Dog aggression and bite prevention was discussed by a panel of internationally renowned animal behaviour experts as part of the Australian Veterinary Association's Annual Conference in Adelaide this week (15-20 May).
The panel looked at the issue of aggression and dog bites from the dog's perspective, and how to properly interpret canine body language to avoid escalating aggressive behaviour.
"Statistics show that young children are still the highest risk group for dog bite injury, with most at risk in their home environment from a familiar or family pet," said Dr Jacqui Neilson.
"Unfortunately, as more and more people have become city dwellers they have also become less familiar with how to interact safely with dogs and other animals.
"Education is vital to dog bite prevention in modern communities, and understanding dog behaviour is an important step towards having the right tools to educate both animals and people.
"Dog owners can talk to their vets about how to socialise their pets and teach children about safety,"she said.
Other issues up for discussion by the panel included recognising the warning signs of aggression and biting, human-animal interaction and dog bites, and scenarios of serious dog bites to children by familiar dogs.