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Each year, nearly 4.7million dog bites occur. Children make up more than 60% of all dog bite victims. Boys are bitten nearly twice as often as girls.

Tips for Making You and Your Child Less Likely to be Bitten by a Dog

  • Do not approach any dog that does not approach you first.
  • Never run past a dog. Dogs love to chase and will almost certainly do so.
  • If a dog approaches to sniff you, stand still (pretend to be a tree).
  • If a dog threatens you, remain calm. Don’t scream. If you say anything, speak calmly and firmly. Avoid eye contact.
  • If you fall or are knocked over, curl into a ball (pretend to be a rock). Put your fists over your ears and press your elbows together.
  • Always ask the owner if you may pet a dog. Allow the dog to sniff your hand (palm and fingers pointed to the floor) before touching the dog.
  • Do not pat a dog on top of its head. Dogs do not enjoy that.
  • Do not attempt to pet a dog that is behind a fence, tied up with a rope or chain, in a parked car, or running around off leash.
  • Don’t try to physically intervene when two dogs are fighting. Throw water or a blanket on the dogs to distract them from the fight before reaching for either dog.