"Why Dogs Bite" Lecture by James W. Crosby

Crosby, a Retired Police Lieutenant & Former Animal Control Division Manager.

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. - Friday afternoon, local lawyers, law enforcement, and animal control officials learned "why dogs bite" from James W. Crosby, a retired police lieutenant and former animal control division manager.

Crosby's lecture was hosted by Boxer/Schnauzer Rescue of the Ozarks at the Agriculture Center.

He explained many ways to prevent dog bites and said the most important one is to keep your kids away from dogs. 

76% of fatal dog attack victims are kids under the age of 12 and most of them under 6.

In the U.S. alone, Crosby, also a certified behavior consultant, said there are up to 5,000,000,000 dog bites per year and about 800,000 of those bites require medical attention.

"Parents, please supervise your children, especially toddlers and infants with dogs," said Crosby, "please don't let them run up and hug scooby doo. Because not everybody's dog is Scooby do. There are some scooby don'ts."

Crosby explained that some dogs can't tell the difference between a baby and a chew toy.

"So they may pick up the child, the child wiggles. They squeeze, and the child squeaks," he said.

He said the best way is to tell your kids they have to ask three people before they pet a dog.

"First, you have to ask the adult with you. That doesn't mean your 10-year-old brother. That means an adult," said Crosby, "second,  you have to ask the person who has the dog. Because they may know something that their dog is uncomfortable or whatever and the third person you have to ask is the dog. Let the dog approach you."

And of course, also make sure your dog is well trained.

"Don't let people just simply come up and say oh I know about dogs, I'm the local dog whisperer, and let them handle your dog," said Crosby.

Of course, the best way to be safe is to prevent dog attacks in the first place. 

But if you do accidentally get bitten, go to a doctor immediately, even if the wound doesn't look that bad.

Law enforcement officials who attended including Dennis Akins said the lecture provided new facts.

"It's been really an eye opener as far as the behavior of the animal versus the behavior of people," said Akins, "it's not always what it seems. It may not always be the dog's fault, as much as it is the victim's fault. It's kind of like putting all the pieces of the puzzle together to get the final result."

Crosby said the dog attack prevention methods he mentioned apply to all kinds of dogs and not only specific breeds that may be considered bully breeds, as small dogs can also do a lot of damage, especially to small children.

Jim will be doing another lecture April 14th for the public.

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