. We don’t talk about dogs attacking them, since we don’t want to create a fear of dogs where there is not one. We don’t talk about protecting the throat and internal organs in case the dog rips them out (yes, some dog bite prevention educators actually talk about these things and put terrifying images into the heads of kids and parents – yikes!)

The fact is, that the rock is very rarely needed, because if kids “Be a Tree”, the dog will go away. The vast majority of dogs do not intend harm and they quickly lose interest in a child that is standing still.


Remember, a responsible dog owner should:

  • NEVER leave a baby or small child alone with a dog, even if it is a family pet. Children are often bitten by a dog in their own household.
  • Make sure your pet is socialized as a young puppy so it feels at ease around people and other animals.
  • Never put your dog in a position where it feels threatened or teased.
  • Walk and exercise your dog regularly to keep it healthy and provide mental stimulation.
  • Use a leash in public to ensure you are able to control your dog.
  • Regular veterinary visits are essential to regulating the health of your dog. A sick or injured dog is more likely to bite.
  • Be alert. If someone approaches you and your dog while out on a walk, caution them to wait before petting the dog, giving your pet time to be comfortable with the stranger.

A dog’s tendency to bite depends on such factors as heredity, obedience training, socialization, health, and the victim’s behavior. There are good dogs and bad dogs within every breed, just as there can be responsible and irresponsible owners of each breed. That’s why State Farm does not refuse insurance based on the breed of dog a customer owns. Under the right circumstances, any dog might bite.


Vets in Australia are calling on governments to ditch bans on dangerous dog breeds.

The Australian Veterinary Association (AWA), which has launched a new strategy to deal with dog bites, says the latest research shows banning particular breeds does nothing to address aggression in dogs, and nothing to increase public safety.

The vets say a focus on registration, education and temperament testing would be more effective.

…Veterinary behaviourist and AWA spokeswoman Dr Kersti Seksel argues breeds-specific legislation is not the answer.

“It hasn’t decreased the number of dog bites,” she said.

“Regardless of breed, dogs are capable of biting, just like people are capable of fighting regardless of our origin either.”

…RSPCA Victoria president Hugh Wirth was once a supporter of banning dangerous dog breeds.

He advocated for the breeding out of the American Pit Bull Terrier, saying they were “lethal” and “time bombs waiting for the right circumstances”.


But not anymore.

“The truth about breed-specific legislation is that it doesn’t work, you don’t decrease the numbers,” he said.

“In fact you send the breeding of that particular breed of dog underground.

Mr Wirth says his change of heart was brought about by the latest veterinary and dog behaviour research.


Blog Hop time…thanks to Life with DogsTwo Little Cavaliers and Confessions of the Plume…  grab the blog hop  link

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Good news 4 pit bulls

Next week we will be back to our regularly scheduled content…but first, this powerful statement someone posted on Facebook about Lennox…and a link to an interview with Caroline Barnes about the toll the death of Lennox has had on her and her family…


Perhaps some folks are puzzled. What? It’s only one dog. Thousands of dogs die every day. What’s the big deal? Not to be melodramatic, but to me that’s the same as saying that Rosa Parks was just another black woman getting on a bus. I know some of you will roll your eyes.

So, why are we all Lennox? Because Lennox was taken into custody, and judged as guilty, and ultimately put to death … not because of anything he actually did. Because of how he looked. This is called profiling.

So … I can only speak for my country, but I know there are examples in every country.

If you’re a woman, you’re Lennox.
If you’re black, you’re Lennox.
If you’re Hispanic, you’re Lennox.
If you’re sick, you’re Lennox.
If you’re poor, you’re Lennox.
If you’re old, you’re Lennox.
If you’re homeless, you’re Lennox.

This is not a story about one dog. This is a story about the “powerful” thinking they’re omniscient, and that they can do whatever they want to whomever they want without any consequences.

This sweet dog, who was a service dog to a little girl, might just, might just, wake us up to the fact that 99% of us “are Lennox.”

and that ain’t the end of the story, I would add… because we are shining the light on the corrupt miscreants and holding them accountable… and Justice and Love will Prevail… 

I am Lennox

from the Barnes Family. Please take note of what it says!!!

****LENNOX…. It has come to light that some people are quite arrogantly trying to cash in in our boy. We have NOT permitted anyone to use Lennox’s name, photo, campaign in order to customize or sell items for profit or charity. Please do not buy any Lennox or I am Lennox items from any CAFEPRESS or internet pages as we have NOT permitted it and cannot assure monies will go to any charities these people claim to donate to. Pls share.”


So after the devastating loss and death of Lennox at the hands of the BCC early this week, it is way overdue time for some good news about pit bulls.

More and more cities in the USA are repealing breed discrimination bans and/or not passing them to begin with according to Best Friends Animal Society.

“From 2009 to 2011, 169 cities either have repealed BDL measures or chosen not to enact them. Additionally, 56 cities have enacted BDL measures. So far in 2012, 21 more jurisdictions have repealed BDL or chosen not to enact it, including the entire state of Ohio. Seven cities have enacted BDL.”

…”Advocates hope that Miami-Dade County will be the next jurisdiction to follow the trend, by repealing their 23-year-old ban on pit bull terrier-type dogs. Voters will have the opportunity to vote “yes” Aug 14 to repeal the law that targets dogs based on breed or type, allowing the seizure and impoundment of family pets for no other reason than the way the dog looks.”


One story from the UK gives greater insight into the Northern Ireland mentality regarding pit bulls…and I have to say that one thing that I learned through the entire Lennox fiasco is that in the USA we definitely have crazy people, racists, bigots, anti pit bull zealots AND it is WORSE in Northern Ireland where the dog racism, ignorance and prejudice against disabled people seems MUCH more entrenched and corruption reigns with little oversight.

Bruce is FREE at long last

It’s been almost three full years since Bruce, an American Staffordshire terrier, was seized under the United Kingdom’s 1991 draconian Dangerous Dog Act (DDA.)  Before being removed from his home, Bruce was a happy pup who shared his life with a woman named Shannon and a yellow lab.

Much criticism has been rumbling about the infamous DDA Act which gives authority to kill any dog that resembles a pit bull, regardless of whether the dog has committed an act of aggression toward people, animals or even a chew toy for that matter.

Bruce lived in Northern Ireland where the DDA is the law of the land.  Early on, a Southern Ireland rescue group specializing in bully breeds — East Galway Animal Rescue (EGAR) — had offered Bruce sanctuary.  Not surprisingly, the judicial system moves as slowly in Ireland as it does in the United States.  Despite a worldwide outpouring of attention and call to action last year, it wasn’t until now that Bruce was granted his freedom.

…Even with all the global support for Bruce, it still took the Irish courts another year before finally allowing him to be released to the custody of EGAR Sanctuary. But I’m happy to report he is now safe and living a charmed life at EGAR. In the end, and through all the frustration of governmental bureaucracy, a miracle named Bruce survived. Thanks to everyone who signed the petition, sent emails and made calls on Bruce’s behalf.

Aside from being drugged, apparently Northern Ireland felt it necessary to provide six Enforcement Officers to deliver Bruce to Gunther.  “I opened their van door and said hello to the poor mite and attached the lead to his collar and he came out very unsteady,” said Gunther in an email to me.  “ALL six jumped back and one hid behind my van with a catchpole. I told him there was no need for this contraption and led Bruce across the yard to my van. He clambered into my van and collapsed in the crate.”

To comply with the law, Gunther had to muzzle Bruce while driving through Northern Ireland.  She was also given an escort out of Belfast and was forced to sign a document she would not stop in Northern Ireland. “This is ludicrous,” Gunther said. “It felt like I was transporting Hannibal Lecter.”

Indeed… but it certainly explains how the DDA came to be.


Plus, there were a few great victories against BSL in the US today:

The city of Aurelia, IA settles with James Sak to allow his pit bull service dog Snickers to live there despite a breed ban. They will also be paying his legal fees.


State Farm Insurance

State Farm Insurance petitioned the court to reconsider the decision it made regarding the dangerous nature of pit bulls and pit bull mixes after the court’s April ruling.

Because of State Farm Insurance’s request, state delegate, Michael Smigiel, anticipates that landlords will not continue to evict tenants and shelters will not continue to euthanize dogs because of the type of dog they have in their care…at least until the court affirms its recent decision or Maryland’s legislature passes legislation condoning such behavior.

Mizeur predicts that once a pit bull bill is before Maryland’s general assembly, it will take only one or two days for the legislation to be agreed upon.

The attorney general of Maryland has stayed a ruling declaring pit bulls “inherently dangerous” under a motion of reconsideration.

The city of West Fork, Arkansas has denied a motion to enact BSL. In a statement the mayor said: “The animal is always a victim when its owner fails to recognize it for what is and treat it in the manner it was born to, a sentient being with its own genetic and cultural history. Animals are not our children and they are not human, but they are definitely entitled to be treated humanely”.


Also, gotta love ads that feature families and pibbles.  If / when you are in the market for a hammock, here is where to get one… Grand Trunk…

Blog Hop time…  thanks to Life with Dogs,Two Little Cavaliers and Confessions of the Plume…  grab the blog hop code


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