A large number of dog bites are caused by misunderstandings between humans and dogs. Here are some easy tips to help prevent dog bites.
1. Never leave a baby or small child alone with a dog, even if it is your own.
Dogs generally give many warning signals before they nip – but children and even many parents aren’t able to interpret the dog’s body language. Is the dog looking away? Turning away its head?
It seems self evident not to let a child stand on the dog, sit on the dog, pull the dog’s tail or lips, but parents still allow it, and a number of dogs are put down each year for biting children in situations that could easily have been prevented.
2. Don’t run past a dog.
Dogs love to chase and catch stuff. If you run, hunting dogs and herding dogs will want to give chase. This is another reason why children often get nipped; they behave as prey or as something that should be herded.
3. When you meet a dog, don’t bend over it or pet it on top of the head.
Crouch down next to the dog and turn away just a little. If the dog wants to approach you, he or she will come. Bending over them and petting them from above can be interpreted as a threat.
4. Treat dogs with respect
This naturally goes for both your own dog and strange dogs. Pay attention to body language. If you meet a strange dog, ask the owner if it’s okay to pet or approach, and respect a no.