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Dog Bite Prevention Tips

You may not be able to prevent a dog bite, but in California you are entitled to compensation. Call our legal team to see if you have a case. Call 800-561-4887 for a confidential and free consultation.

There is so such thing as a dog that is "safe." This includes your family dog or the dog that belongs to a friend or family member. In fact, statistics show that a majority of dog attacks that result in injuries involve family pets or known dogs owned by friends or acquaintances. Any time you or a loved one is around dogs, it is critical that you practice safety. There are many common dog behavior issues including aggression, which is the number one complaint from most veterinarians and trainers.

Remember: All dogs can bite, no matter what size or breed. The following is a list of helpful tips to help in preventing dog bites:

  • Never approach an unfamiliar dog, even if it seems harmless and especially if it is sleeping.
  • Never run away from a dog. Don't yell or scream around a dog.
  • Remain motionless when approached by an unfamiliar dog.
  • If a dog knocks you over, roll into a ball and remain motionless.
  • Never let children play with a dog unsupervised.
  • Immediately report stray dogs or dogs that display unusual behavior, to the appropriate organization (Animal Control, Humane Society, etc.).
  • Avoid direct eye contact with a dog, since they perceive this as challenging.
  • Never disturb a dog that is sleeping, eating or caring for puppies.
  • Never pet a dog without letting it see and smell you first. A smart way to do this is to make a fist and hold it in front of the dog's snout. Let them make the first move.
  • When petting a dog, always start below the chin. Petting the top of the head is seen as a dominating gesture, which may cause dogs to get aggravated.
  • Never try to intervene when a dog fight occurs. Use a hose to spray the dogs, or throw a blanket over them to disorient them.
  • Never tease a dog or play rough. Regardless of breed. There are many breeds that bite.
  • Be mindful around older dogs; they may be blind, hearing impaired or sensitive to touch.
  • Never run past a dog. Joggers and bicyclers may trigger the dog's instinct to chase and attack.
  • Avoid dogs that are chained, left in cars or cornered. They may feel vulnerable, causing them to attack out of fear.
  • If bitten, immediately seek medical attention and file a report with authorities.

Dog Owner Safety Tips

As a dog owner, you are responsible for your dog's behavior. The following is a list of safety tips to help eliminate the chances that your dog will bite others:

  • Always keep your dog up to date on vaccinations to prevent any diseases.
  • Always keep your dog on a leash when outside of your yard.
  • Keep your yard safe and fenced. Remember that electronic fences work only on the dog, not on the people that may try to approach it.
  • Socialize your dog from the moment you bring it home. Unsocialized dogs may be timid and shy. They may bite simply out of fear.
  • Train your dog with basic commands: sit, stay, down, heel and come. If your dog ever gets out of reach, you want to remain in control of the situation.
  • Train your dog to drop any toys on command. This prevents having to reach into or near a dog's mouth to retrieve the toy.
  • Be cautious when introducing your dog into any new situations. Be attentive and ready to respond if your dog begins to feel uneasy or displays any unusual behavior.
  • Teach your dog non-aggressive games, such as "fetch." Rough play such as wrestling or tug-of-war may teach or encourage a dog to become more aggressive.

Warning Signs

Usually, dogs will not immediately attack. There are warning signs you should recognize when a dog becomes aggravated:

  • Growling, snarling or aggressive barking.
  • Signs that a dog is fearful or shy include crouching, the dog holding it's head low, the dog putting its tail between its legs. Fearful dogs are just as dangerous as aggressive ones.
  • Avoid dogs that have raised fur, erect ears, high tails or stiff bodies. This is a sign that you should stay away.
  • Stay out of the way of any unnaturally still or unresponsive dogs. Fighting breeds have been bred for their ability to hide their aggression.
  • A dog in pain will bite ANYONE including its owner.

Legal Help After a Dog Bite

If you have been injured by a dog bite or dog attack, please contact an experienced California dog bite attorney at Bisnar Chase. We offer free consultations to answer your questions and determine if you have a case. If you have been injured, you may be entitled to monetary compensation for your injuries to cover medical expenses, lost income, hospitalization, cost of cosmetic surgery, pain and suffering and emotional distress. All of our dog bite lawyers are experienced trial attorneys with years of expertise in California courts.

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