Positive Paws raises dog safety awareness

Published: Feb. 20, 2022 at 9:05 PM EST
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AUGUSTA COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) - A canine training center in Stuarts Draft is teaching people how to interact with dogs safely to prevent a dangerous situation.

Positive Paws K9 Angels works to socialize dogs from the time they are puppies.

“I think it is important that people realize, you have to pay attention to their behaviors, and the little things can escalate to become bigger problems down the road if they’re not addressed,” said Dulcey Fuqua with Positive Paws.

According to the Virginia Department of Health, 4.7 million people are bitten by dogs each year. Trainer Stacey Payne says carrying an air horn with you, as a dog owner, is key.

“Yes, the air horn is an adverse method. But, if it means to prevent your dog from getting bit or a person from getting bit, you use that air horn,” said Payne.

If you see a dog fight, Payne says it’s best to redirect the dog’s attention, than get involved

“You can use a blanket, throw it over the dogs that are fighting and that will dispense them. The other thing you can do is a water hose or a bucket of water, throw it on them to get them apart,” said Payne.

As a dog owner, addressing concerning behaviors is important for everyone’s safety.

“I realized that I needed to find out what was going on as a puppy before we had like biting incidences,” said Fuqua.

Although games like tug of war seem harmless, Payne says they can teach your dog aggressive behaviors.

“You have to be very careful with what games you’re playing with them,” said Payne.

They say that as long as you’re bringing your dog in public, you have a responsibility to keeping others safe.

“We’re trying to prevent something from happening. And if you’re not listening to us, and you’re not doing what we’re, we, as a training community tell you you need to do, then you are taking the risk of something catastrophic happening,” said Payne.

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