Dog Bite Prevention 101
It is important for children and adults to know the basics of dog bite prevention. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals reports that 50 percent of children will be bitten by a dog by age 12. The few simple steps listed in the following pages can prevent most dog attacks.
Supervise Children and Pets
Don't leave a baby or small child alone with a dog. Even a trustworthy pet can be provoked when its tail is pulled or ear is yanked.
Teach Children Early
Instruct children about safe dog handling. They should not approach strange dogs. They should be gentle with all dogs and should ask permission before petting a dog.
There are certain human behaviors that dogs see as aggressive. Don't stare directly into a dog's eyes because this could be perceived as as an aggressive gesture. When meeting a dog for the first time, do not put your hand over his head to pat him. Instead, offer your hand, palm down, for him to smell first.
Let Sleeping Dogs Lie
It's more than just an adage, it's good advice. A sleeping dog may bite if suddenly startled. Make noise to wake a dog before you come too close.
Never Disturb Dinner Time
Don't approach a dog that is eating. He will defend what he believes is his property.
Avoid a Chase
Don't run from a dog. The chase instinct is very strong in dogs. Walk away slowly. If you can, walk backwards and don't turn your back until the dog has lost interest.
Heed Maternal Instincts
Be extra alert around a mother dog with puppies. She will defend her pups if she believes you pose a threat.
Respect the Space
Don't try to pet a dog by sticking your hand through a fence or into a crate. The dog may see this as an intrusion into his territory.
Every dog has the potential to bite a human. Any canine that is threatened, hurt or scared can become a dangerous dog. Using common sense is the best dog bite prevention of all.