Though a statistical rarity (It is estimated that less than 2% of the U.S. population is bitten by a dog each year), dogs and cats do sometimes bite. Fortunately it is easy to prevent your family and yourself from being bitten.

  • Ask before petting someone else’s dog. You might even ask if the dog doesn’t like to be touched anywhere, especially if it is an older dog who may suffer from physical discomfort.
  • Do not approach an unleashed or stray dog.
  • Never allow children and dogs to be together unsupervised. The majority of dog-bite victims are children.
  • Avoid running away from a dog; this incites the prey/chase instinct and dogs are almost always faster than people.
  • If any dog – yours or someone else’s – threatens you, back off. Attempting to “dominate” a dog or match its threat with your own will only worsen the situation and almost guarantees a bite.
  • Do not hit or use other physical corrections in training.
  • If you know that a particular situation will cause your dog to act aggressively, avoid that situation and contact our behavior helpline.
  • Most importantly, understand dog body language so that you know what a dog is telling you.

 

If you would like information from an Anti-Cruelty Society Behavior Specialist regarding this behavior topic, please call 312-645-8253 or email help@anticruelty.org.

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It’s not always easy to convince puppies and young dogs not to bite the hand that feeds them, pets them, or even plays with them for that matter. Puppies use their mouths and their needle-sharp teeth to play, chew, and investigate