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How To Stay Away From Dog Bites

By Kerry Mathews

For years, dogs have been known as man’s best friend even though every year millions of people, half of them under the age of 13, are bitten by dogs in the United States. A large percentage of those incidents have something to do with dogs that the victim knows and plays with on a regular basis. Because children tend to get excited around dogs and often approach them too quickly and/or too loudly, children are three times more likely to sustain a serious dog bite than adults.

How to Approach a Strange Dog

� Never pet a dog while the dog is within his owner’s car, since dogs are extremely protective of their space and their owner.

� Never pet a dog that is behind a fence because they will more than likely bite you to protect their property.

� You should never pet a dog without first asking the owner. If the owner indicates it’s ok you should approach the dog slowly and quietly and then gently pet the dog’s sides or back.

� Never pet a dog that is playing with a toy; the dog may think you are trying to take his toy from him.

� Never approach a dog that is eating or sleeping; startled or frightened animals are much more likely to bite.

Like humans, dogs utilize body language to show emotions like fear and anger. Teach your children how to read a dog’s body language to decrease their chances of being bitten. An angry dog’s ears may stand up, the fur on his back may stand on end, and the tail may be pointed straight up. An angry dog will also usually bare its teeth, growl, and stare at the approaching threat. A dog that is scared might crouch to the ground, put its tail in between its leg and fold its ears back.

Loose dogs usually pose extremely serious threats and must not. If a loose dog approaches you, dodge eye contact and slowly walk away from the dog. If the dog comes right up to you, however, stop and stand perfectly still with your arms and hands at your sides. Never, ever try to outrun a loose dog.

According to the National Association for Human and Environmental Education, a large amount of dog bites may be prevented if these easy suggestions are followed.

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Article Citation
MLA Style Citation:
Mathews, Kerry "How To Stay Away From Dog Bites." How To Stay Away From Dog Bites. 22 Jun. 2010. 29 Dec 2014 <>.

APA Style Citation:
Mathews, K (2010, June 22). How To Stay Away From Dog Bites. Retrieved December 29, 2014, from

Chicago Style Citation:
Mathews, Kerry "How To Stay Away From Dog Bites"

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