Free Consultation. No Fees Until You Collect. Call 24 Hours a Day 1-800-4-RIGHTS
Minnesota Offices

Serving all of Minnesota
Call 1-800-4-RIGHTS

If you’re recovering, we’ll come to you. Or we’ll set up a meeting at one of our convenient office locations:

See all results for ‘
Enter 3 or more characters for full site search

How to Prevent Dog Bites

Every year, more than 4.5 million Americans are bitten by dogs. Most dog bites are preventable, however. By taking the proper precautions, you can protect yourself and others—especially your children—from the dangers of dog bites.

Here are some steps you should take to prevent a bite.

1. Understand Why Dogs Bite

Dogs bite for a variety of reasons. Most commonly, they feel threatened or provoked in some way. This may mean that it feels personally unsafe or that it thinks it needs to protect its territory, possessions, or pack.

Alternatively, it could simply be sick, sore, or tired, making it irritable and more prone to aggression.

Dogs may also nip or bite during play. This might seem fun and harmless to them, but it could still hurt the victim, especially children.

2. Avoid Provoking or Frightening the Dog

 

There are certain situations in which a dog is most likely to attack. Understanding how to interact with (or avoid) a dog is key to preventing a bite.

First off, don’t engage a dog you aren’t familiar with unless it’s with its owner—and even then, make sure to ask for permission before petting or playing with it..

Never approach a dog that’s tied up or behind a fence, either. This is a surefire way to “invade its territory,” and some dogs may be fenced in or leashed because they’ve exhibited aggressive behavior in the past.

Beyond this, try to steer clear of dogs that are:

  • Sick
  • Injured
  • Sleeping
  • Eating
  • Playing with a toy
  • Barking or growling
  • Caring for puppies
  • Hiding

In any of these cases, getting too close might make the dog feel threatened.

Certain behaviors are also more likely to provoke a dog. To avoid this, never:

  • Tease or annoy a dog
  • Surprise or startle it
  • Roughhouse or wrestle with it
  • Try to hug it
  • Corner or trap it
  • Get too close to its face
  • Make prolonged eye contact
  • Move between the dog and its owner
  • Approach it from behind
  • Chase it
  • Make sudden movements or loud noises

Always err on the side of caution. When a dog feels provoked in some way, its defensive or dominant instincts may kick in, even if it’s an otherwise friendly animal. It doesn’t ultimately matter whether you provoke them intentionally or by accident, either—the bite will hurt just as much either way.

3. Watch for the Warning Signs

By reading a dog’s body language, you can tell when it may be in a dangerous state of mind. The dog may be feeling aggressive or defensive, and either could lead to a bite if you don’t recognize the warning signs.

A dog may be exhibiting signs of aggression if it is:

  • Growling, snarling, or barking
  • Wrinkling its muzzle
  • Baring its teeth
  • Standing in an unusually stiff, straight-legged stance
  • Raising its fur and ears
  • Holding its tail high
  • Staring at you intently
  • Charging at you

And signs that a dog is anxious or scared include:

  • Tucking its tail between its legs
  • Holding its head low
  • Shrinking low to the ground
  • Repeatedly licking its lips
  • Flattening its ears back and “yawning”
  • Looking away and avoiding eye contact
  • Being unnaturally still or unresponsive
  • Trembling
  • Flashing the whites of its eyes
  • Running or walking away from you

In some cases, a dog may display behavior from both of these lists.

4. Know How to React to an Aggressive Dog

If a dog is showing any signs of aggression toward you, you should never:

  • Scream or yell
  • Make sudden movements
  • Turn your back on the dog or let it get behind you
  • Run away
  • Make eye contact
  • Throw something
  • Hit, kick, or otherwise attack it

 All of these are likely to make the situation worse.

Instead, remain calm, stand perfectly still, and stay quiet. Avoid eye contact, and let it sniff you if it tries. Most likely, the dog will lose interest and walk away.

If the dog charges anyway, “feed” it anything you have, like a jacket, bag, bicycle, or notebook—anything it can chew on instead of you.

If the dog is determined to bite, try to make it bite your left arm—or right arm if you’re left-handed. Try not to jerk your arm back, as this will only make the injury worse. Now more than ever, you want to remain calm.

If you manage to get loose, square off, face the dog, and say in a firm voice, “No!” If possible, you can try to push the dog on its side and kneel on its chest. 

And if all else fails, and the dog continues to attack, drop to the ground, curl into the fetal position, interlock your fingers behind your neck. Don’t fight back or struggle, and remain in this position until the dog is at least 20 feet away. Then, stand up and back slowly away. (This should generally be the first response if a child is attacked.)

After being bitten by a dog, you should wash and rinse all bite injuries right away. If the injury is serious enough, call 911 to report the bite and seek medical attention immediately.

Do You Need an Experienced Minnesota Dog Bite Attorney?

By following these tips, you can avoid a dog bite injury or at least minimize the damage done. However, no matter how careful you are, bites can still happen.

If you or a loved one has been injured by a dog, Minnesota law may entitle you to compensation—and we can help you get it.

At SiebenCarey, we’ve spent decades helping injury victims receive the compensation they need. Just contact us, and we’ll evaluate your case, explain your rights to you, and make sure you get every dollar you’re owed.

Click here for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.

Related Posts

Client Reviews

out of 185 reviews
St. Paul Local 12

Thanks for everything, your experience paid off BIG!!!

Carly R.

My boyfriend was hit by a car and while all the attorneys he talked to said he didn't have much chance of a case, SiebenCarey took him on and gave him a fighting chance. He's still recovering, but SiebenCarey is making it a lot easier.

Jazz Smith

SiebenCarey is a professional and dedicated law organization that help accident victim.

Jesse Bukal

In need of a personal injury attorney? Well you're if you're reading this you're in the right place. You'd be hard pressed to find more competent attorneys than the ones here at SiebenCarey.

They took my case to trial and an amazing job presenting the facts and fighting for my best interests! Three years ago I was unsure of what my future would bring; now that it's over I can rest a bit easier. With SiebenCarey as my counsel, I believe I had the absolute BEST representation a person could've asked for. I knew that I wanted the absolute best representation when searching for an attorney to handle my case and I most definitely received it.

If you need a personal injury attorney, look no further. Can't recommend highly enough.

Jenna L. at Insider Pages

I have had nothing but great service with these guys. They are very knowledgable on a wide variety of subjects and topic. They will help you with any case you need!

Renee Goneau

SiebenCarey is a great personal injury law firm that really cares about their clients.  Highly recommend!

Morgan Petoletti

My husband had an amazing experience with this firm. They listened and took the time to understand our case.

Daniel Ball

Really good professionals, they solved my issues in no time using the most impressive and advanced approach. Really good, highly recommended.

Eric Petoletti

Even though I was states away and could only talk on the phone, they listened and did everything that they could to win my case. I felt like I was a part of the family.

Christine Butina

Jim Carey and his staff were excellent at their jobs. They were very understanding and were always available if you had questions on something with my case. They treated you as if you were their only client that they had. I would definitely recommend sending anyone to SiebenCarey because they really do care about you.

Award Winning Know Your Rights Attorneys

Certified Civil Trial Law Specialists

8 Certified Civil Trial Law Specialists, Minnesota Bar Association
3 Board Certified Trial Advocates, National Board of Trial Advocacy.

2021 Super Lawyers

Also awarded in:
2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008

2022 Best Lawyers in America©

Also awarded in:
2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008.

2022 U.S. News Best Law Firms

Also awarded in:
2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010

Attorneys of the Year

5 of our attorneys have been recognized as Attorneys of the Year

FREE DOWNLOAD

50%

To help us recommend the best resources for you, please indicate the relevant accident type below:

Step 1 of 2: Case

Please select an answer before proceeding

Please enter your email address below so we can send your download link right away.

Step 2 of 2: Download

Please enter your valid email address so we can send your download link and special printing instructions.

Secure form. Your information is confidential with us.

FREE ILLUSTRATED GUIDE

50%

To help us customize our resources for you, please indicate the relevant accident type below:

Step 1 of 2: Accident Type

Please select an answer before proceeding

Please enter your email address below so we can send your download link right away.

Step 2 of 2: Download

Please enter your valid email address so we can send your download link and special printing instructions.

Secure form. Your information is confidential with us.

FREE DOWNLOAD!

50%
The Minnesota No-Fault Fact Sheet is a valuable resource for all Minnesotans

Have you been in a recent accident, if so, which type?

Please select an answer before proceeding

Please enter your email address below so we can send your download link right away.

Please enter your valid email address so we can send your download link and special printing instructions.

Secure form. Your information is confidential with us.

Had an Accident or Injury?
WE CAN HELP!

  • No risk or obligation. We only collect fees if you win.
  • Free review of your options and potential for success.
  • Trusted by more than 65,000 people just like you since 1952.

Call us 24/7 at 1-800-4-RIGHTS(744487)

Or complete the form

Secure form. Your information is confidential with us.
Please enter the required information above

Would you recommend us?

We are interested in hearing about your experience with SiebenCarey Personal Injury Law.

Would you mind leaving a review? If so, please take a moment to tell us about your experience and also mention the attorney you worked with. Your feedback helps us to improve our services to you and all clients.

Step 1 of 2:

Contact Us

We strive to provide top quality legal and customer service. We're sorry that we didn't meet our own expectations for you - How can we do better?

Please enter the required information above