CenTex dog trainer explains what to do when encountering aggressive dogs

KWKT
Friday, March 7, 2014 - 9:47am

In the last three weeks, six Bell County children have fallen victim to dog attacks. Of those six, two toddlers have lost their lives.

Now, local dog trainers are working to educate the community on what to teach your kids in the event they come face to face with an aggressive dog.

"There is some lack of education going on because so many laws have come into place of you know, leash laws, and making sure dogs are not running at large, which are all great laws. But, it also has limited this education of, 'When we see a dog what do we do?'," said Robin Wheeler, owner of Sit Means Sit Dog Training of Central Texas.

Wheeler works with dozens of dogs and their owners on various forms of aggression.

"As a trainer, we've been able to see so many different variations of aggression, and help people understand okay, this is something that we can work out through obedience. Or, this is something that all we can do is help you learn how to manage this behavior," said Wheeler.

Wheeler says the most common dog attacks come from family dogs and those that don't know how to control their mouths. And, often times, dogs just kept in a yard or caged in all day can be the most aggressive.

"If they are not socialized and given opportunities to kind of see the world through a different lens, then they can definitely have more tendency towards aggression," said Wheeler.

In mid-February, a two-year-old girl was killed in Temple by a dog the family was watching. On March 1, a two-year-old boy was killed by a dog that ran from its garage.

So what do you do if a dog is charging at you?

"Remain calm," said Wheeler.

Wheeler says stand still, create a barrier with something as simple as a shoe between you and the dog, and avoid eye contact.

"If we run, then that dog is going to want to chase," said Wheeler.

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