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How to Avoid Getting Bitten by a Dog

  • Realize that any dog can bite. The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) emphasizes that factors such as whether the dog is neutered or spayed, supervised, humanely trained and safely confined play a significantly greater role than breed when it comes to biting. Dog bites result from owner irresponsibility. Here's how to train your dog not to bite.
  • Ask the owner's permission before petting a dog. Stay away from strange animals.
  • Never disturb a dog caring for puppies, sleeping or eating. Never grab tails, ears or paws. Never yell at a dog or excite a dog. A surprised or frightened dog may bite.
  • If a dog is barking, growling, has hair raised on his neck, showing his teeth, puts his ears back - don't MOVE! Act like a tree or log. Stay calm, speak quietly. Avoid eye contact. Stay still until the dog leaves, or back away slowly until the dog is out of sight. Never turn and run, since dogs naturally love to chase and catch moving targets.
  • If you fall or are knocked to the ground, curl into a ball with your hands over your head and neck. Protect your face.
  • If the dog isn't acting like he'll attack, let him sniff the back of your hand. Walk slowly and quietly away if you think he won't bother you.

Last Updated: April 15, 2014 (LET) PawSupport