Victoria Stilwell and AVMA President Dr. Jose Arce on Dog Bite Prevention


Dog trainer and certified animal behavior consultant Victoria Stilwell and Dr. José Arce, president of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) talk HERE on Steve Dale’s Pet World, WGN Radio, about dog bite prevention. April 10 to 16 is National Dog Bite Prevention Week.

Dr. Jose Arce

I am moderating a free to join Facebook Live discussion, April 11, 1:30 p.m. CT , which you can join at no charge, hosted by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Guests are dog trainer Victoria Stilwell; AVMA President Dr. José Arce; veterinary behaviorist of University of California, Davis Dr. Melissa Bain; Amber Batteiger, disaster and cruelty response specialist American Humane Association; Heather Paul, public affairs specialist State Farm Insurance and Janet Ruiz, director of strategic communication Insurance Information Institute.

First off, dogs bites mostly are preventable – Stilwell says. And we discuss ways to do this. The key is often reading what dogs are saying. And we discuss this new notion of “consent,” asking the dog how he or she feels about being interacted with.

We also we explain that about dog growls. Instead of telling dogs off and punishing when there’s a growl, instead she says appreciate the warning, back off and figure out why the dog is warning you.  And sometimes the type dog training method used can actually create an agressive (or afraid and/or untrusting) dog.

Stilwell says, “Dogs are so unbelievably tolerant with humans.” It’s amazing – given what dogs often have to put up.

Here’s a shocker – Stilwell and I agree stop training dogs or using the word training and talk HERE on another program, Steve Dale’s Other World on WGN Radio, that we should drop the term “train” and instead substitute that for “teach” dogs.

AVMA President Dr. Arce is another panelist of that April 11 event, talks here from a conference he’s attending in Dubai. Dr. Arce explains painful dogs are more likely to bite. Veterinarians are trained find pain, which a dog might otherwise mask.

Here’s a toolkit from the AVMA on dog bite prevention.

Register via Facebook HERE for the free online event, Working Together to Prevent Dog Bites. And viewers will also have the opportunity to interact with the panelists.