People have heard stories of dogs behaving badly or even attacking people in some situations. Although it is impossible to read a dog's mind, one's behavior around a dog can discourage it from attacking.
Things to remember when being around dogs:
- When you first encounter a dog, it is important to stand still and let the dog sniff you first. That is his/her way of getting to know you. After it has determined that you are not a threat, it will walk away.
- Never purposely run past a dog. Your excited behavior may cause the dog to also become excited, or sometimes even aggressive. This will cause a dog to give in to its natural instincts to chase and capture things, and in this case, it could be you!
- If you ever feel threatened by a dog, DO NOT scream. DO NOT make eye contact. Shrill noises frighten dogs and the dog may interpret direct eye contact as a challenge or threat. You must remain calm and, if possible avoid sudden movements until the dog walks away or until it is safe for you to back away.
- DO NOT DISTURB:
Nursing mothers caring for their puppies
Dogs that are eating
- If you are ever knocked down or fall on the ground, try curling yourself into a ball and make sure you protect your face by using your hands over your head and neck.
Tips for families with children:
1. Young children, toddlers too, should be taught at an early age to NEVER approach a strange dog. One never knows its history of behavior (biting, growling, and attacking) or medical problems (rabies, infections diseases) it might have.
2. Children should be taught to ask the dog's owner for permission to pet a dog. This is important because some dogs may not be accustomed to children and may react in a negative way. Also, petting a Service Dog might interfere with the dog's job in helping a person who is disabled or in need.
3. Children should NEVER approach strange dogs.
4. Children are the most likely to fall victim to a dog bite or attack. It is extremely important to never leave a child alone with a dog.
5. As a parent or caregiver, you should always be aware of your surroundings.