Dog Bite Prevention Myths Debunked
When it comes to dog bites, can you separate fact from fiction?
At Munley Law, we love our dogs. But, we’re also very familiar with how devastating a dog bite can be. Many of these bites are preventable. Knowing the signs and brushing up on some dog-safety tips can help you or your child avoid an attack. That means sorting out fact from fiction, and dispelling common myths and misinformation.
Dog Bite Prevention Myths vs. Facts
- You can tell whether a dog will be friendly or aggressive based on the breed: FALSE. While some types of dogs account for more bites than others, any dog can bite, so you shouldn’t assume a dog is friendly based on breed.
- Most dog bites happen with strange or stray dogs: FALSE. You’re most likely to be bitten by a dog at the home of a friend or family member. If you’re visiting friends or family who have dogs in the home, take care to give the dog space, and let it see/sniff you before attempting to pet it.
- Dogs are calmed and comforted by a hug the same way people are: FALSE. Hugging causes stress in dogs, and can lead to a bite. This is how many children get bitten.
- Mail carriers are likely targets of dog bites: TRUE. Dogs are protective, and often view mail carriers approaching the home as a potential threat. Keep your dog inside the house and away from the door when receiving mail.
- If a dog is about to bite, it will show signs like barking and growling before biting: FALSE. Many people miss the warning signs of a dog about to bite because the signs are subtle. A dog may try to back away, become stiff and alert, or exhibit signs of stress like excessive yawning, shaking, or scratching. If the whites of a dog’s eyes are visible, this is another sign of stress. Dogs who show these signs of discomfort should be given space and left alone.
- If a dog approaches aggressively, yell and scream to show dominance: FALSE. If a dog approaches in a way that feels threatening, stand still and avoid direct eye contact with the dog. Do not run, as this will encourage the dog to chase you. If the dog attacks, curl into a ball on the ground.
Doge Bite Prevention Rules to Remember
Never leave children unsupervised, even with a familiar dog. Young children are the group most likely to suffer a dog bite.
Always ask the owner’s permission before petting a strange dog, and let the dog sniff you before attempting to pet it.
If you or your child suffer a dog bite, it may require medical attention or even leave lasting emotional scars. Contact a dog bite lawyer at Munley Law to determine if the dog owner’s insurance should pay for your medical treatment, and compensate you for your suffering.
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