Learn exactly how to prevent a dog bite...

The purpose of this article is to provide an overview of dog bites and dog bite prevention. This includes the reasons why dogs attack, steps to prevent your dog from biting, and the rules for avoiding dog aggression.

Dog Biting Overview

Contrary to popular belief, most dogs bite people they know. Dogs even bite people in their own family. About 4.7 million people are bitten by dogs each year in the United States, with children and the elderly most at risk. Unfortunately, even the most trusted and reliable dogs will bite when they are in risky or extreme situations.

We’ll look at the steps to prevent your dog from biting in just a moment. First, let’s spend a little time looking at why dogs bite. Although it is possible to reduce aggressive behavior in dogs it simply isn’t possible to eliminate all bites. Sometimes dogs will bite because they are afraid, hurting, anxious, or sick. Other times they get into situations where they are normally dominant but circumstances change and they have sudden fear. This results in fear aggression which can lead to a dog bite.

Why Dogs Bite

Like humans, each dog has a personality and temperament. Some situations make dogs feel trapped or afraid which triggers growling and biting. For example, suddenly waking up a dog can be very disruptive and disorienting. Similarly, you can throw a dog off guard if you try to grab their bones or corner them. It is possible to train a dog to accept these behaviors, you should still exercise caution.

Canines will also become upset if you touch their food and water bowls. Dogs are protective and cautious around their feeding areas, so caution is required. Grabbing a special toy from a dog, like grabbing a yummy bone, will sometimes trigger aggression or fear. Exercise caution when dealing with items of importance to your dog.

A dog will also get aggressive when they are very hungry, ill or injured. In the case of injury or pain, exercise caution and move slowly. Furthermore, it is highly recommended that you make a trip to the veterinary if you suspect a medical problem. If you pet is not ill or injured but still aggressive, definitely consider a visit to a trainer. Or, at least consider buying your own training materials. Educate yourself.

If you know that your dog is suffering, be very careful. Take precautions. Move slowly when petting or moving your dog under these circumstances. In fact, minimize contact if possible until healing has occurred. Watch your dog; heed the warnings. If there is growling or snarling, then do not be aggressive and minimize touching. If movement or touching is truly required, use a soft muzzle, gauze, or a towel around your dog’s snout. This might seem a bit over the top but if you are worried about a dog bite, take heed.

Dog Bite Prevention Secrets for Your Dog

Here are five actions you can take to reduce the chances that your dog will bite.

If buying your dog from a breeder, try to meet the dam (female) and the sire (male). Pay particular attention to the disposition of the dam. If the female is aggressive, your dog will likely be aggressive which increases the chance of a dog bite.

It is a good idea to spay or neuter your dog. This reduces aggression and potential erratic behavior, such as snarling and biting.

When playing with your puppy or grown dog, do not allow aggressive behavior. Don’t allow your dog to nip or bite. It is a good idea to maintain control in all games, such as tug of war. Teach your dog to quit or stop at your command.

Make an effort to socialize your dog with other people and animals, especially as a puppy. This will reduce stress and anxiety when the dog is older. During socialization, be sure to stay in control and train your dog to respond to your commands.

Reinforce the fact that people provide food and protection; drop treats in the food dish while the dog is eating. Do not allow your dog to be possessive of food. Likewise, do not allow your dog to completely control toys or play items.

Dog Bite Prevention Secrets for Stray Dogs

Here are six actions you can take to prevent unknown or strange dogs from biting you.

When you encounter a strange dog, never make the first move. Do not attempt to move in the direction of the dog. Remain calm and neutral. If the dog appears hurt or injured, steer clear and be sure to contact your local animal control office.

If the dog appears in normal condition, take control of the situation. Speak to him calmly and call him to you. If he doesn’t come, again, steer clear and be certain to contact the animal control office.

If the dog moves in your direction in a friendly manner when called, allow him to sniff you. Do not move suddenly. Once the dog is comfortable with you, check his collar for identification and follow up with the owners.

If the dog is threatening or uncomfortable with you, remain very calm. Stop and remain still. Do not make eye contact but do not move away suddenly either. Slowly ease away from the dog. Do not turn and run because this indicates that you a out of control or that you are prey.

If these measures do not work and you are attacked, fall to the ground and curl into a ball. Be sure to protect your neck and head. If you have anything of substance, such as a jacket or backpack, put it between you and the biting dog.

If you’re on a bike, stop and dismount. Put the bicycle between your body and the dog. Keep the bike between yourself and the dog to prevent a dog bite; slowly wheel your bicycle away from the situation.


You can usually prevent a dog bite if you are aware of the situation and you maintain control. Here are some general tips to reduce the chances of getting bitten by a dog.

  • Don’t approach strange dogs
  • Don’t approach dogs that are tied up or restrained
  • Don’t pet a new dog on the head or snout; gently stroke the body
  • Don’t try to kiss the dog’s face or otherwise snuggle the dog
  • Don’t act excited; don’t squeal, jump, or run around the dog
  • Don’t pull the dog’s ears or tail
  • Don’t poke the dogs eyes, nose or mouth

To summarize, to prevent dog bites you need to remain calm but maintain dominance. Treat the dog with respect and gently maintain control. Have fun with your dogs and other dogs you meet, but know how to prevent a dog bite. Stay informed!

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