Nearly 5 million Americans were bitten by a dog last year! Many of those bites were preventable with a better understanding of why dogs bite and what to do to avoid a bite.
Generally speaking, dogs bite for one of five reasons: possessiveness, fear, pain, maternal instinct and prey drive.
Pet Expert Cheryl Hansen shared tips to help you avoid a situation that might lead to a dog bite:
Always ask an owner's permission to approach a dog.
Respect the dog's personal space and always allow a new dog to approach you. Employ respectful petting and introduction techniques.
Never approach a dog in a confined space such as a car or pen or while on a chain in the yard.
Don't disturb dogs that are eating, sleeping, playing with toys
Look for signs of fear or aggression such as a tense body, stiff tail, ears back, snarling, yawning, intense stare.
If a dog appears to be aggressive, do NOT run. Stand motionless, arms to your side, be silent and do not make eye contact.
If the dog approaches you to attack, "feed" the dog your purse, backpack, jacket, grocery bag, whatever you have in your hands, even your bicycle. Put whatever you have between you and the dog.
If you are knocked to the ground, curl up in a ball, protect your head with your arms and try not to make noise.
To find out more about adorable Mia, the adoptable dog sitting at Helen and Cheryl's feet, click here.
A new product just out, harnesses for dogs that offer a warning printed on the harness. Very cool for aggressive dogs. Click here for more information.