Safeguards to Prevent Dog Bites

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**Before bringing a dog into your house:


  • Work with a local animal shelter, rescue organization, or reputable breeder that can help you find breeds and locate dogs of that breed that will be a good fit for you.
  • Work with a trainer to establish good training habits for both your new dog and you.
  • Be sensitive to cues that a child might be fearful or apprehensive about dogs. If a child seems frightened you should wait before bringing a dog into your household. Dogs with histories of aggression should not be brought into a household with children.
  • Be cautious when bringing a dog into a household that has an infant or toddler.
  • Spend time with a dog before choosing to buy or adopt it.

Once you have chosen a dog for your household:

  • Spay/neuter your dog. This can help to reduce aggressive tendencies.
  • Infants or young children should never be left alone with the dog.
  • Don’t encourage aggressive behavior with the dog. For example, do not wrestle with the dog.
  • It’s important to socialize and train the dog to exhibit submissive behavior such as rolling over to expose the abdomen and giving up food without growling.

Seek professional advice if the dog develops aggressive or undesirable behaviors.

It is also important to teach children basic dog safety tips and review them regularly to help prevent dog bites:

  • Do not approach unfamiliar dogs.
  • Do not run from a dog.
  • Be still when approached by an unfamiliar dog.
  • If you get knocked over by a dog it’s best to roll into a ball and stay still.
  • Do not play with a dog if there is not an adult around to supervise.
  • Report stray dogs or dogs displaying unusual behavior immediately.
  • Do not make direct eye contact with a dog.
  • Do not disturb a dog that is sleeping, eating, or caring for puppies.
  • Allow a dog to see and sniff you first before petting it.

These tips can help you and your family (including your new pet) stay safe.

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