Tips to Help Prevent Dog Bites

Tips to Help Prevent Dog Bites

If you’re a dog owner, you know first-hand that they are truly man’s best friend. They can love us unconditionally and are always up for walks and games of fetch. But, even the most gentle of canines can bite in certain circumstances. It is important to note that most state and local laws can be stacked against a dog that bites, risk the dog’s life and put you in a litigious situation. Prevention is the key to keeping your pup safe. Consider the following tips to help prevent your dog from bite situations:


1.    Learn how your dog acts when frightened or threatened.

Dogs may bite if they are guarding their food or their puppies. If they were raised in isolation or abused and are rescue dogs, they may be inclined to bite. Veterinarian Dr. Jessica Vogelsang, author of popular blog Pawcurious, promotes that recognizing canine body language is one of her top three tips for bite prevention.

2.    Consider spaying or neutering your dog.

According to The American Bar Association Legal Guide for Dog Owners, studies have shown that dogs that haven’t been spayed or neutered bite more frequently than dogs that have been spayed or neutered.

3.    Consider not chaining or tethering your dog.

When chained or tethered, dogs may become fearful. When dogs are afraid, they may bite.

4.    Recommend to children and parents how to properly approach and pet a dog.

According to the CDC, children are one of the groups most at risk for dog bites. Dogs may become startled or frightened from sudden movements and loud noises from children. Be cautious when you are in a public setting and children may approach your dog.

5.    Create a safer environment and learn about your dog’s behavior.

This can include training and socializing your dog. Creating a safer environment also means for you and anyone who comes into contact with your dog. If you think your dog may need some space from strangers when out and about, consider in participating in the yellow dog project.

Make sure that your dog is up-to-date on their vaccinations. This is also important for Fido’s overall health. And, check your home insurer or other insurance providers to make sure you are covered in case your dog bites someone, both at home and elsewhere. With these tips in mind, hopefully you can reduce the chance of your pet biting someone and avoid a potentially stressful legal situation.


1. Jessica Vogelsang, “It’s Dog Bite Prevention Week: Three Top Tips for Preventing Bites,” Pawcurious (blog), May 21, 2012,

2. Yolanda Eisenstein, The American Bar Association Legal Guide for Dog Owners. Chicago, Illinois: American Bar Association, 2014.

3. “Preventing Dog Bites,” CDC, accessed January 27, 2016,

4. Mara Bovsun, “Tie a Bow to Fight Dog Bites,” American Kennel Club, last modified May 19, 2015,


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