How to prevent Dog bites

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Learn the warning signs the dog might bite.


Dogs do communicate with us, and you can learn to read their body language to pick up if a dog is tense, afraid or anxious and therefore likely to bite. Don’t approach or make eye contact when a dog is showing one or more of the following signs of stress:

  • A stiff tail
  • An erect tail slowly wagging back and forth
  • Ears flattened back
  • Tense body
  • Yawning
  • Flicking of tongue
  • Licking lips
  • Staring
  • Growling
  • Baring teeth



Get away from an aggressive dog, but never run. 


When you notice that a dog might be getting aggressive, do not stare at the dog’s eyes. Slowly back away somewhere safe, putting a barrier between you and the dog.

  • An anxious dog may consider prolonged eye contact to be a threat.
  • Whatever happens, do not run. Dogs have a natural instinct to chase. By running, you are increasing your chances of getting bitten.
  • If a dog attack appears imminent, don’t move. Stand very still. Speak to the dog in a firm dogin a firm voice. Don’t shout, as this may make the dog more anxious.
  • When you notice things are really hotting up, try “being a tree.” Stand still and fold your hands (your “branches) in front of you. Lower your head and look at your feet (your “roots”). Stay still and count your breaths until the dog goes away or help comes. This stance is less threatening and very less interesting to a dog.



Be a loving and responsible owner.


While it’s important to discipline your dog, its a bad tactic to discipline him by hitting him or by other violent means. Give your dog plenty of attention and make sure he knows that people are his friends.

  • Neglected or abused dogs are much more likely to bite people than dogs that know a loving home.

Split up dog fights carefully.


If your dog gets in a fight with another, you’ll want to act fast but cautiously to avoid injury. If possible, try not to touch the dogs at all.

  • Spraying the dogs with a water hose might work.
  • If you have to touch the dogs, grab them by the hind legs to pull them apart. Don’t touch them near their collars, heads or shoulders.If both dogs seem to want to keep fighting, try to drag one through a doorway or gate, and use the door/gate to separate them, or tug on a leash. Using a barrier to get between the dogs (like a chair or a baby gate) may also work, depending upon the size and strength of the dogs. If it is a fight between two large and powerful dogs it is best to wait for appropriate help.




Play non-aggressive games with your dog. 


Play games that don’t encourage biting. Games like “fetch” will allow your dog to enjoy playing without teaching bad habits.

  • Games like tug-of-war can strengthen a dog’s instinct to bite. Such games can make a dog feel that biting is acceptable behaviour.
  • The same is true if you allow your puppy to nip your hands. That behaviourcan mean trouble when the puppy gets bigger. When it does nip say “no bite” and give it an appropriate chew toy instead.
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