10 Tips to Avoid Dog Bites

By Josie F. Turner, Journalist specialized in Animal Welfare. July 17, 2017
10 Tips to Avoid Dog Bites

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A dog bite, especially from a medium to large sized dog, can be incredibly dangerous - especially if involving children. The most severe bites can cause wounds and injuries, and even put people's lives at risk.

If you are not familiar with the canine language, knowing how to prevent a dog from biting you will not always be easy. For that reason, AnimalWised want to give you 10 tips to avoid dog bites, so you can put them into practice with strangers dogs and your own.

You may also be interested in: 10 Tips to Photograph Dogs

1. When a dog is not yours...

Thanks to trust and strong bonds, it is possible to manipulate our dog. Nevertheless, it is a very common error to suppose that any dog ​​will tolerate things the same as our own. If you are a volunteer from an animal shelter or have stayed to meet your best friend's dog, keep this advice in mind.

10 Tips to Avoid Dog Bites - 1. When a dog is not yours...

2. Listen to the owner's instructions

Many dog ​​bites could be avoided if attention is paid to the owner's directions. How many times have we told someone not to do something but they end up doing it? If the owner asks you not to give their pet food or to not excite him, it is for some reason. And remember, even if it is unrelated to aggressiveness, one action of yours can undo weeks of training.

3. Dogs do not always like hugs and kisses

This is not a general rule, since many dogs are well associated with this type of affection that they accept it without problems. Hugs and kisses are signs of love and affection that humans and even apes use, but they are invasive and even aggressive for most dogs.

Hugs and kisses on the dog's face are among the main causes of marking and biting, especially if accompanied by dog ​​immobilization. The best way to show affection to the dog, especially an unknown dog, is to scratch their chest or the sides of the neck.

10 Tips to Avoid Dog Bites - 3. Dogs do not always like hugs and kisses

4. Do not excite a dog too much

Except in specially temperate dogs, hyperexcitation causes a dog to decrease their self-control significantly. Because of this, it is likely that if we allow play biting and them to get overexcited, we may be the victim of a bite.

5. Avoid using your body to stop the aggression

If you are holding a dog that is reacting violently or you are close to them, be careful and never use your leg (or any part of your body) to stop them. This could cause them to redirect their bite to some area of ​​your body.

The best thing to do if you are walking is to hold them firmly (without confining) at a safe distance from your body, tied on a short leash if necessary. On the contrary, if the dog is untied the best thing will be to stop the episode with a water hose with some pressure.

10 Tips to Avoid Dog Bites - 5. Avoid using your body to stop the aggression

6. Avoid misunderstandings

Sometimes our own body language can be perceived negatively by a dog. Something as insignificant to us as blowing in their faces, staring at them for a long time, cornering or tilting our head can be perceived as threatening behavior. Avoid doing these.

7. Pay attention to warning signs

While some calming signals are very easily confused, such as licking, backing, or yawning, others are easily identifiable. We are referring to baring teeth, grunting or barking. If a dog warns you, do not ignore them, stop doing whatever it is that is bothering them.

10 Tips to Avoid Dog Bites - 7. Pay attention to warning signs

8. Do not touch their weak spots

There are many dogs that suffer pain, discomfort or are simply not well used to handling. In these cases it is best to avoid touching certain parts of the body that can make them feel uncomfortable.

Some examples could be touching the hip of an old dog, putting your fingers in their mouth, ears or nose, pulling the tail or attempting to undo a hair knot. Especially if the dog is not yours, it is best to be as less invasive and predictable.

9. Never bother or mistreat a dog

If you decide to annoy or mistreat a dog, especially an unfamiliar one, be prepared to receive a warning or, at worst, a considerable bite.

Dogs when faced with something unpleasant have two options: to run away, to stand still, to warn or to attack. And if they are dogs with little self-control, or have already bitten in the past, the answer will surely be the last. Avoid interrupting dogs when they are sleeping, feeding or protecting an object (toys, bone, etc.).

10 Tips to Avoid Dog Bites - 9. Never bother or mistreat a dog

10. If it seems a dog is going to attack you...

If a dog barks at you and shows signs of aggression, chances are you will only think of running away in a hurry. However, that is not always a good technique; the dog will always run faster than you!

In these cases it will be best to stand still, with your arms glued to your body and avoiding looking into their eyes. For most dogs this indicates that you are not a threat. When they stop grunting, it is time to start moving slowly, without looking at them and without turning your back.

If you want to read similar articles to 10 Tips to Avoid Dog Bites, we recommend you visit our Facts about the animal kingdom category.

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