Best Practices to Prevent Dog Bites

  • • Have a dog evaluated and properly trained and socialized before bringing it into the home, especially if young children are present. Meet the dog’s parents if possible.
  • • Do not buy or adopt breeds that are known to be aggressive.
  • • Evaluate if the dog is stressed or anxious and may be getting ready to bite by looking at the various body parts such as: ears pulled back and tense or forward; darting eye movements; tight lips, closed mouth, teeth bared; low drooping position of the head; paws held close to the body or toes curled tightly; tail low or between the legs; and a curled up or crouched- down body posture.
  • • Spay or neuter dogs to reduce aggressive tendencies.
  • • Never approach a dog you do not know, and assume that it will bite.
  • • Do not disturb strange dogs that are sleeping, eating, or raising puppies.
  • • If a strange dog approaches an individual, remain still, don’t make any sudden sounds or movements, and back away slowly.
  • • If attacked, try to place objects between the dog and the person while protecting the face and neck.
  • • Never leave infants or young children alone with a dog.


(See Chapter 10, “Recreational Environment and Swimming Areas”)

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