VVAPL Blog

How do you avoid getting bit by a dog? Start by being polite and respecting the dog's personal space. Never approach an unfamiliar dog, especially one who's tied or confined behind a fence or in a car. Don't pet a dog—even your own—without letting them see and sniff you first.

Don't disturb a dog while they are sleeping, eating, chewing on a toy or caring for puppies. Be cautious around strange dogs. Always assume that a dog who doesn't know you may see you as an intruder or a threat.

Pay attention to the dog's body language

Put a safe amount of space between yourself and a dog if you see the following signals (illustrated in the video above) indicating that the dog is uncomfortable and might feel the need to bite:

  • tensed body
  • stiff tail
  • pulled back head and/or ears
  • furrowed brow
  • eyes rolled so the whites are visible
  • yawning
  • flicking tongue
  • intense stare
  • backing away

When putting space between yourself and a dog who might bite, never turn your back on them and run away. A dog's natural instinct will be to chase you.

What to do if you think a dog may attack

If you are approached by a dog who may attack you, follow these steps:

  • Resist the impulse to scream and run away.
  • Remain motionless, hands at your sides, and avoid eye contact with the dog.
  • Once the dog loses interest in you, slowly back away until they are out of sight.
  • If the dog does attack, "feed" them your jacket, purse, bicycle or anything that you can put between yourself and the dog.
  • If you fall or are knocked to the ground, curl into a ball with your hands over your ears and remain motionless. Try not to scream or roll around.

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December 10th 2018

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