Dogs Often Give a Warning Before Biting

London was surprised to see from the study that only 6 percent of dogs were perceived or remembered by observers to have given a warning before biting, and in fact, she believes perhaps some people did not notice or failed to remember warnings by dogs.
This is because there are almost always signs before a dog bites. Some dogs will suddenly freeze in place and hold their body very rigid. Others will stand with front legs splayed and head low, gazing at you. And many dogs growl or curl their lips to show their teeth.
If you're ever in a situation in which you feel threatened by a dog, employ these defensive measures:

  • Stand motionless with your hands at your sides
  • Avoid eye contact with the dog
  • If the dog loses interest, back away slowly
  • If the dog comes at you anyway, offer him anything you're holding – a purse or jacket, for example – or anything that may distract him
  • If you wind up on the ground, curl into a ball, put your hands over your ears and stay still – resist the urge to yell, scream, or move around
10 Tips to Prevent Dog Bites

  1. Use good judgment when selecting a family pet and do your homework. If this is your first dog, or you don't know what to look for in a dog, talk with a veterinarian, a reputable breeder, or other knowledgeable person. Learn which dogs would be most likely to thrive in your family situation.
  2. Make sure your puppy is well-socialized and trained to obey basic commands. Proper socialization is the single most important thing dog owners can do to reduce the risk of winding up with a pet with behavior problems.
  3. Make sure your dog gets plenty of exercise. Not only is regular aerobic exercise necessary for physical conditioning, it also provides the mental stimulation every dog needs to be well-balanced.
  4. Playtime is important, but you should avoid games that are overly exciting to your pup or that pit him against you. And never put your dog in a situation where he feels teased or threatened.
  5. Always use a leash or similar restraint when you're out in public with your pet. You must be able to control him in public, and if you can't, it's time for additional obedience training.
  6. If you allow your dog out alone in a fenced yard, make sure gates are secure and there are no other escape routes available.
  7. Take proactive care of your pet's health. Feed species-appropriate nutrition, make sure she is well-exercised, brush her teeth, bathe and groom her regularly, and take her for at least one, preferably two annual wellness visits with your veterinarian.
  8. Proceed with extreme caution when it comes to vaccinating your pet. Evidence is mounting that vaccines, in particular the rabies vaccine, are contributing to the problem of aggression in some dogs. Since rabies vaccines are required by law, insist on the 3-year vaccine and avoid the 1-year shot. I recommend asking your holistic vet for the homeopathic rabies vaccine detox Lyssin after each rabies vaccine.
  9. Also discuss with your vet the best time to sterilize your dog. Beyond reproductive concerns, intact pets are sometimes more aggressive than animals that have been neutered. Timing of this procedure is critical, and should be decided upon based on each dog's health status and personality.
  10. Teach children – yours and any others who come around your dog – how to behave with an animal. Children are by far the most frequent victims of dog bites. They must learn to be both cautious and respectful in the presence of any dog, including their own. And never under any circumstances leave a baby or small child alone with a dog.