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4 Strategies To Avoid Dog Bites When Meeting New Animals

Meeting the new dog across the street or greeting a happy puppy at the pet store is one of the little joys of life. However, that joy can quickly turn to anguish if the animal decides to bite your hand while trying to pet it. What are some steps that you can take to reduce the odds of a dog biting you?


Don’t Assume That It Wants To Be Touched

The best way to approach an unfamiliar dog is to kneel down, look away from it and offer your closed fist. Doing so makes you seem less threatening, which allows the dog to smell you and otherwise gain more confidence that you are alright to interact with. Once the dog shows signs that it trusts you, it is now appropriate to attempt to pet or stroke it.


Learn To Read A Dog’s Body Language

A dog will give obvious signals that it is in a good mood or that it would like to be left alone. Dogs that show their teeth, growl or perk their ears up are telling you to back off. If a dog is wagging its tail, acting playful or showing its belly, those are generally signs that it trusts you.


Don’t Approach A Dog On Its Territory

When a dog is at home, it feels like the house or yard is its territory. Therefore, it could be more prone to aggression as it feels like it needs to defend its house or defend the people in it. If you are bitten, it may be a good idea to talk to an attorney like the professionals at the Law Office of Daniel E Goodman, LLC. Assuming that you were not at fault for the bite, financial compensation may be available.


Don’t Antagonize A Dog

You should never pull a dog’s tail, put your hands near its mouth or try to pick it up without attempting to gain the dog’s consent first. Instead, you should approach it with a toy, a treat or something else that it may like. If the dog wants to be pet or played with, it will approach you when it is ready.


People tend to assume that dogs are friendly and want to be near humans by default. However, this is not always the case. It is also possible that a usually friendly dog could be scared or annoyed by your presence and choose to attack. Therefore, make sure that the initial greeting takes place on the dog’s terms to ensure that you don’t get hurt.

Emma Sturgis

Emma Sturgis is a freelance writer living in Boston. She writes most often on marketing and finance. When not writing, she enjoys baking, rock climbing, and film noir.