Additional Information

Site Information

 Loading... Please wait...

Dog Bite Prevention Techniques

Learn how to prevent dog bites.

The American Veterinary Medical Association states that one in five people will receive a dog bite that needs medical treatment. Dog bites can be serious and even life-threatening. Not only is it crucial that you know the best ways to avoid a dog bite, but if you have kids, you must also teach them.

Understand That Any Dog Can Bite

Any dog can bite, no matter how sweet they have been in the past. There can always be a stimulus that surprises, scares, hurts, or angers any dog enough to cause them to bite.

The first step in dog bite prevention is to understand that basic fact and be sure that, whenever you are around a dog, you are acting accordingly.

Know Why Dogs Bite

Dogs bite for several reasons, including:

  • Fear
  • Pain
  • Territorialism
  • Protection
  • Illness or injury
  • Playfulness

Socialize Your Own Dog Well

The first step in dog bite prevention with your own dog is to make sure he's well-socialized from the beginning. That means exposing him to as many people, other pets, and different situations as possible, so he learns to feel confident and calm.

Of course, your dog should be on a leash while you're in public, and you need to consider safety. Ask your veterinarian when your puppy is ready to be exposed to other dogs based on the vaccination schedule.

Recognize and Avoid Risky Dog Situations

Here are some situations that are risky for dog bites. Don't do the following:

  • Approach a dog without the owner nearby
  • Pet a dog without asking the owner
  • Reach over a fence to pet a dog
  • Approach a dog that's obviously hurt or sick without caution
  • Go near a mother dog with puppies
  • Take a toy from a dog you don't know well
  • Mess with the food or treats of a dog you don't know well
  • Bother a dog that is sleeping or eating
  • Approach a dog that is growling or snapping
  • Persist in interacting with a dog that appears to be trying to get away from you
  • Make eye contact with a dog you don't know
  • Approach an unknown dog head-on and hover over him

These are all critical rules to teach your children as well.

Understand Canine Body Language

Learning about and understanding the body language dogs use to communicate with humans can go a long way toward keeping you safe from a dog bite. Here is some canine body language that should let you know a dog might bite you.

  • Ears laid back on the head
  • Lifting of the lips off the teeth
  • Crouching
  • Hackles raised (fur standing up on the body, especially along the top of the back and tail)
  • Growling
  • Snapping
  • Staring intently

Rules for Kids and Dogs

Kids should be taught never to approach a dog they don't know without being invited. They should never, ever tease a dog or approach one that is behind a fence.

Children should never try to take food, toys, or treats away from a dog or bother one that is sleeping or eating. They should be taught not to chase a dog.

You should always insist that your child use gentle treatment with dogs. Kids should know that they aren't to pull on a dog's fur, tail, or ears.

Never leave your child alone with any dog, even one you know well and trust. The combination of kids and dogs has too much potential for going wrong, and your child could be seriously injured quickly.

Order Soft Paws for Dogs Order Soft Paws for Cats
Disclaimer: This website is not intended to replace professional consultation, diagnosis, or treatment by a licensed veterinarian. If you require any veterinary related advice, contact your veterinarian promptly. Information at is exclusively of a general reference nature. Do not disregard veterinary advice or delay treatment as a result of accessing information at this site.