Animal Control clears breed stigma, has tips for dog attacks - News, Weather and Sports for Lincoln, NE; KLKNTV.com

Animal Control clears breed stigma, has tips for dog attacks

Animal Control clears breed stigma, has tips for dog attacks

Posted By: Nicole Cousins

ncousins@klkntv.com

There's been a lot of controversy surrounding a young dog that attacked a woman on Sunday in southeast Lincoln.

Animal Control first told Channel 8 the dog, which has since been put down, was a pitbull.

They're now saying the breed was a French mastiff mix.

"Sometimes when you're dealing with mixed breed dogs its hard to tell exactly what you have,” Scott Lowry, a field supervisor for Animal Control, said.

But a dog's breed isn't what makes it dangerous.

Lowry says 99 percent of pitbulls and French mastiff's he encounters are good, innocent dogs.

"Aggression is something that the dog learns,” he said. “It’s a learned behavior and it gets that behavior from the environment its raised in, the type of owner it has."

So what should you do if a dog decides to attack you?

Animal Control has some tips.

"It’s important if you're attacked not to make eye contact with the dog,” Lowry said. “Keep the dog in you're peripheral vision. Don't scream. Don't run, whatever you do, don't run because that will excite the dog's chase instinct. Screaming will excite the dog."

Animal Control also suggests that, before you leave for your walk, make sure you have your cell phone.

A distraction like a sweatshirt or a walking stick is another good idea that could save your life.

And if you're out with a pup of your own when a dog attacks, its best if you let the leash go.

"Its important to just let your dog off the leash let you dog do what it has to do to protect itself and then call for help,” Lowry said.

But animal control's best tip for pet owners is to provide a healthy, safe environment for your furry friend.

Animal control also says if you're looking to adopt, don't let a dog's past influence you.

There are plenty of training resources you can use to change its behavior.

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