Dog Bite Safety Tips: Prevent Dog Bites Before They Happen
At Edgar Snyder & Associates, we know how devastating dog bite injuries can be for families. That’s why we want to help prevent dog bites and dog attacks whenever possible.
We’ve compiled a list of dog bite prevention and safety tips to help you and your family members know how to act when around a dog, how to recognize an aggressive dog, and how to be a responsible dog owner.
What Are the Signs That a Dog is Going to Bite?
One of the best ways to prevent a dog attack is to know the difference between a dog that is relaxed and calm, and a dog that is showing signs of aggression. A dog’s body language is the key to understanding when it may be preparing to bite. Here are some common signs that a dog is relaxed and not planning to bite:
- A relaxed dog will hold its head up.
- The dog’s tail with either be resting, pointing down, or gently wagging back and forth.
- The ears should be neither back nor forward.
- The dog’s hair will lay smooth along its back.
- Its mouth and lips are relaxed, almost appearing as if the dog is smiling.
- You can see the dog’s tongue.
Here are some signs that a dog may be getting ready to bite:
- The dog’s nose may be pulled back and wrinkled.
- The dog’s lips may be drawn back to reveal its teeth.
- The hair along the back of its neck may be sticking up along its spine.
- You can see that the dog’s ears may lay back, pinned against its head, or be pushed up forward.
- Its body may appear tense and cocked.
- The dog is making noises such as growls or snarls.
Ways to Avoid Dog Bites and Dog Attacks
Good behavior begins with dog owners. Remember, a dog’s owner is the biggest factor in determining a dog’s personality. A dog will be more likely to bite or attack if its owner encourages aggressive behavior or abuses it. But, there are many factors that can cause even a nice dog to bite. It may feel threatened, be sick, or sense that something is wrong.
Here are some tips to help dog owners encourage safety and prevent dog bites:
- Know and follow your state’s leash laws. This goes for your home, as well as anywhere you may visit. Keeping your dog properly restrained at all times is a way to help keep your dog and others safe.
- Don’t let your dog run loose, even in your backyard. Make sure that the dog is kept on a cable or on a leash, inside an enclosed area, or wearing an electronic restraint collar.
- Train your dog. Proper animal education allows the dog to establish positive patterns of behavior. With a solid background of training, your dog will understand basic commands and have a better sense of right and wrong.
- Socialize your dog with both people and other dogs. Dog parks and doggie daycares are just two ways to do so. The more comfortable your dog is around strangers, the less chance there is that your dog will bite.
- Train your dog to drop toys on command. Avoid reaching inside its mouth to retrieve toys.
- Focus on non-aggressive games such as fetch. Tug-of-war and wrestling can encourage aggressive behavior.
- Never, under any circumstances, leave a small child unsupervised with a dog.
Safety is Key in Preventing Dog Bites and Dog Attacks
Safety doesn’t just end with dog owners. It’s important for everyone to understand that behaviors can provoke an otherwise gentle dog to attack. Here are some safety tips when dealing with dogs that don’t live in your home:
- Teach children to always ask a dog’s owner for permission before petting a dog. If he or she gives permission, allow a dog to sniff your hand (kept in a closed fist) before petting it as well.
- Respect a dog’s space. Don’t casually place your hands on a dog’s fence or other property. Dogs are territorial by nature and may feel threatened if they don’t know you.
- Always act with extra caution around a mother dog and her puppies. She will be very protective of them.
- If approached by a dog that has gotten off its leash, do not run away and yell or make loud noises. Stand still, with your arms crossed over your chest, and avoid eye contact with the dog.
- If you feel that a dog may be approaching you with the intent to bite, toss an object away from you and away from the dog to distract its attention. Then confidently turn and walk away from the dog.
- Remember that a sick or old dog may be more irritable than a younger one. Approach these dogs with extra caution.
Bitten by a Dog? Get a Free Legal Evaluation Today
If you, or someone you love, were injured when a dog bit you, it’s important to know that you may have a case and deserve compensation for your injuries, scars, missed work time, and pain and suffering. But, you need a dog bite lawyer who has the right experience and resources to help victims of dog attacks. At Edgar Snyder & Associates, we’ve helped hundreds of people get their lives back on track after they were bitten by a dog.
Call 1-866-9-4EDGAR (1-866-943-3427), or fill out the form at the top right of this webpage to get started with a no obligation, free legal evaluation. It’s quick and simple, and we’ll tell you if we think you have a case. Get started today, before evidence disappears and it’s too late.