About 4.7 million dog bites happen a year, according to the American Humane Association. But what statistics don't show is how many bites a year could have been prevented? There really needs to be more education and resources for the Average Joe on how to read what dogs are trying to subtly tell us. This chart from Boogie the Boston Terrier's blog is one I'm really fond of.
Just because a dog bites DOES NOT mean that they are aggressive, in often cases the dogs are so stressed or scared, that they are pushed over their threshold and they react the only way they know how. To bite. If you've ever been bitten by a dog, excluding any out of the blue occurrences, whose fault was it? I bet you 9/10 times signals were missed, or misinterpreted.
I got a fair reminder this evening to not stick my hands near the sharp end when breaking up a fight. No punctures, but my thumb got chomped pretty good, and will be sore for a few days. This could've been easily prevented if I had, like any sane human would, not gotten near the sharp end (or shoved my hand into someone's mouth - sorry Stryder!). The majority of the time I do get bit is due to them redirecting onto me. I do not fault them for this, again it's just one of those things that happens.
Fights in general can be prevented, if you know your dogs triggers. Lincoln's trigger is food. If one of the other dogs get too close to anything he deems a possible food source (like the trash can), I better be handy. Tsuki and Kiba have their little Alpha Bitch scuffles. The Schnauzers don't start fights, but then again won't back down from one (it's a breed/terrier thing). These are all easily prevented by being vigilant when food stuffs is out, that the girls aren't guarding me one another one, and that any grrring with Schnauzers involved is dealt with quickly.
Hopefully someone out there will find this useful. Or just take it as a 3 am rambling of a girl covered in dog hair.