Trainers; Tail wag is not a universal sign of a happy dog

A wagging tail does not always mean a friendly dog.
Published: Jul. 20, 2021 at 11:11 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs every year, with almost 800,000 of them needing medical care. One dog trainer gave some tips on how to handle a dangerous dog situation.

While breed can have an impact on dogs’ aggression, trainers say that owners can have an equally as important impact.

”A lot of times if a dog is having some aggression issues it’s going to be a little bit the genetic make up it’s gonna be there just a little bit but if you’re not helping out a dog by managing it and socializing it and managing it properly obviously you’re not doing it any favors and you’re making the situation worse,” said Kayla Yeary, owner, and trainer at Sublime K9 Training & Boarding.

While dog attacks happen, Yeary says there are a few important things people can do when they feel threatened by dogs.

”If you’re walking, jogging, biking, having a walking stick or some spray to have on your person, just in case,” said Yeary.

While Yeary encourages everyone to stay calm if being approached aggressively by dogs, experts also suggest never approaching a dog without its owner, don’t play with dogs’ toys or bones, and leave any dogs behind a fence, or chained up, alone.

“A lot of the time if a dog is chasing after you it’s because their prey drive has kicked in,” said Yeary.

Dogs are often able to be read by their body language. Yeary adds that just because a dog’s tail is wagging doesn’t mean it’s asking to be pet.

”A lot of people a dog that’s wagging its tail mean that it’s friendly but that’s not always the case. It can mean over stimulation, over-excitement,” added Yeary.

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