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The Use of Technology to Monitor Dog Behaviour and Prevent Bites

Dog bites are a significant problem for everyone. Every year, millions worldwide suffer from minor cuts and bruises to severe and life-threatening wounds from dog bites. The best way to address this public health concern is to educate dog owners about responsible pet ownership and enforce laws requiring proper dog restraint and supervision.

Technology can also significantly prevent dog bites. Combining the use of different devices with education and enforcement efforts can help authorities and dog owners alike work toward reducing the occurrence of dog bites and creating safer communities for humans and animals.

Learn how technology can prevent dog bites and which devices you can use to monitor dog behavior.

 

The Role of Technology in Preventing Dog Bites

Many technologies can prevent dog bites. Wearable devices and virtual and augmented reality simulations are just two examples of technologies that dog owners can use to reduce the occurrence of dog bites.

Wearable devices use sensors to monitor a dog's actions and movements, providing owners with real-time information about their pet's behavior and alerting them to signs of aggression before an incident occurs.

Meanwhile, virtual and augmented reality simulations provide a safe and controlled environment for individuals to practice appropriate reactions during a dog attack.

In many instances, technology was able to prevent dog bites. For example, the University of Liverpool recently created a virtual reality Labrador, DAVE (Dog Assisted Virtual Environment), to check how humans recognize and interpret signs of dog aggression.

The researchers behind the technology confirmed that DAVE could also help with giving educational dog safety lessons and treating dog phobias.

 

Types of Technologies Used to Monitor Dog Behavior

Dog owners know responsible pet ownership involves monitoring their furry friend's behavior. Fortunately, various types of technology are available to help pet owners keep their dogs in check and prevent dog bites. Below are some that you can use to monitor your dog's behavior.

 

Wearables

Dog collars and tags can track a dog's heart rate, body temperature, and movements at any time. Some wearable devices can even track a dog's location, helping owners ensure their pet remains within their property.

Let's take FitBark, a wearable GPS pet tracker and activity monitor, as an example. It can monitor a dog's activity levels and alert owners to any changes in behavior. It can also detect changes in a dog's sleep patterns and help owners identify potential health issues that may cause aggression or other behavioral problems.

 

Cameras and other monitoring devices

Cameras allow dog owners to check their pet's behavior while away from home. Some cameras have treat dispensers and two-way audio, enabling owners to interact with their pets remotely.

One popular pet camera is Furbo. This device has a bark alert feature that can notify owners of excessive barking, a sign of stress, anxiety, or other behavioral issues. It also has a treat dispenser feature that can distract a dog from a potentially stressful situation, reducing the risk of aggression.

Another emerging device is PlayDate, which allows pet owners to play with their pets remotely. The company behind this device is also working on software services that record pet health and behavior for early health detection, automated training, and exercise.

 

Mobile programs

Nowadays, several smartphone apps are available to track a dog's behavior and give its owners advice and resources for training. For individualized guidance, some apps connect dog owners with vets and trainers. 

For instance, Whistle, a GPS tracker and activity monitor, offers real-time data on a dog's behavior. With its GPS tracker feature, owners can find their dogs and make sure they don't stray into potentially hazardous regions. Dog owners can also find any health problems that might lead to aggression or other behavioral difficulties by using the activity monitor feature of the device.

 

Limitations and Drawbacks of Using Technology to Monitor Dog Behavior

While the technologies above have many benefits for monitoring dog behavior and preventing dog bites, they also have some limitations and drawbacks that dog owners should consider. Below are some key challenges of using technology to monitor dog behavior.

 

Accuracy and reliability concerns

Pet monitoring technologies can sometimes provide inaccurate or unreliable data, which can be a concern when tracking dog behavior. Movement can affect collars and tags, leading to inaccurate readings. Additionally, many external factors can obstruct cameras and other monitoring devices, causing them to provide incomplete or unusable data.

 

Technical limitations

Many wearable devices and monitoring systems require battery power, which can limit their usefulness over time. Additionally, connectivity issues can sometimes interfere with data collection, making it challenging to monitor a dog's behavior consistently.

 

Privacy concerns and potential for misuse

Some dog owners may feel uncomfortable tracking their dog's behavior using technology as it raises concerns about privacy and potential misuse. Some owners may also use technology to monitor their dogs excessively, which can lead to unintended consequences such as aggressive behavior.

 

Cost and accessibility

Certain technologies, such as GPS trackers and sophisticated monitoring systems, come at hefty prices, making them inaccessible to less privileged dog owners. Plus, some technologies may require technical proficiency for effective use, which may hinder less tech-savvy dog owners from maximizing their benefits.

 

5 Other Ways to Monitor Dog Behavior and Prevent Dog Bites

If you can't afford the pet monitoring technologies mentioned above, you can still train and care for your dog in other ways. Check the tips below to start disciplining your dog.

 

1. Start socialization and training early

Proper socialization and training from puppyhood can help prevent fear and aggression in dogs, reducing the risk of bites.

 

2. Establish monitoring and limits

Always keep an eye on any encounters your pets have with other people. To avoid potential occurrences that can result in bites, you should also define boundaries for your dog.

 

3. Recognize your dog's nonverbal cues

Understanding your dog's body language can help you detect indications of fear, stress, and potential aggressiveness. With that, you can take appropriate action before a bite takes place.

 

4. Educate yourself and others

Many people lack the knowledge to handle dogs or identify their violent tendencies correctly. Dog bites are avoidable, and safe relationships between humans and dogs are possible by educating people about dog behavior and responsible pet management.

 

5. Do not generalize about breeds

Breed stereotypes are not accurate predictors of dog behavior, and every dog should be treated as an individual. Avoid making assumptions based on a dog's breed or appearance to prevent incidents that can lead to bites.

 

Be a Responsible Dog Owner

Technology can play a significant role in preventing dog bites and promoting responsible pet ownership. Wearables, cameras, mobile apps, and other technologies can help owners monitor their dogs' behavior, identify potential triggers, and intervene before an incident occurs.

Nevertheless, it's crucial to understand that pet monitoring devices are not a substitute for ethical pet keeping; they are supplemental tools. To make neighborhoods safer for everyone, dog owners still need to train and care for their canines properly.

Future developments in dog behavior tracking technology will give owners more resources to encourage good pet ownership and avert dog bites.

Author: Wispaz Technologies