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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.

Also see: Children and Dogs