When dogs might bite:
- When they feel threatened or afraid.
- When they are protecting their territory, food, toys, family, or pups.
- When they get excited, even in play.
- When they don't know you.
- When their "chase response" is triggered.
- When they have been bred and/or trained to be aggressive.
- When they are in pain or irritated.
How to tell when a dog might bite:
- The dog may stand stiff and still, possibly with his or her hair up.
- The dog may stare at you.
- The dog may hold his or her tail stiff and up in the air, or may wag it back and forth very fast.
- The dog may growl, snarl, show teeth or bark.
What to do if you're threatened by a dog:
- Stand very still and try to be calm. Don't scream and run.
- Be aware of the dog, but don't stare the dog in the eyes either.
- If the dog comes up to sniff you, don't resist. In most cases the dog will go away upon deciding you aren't a threat.
- If you say anything, speak calmly and firmly.
- Try to stay until the dog leaves then back away slowly until he or she is out of sight.
- If a dog does attack suddenly, "feed" him or her your jacket, purse, your bike, anything that may distract the dog and give the animal something to bite besides you.
- If you fall or are knocked down, curl into a ball with your arms and hands over your head and neck. Try not to scream or roll around.
What to do if you get bitten:
- Children should tell their parents immediately. All bites should be reported to the police or animal control department.
- Go to the hospital for treatment.
- Tell the policeman or animal control officer as much as you can about the dog -- what he or she looked like, where you saw the animal, if you've seen the dog before, and so on. It's important for them to try to find the dog.