Scientists discover new way to help prevent dog bites

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Aug 28, 2018
Quick Bites

  • New way to prevent dog bites
  • Scientists have developed a virtual dog
  • Know how to prevent dog bites

Dogs may be our best friends but when a dog bites you, you have to treat it in several steps. But it all depends on the severity and circumstances of the wound. Your own dog can bite you or a stray dog can attack you without warning. 

Scientists have developed a virtual dog that could soon be used as an educational tool to help prevent dog bites. The proof of concept virtual reality (VR) experience lets people approach and interact with a dog displaying signs of aggression in a safe and controlled way.

The experience aims to help adults and children recognise specific behaviors displayed by dogs, which could potentially lead to an attack or incident if not correctly identified.

Animal behavioral researchers from the UK-based Liverpool University said, "the physical gestures and descriptions shown in the virtual environment will be a true reflection of the behavior of the real-world dog". As the user approaches the dog, the behavior and body language of the dog gradually changes, the dog's behavior begins to display signs of aggression including licking its lips, lowering of the head and body, front paw lifting, growling, and showing of teeth.

These behaviors are referenced from the 'Canine Ladder of Aggression' which shows how a dog may behave when it does not want to be approached. Iain Cant, VEC Visualisation Team Leader said: "This was a really interesting project to work on with a lot of exciting potential for the future. Future developments will also show a wider range of dog behaviors and the dog's reactions to user behavior."

Also read: Bitten by a Dog? Follow these Instructions.

Some other ways to prevent dog bites are:

  • Pick a dog with good temperament.
  • Stay away from dogs you don't know.
  • Never leave children alone with a dog.
  • Don't try to play with any dog that is eating or feeding her puppies.
  • Approach the dog slowly and give the dog chance to approach you.
  • If a dog becomes aggressive, do not run away or scream. Stay calm and move slowly.

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