Dog Bite Prevention | Winnipeg Humane Society
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Dog Bite Prevention

Dog bites affect hundreds of Canadians each year. Many of the victims are children. Most dog bites are preventable.

Tips for preventing dog bites

  • Only approach a dog if you have permission from the owner. If the owner isn’t there, stay away from the dog.
  • When you have permission to pet a dog, let the dog sniff the back of your hand and move slowly and speak quietly. Pet gently on his back or sides.
  • Understand dog body language. Ears, tail and fur standing straight up are signs the dog is angry — so stay away.
  • Never cut through someone’s yard, even if you know the person. You could run into a dog that might bite you.
  • Don’t run or make loud noises around strange dogs. Always move slowly and quietly.
  • Don’t disturb a dog that is sleeping, eating or looking after puppies.
  • Don’t try to take any toys, food or any other object from a dog’s mouth.
  • If a strange dog approaches you, stand like a tree:
    • Stand still and be quiet – hands stuck to your sides, face down and looking at the ground, feet rooted firmly into the ground.
    • Don’t try to run away because the dog may chase you. A dog is more likely to sniff you and go away if you stay still.
    • Don’t stare into the dog’s eyes.
  • If a dog tries to grab you, try to let him have your jacket or backpack, etc. so there is something between you and the dog.
  • If you fall or are knocked down, curl up into a ball with your hands over your ears and stay still. Try not to scream or roll around. Wait for help to arrive before getting up.

Tips for owners

  • If you know you have a meter reader or other service personnel coming over: keep your dogs inside. Let all members of the family know to keep the dogs in. Dogs who are prone to door dashing should be crated or placed in a room to prevent accidental escapes.
  • Notify workmen/yard workers/meter readers prior to their visit. Perhaps they can call ahead to allow time to prepare for the visit.
  • Be sure to check gates and fences after storms or weather disturbances, to ensure they are in proper working order.
  • Consider additional security measures on your gates, such as carabiners.
  • Put up signs on your fence and/or gates to inform people of dogs in the home. This is useful to inform visitors and so that workers can be mindful to close the gate after visiting your property.

Also see: Children and Dogs