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How can I protect myself from dog bites?

A dog attack can be sudden. However, you may be able to prevent a dog bite before it happens.

Dogs are often predictable, but you also have to watch what you do around them. Here’s what you should know:

Don’t pet dogs without asking

All dogs can be aggressive, even domesticated dogs. Just because the dog is on a leash doesn’t mean the dog won’t bite. To give you some idea about a domesticated dog’s temperament, you may need to ask the owner to pet their dog.

Don’t put your face close to the dog

If your face is too close to a dog when engaging with them, you may end up getting worse injuries than on your hand or leg, for example.

Watch for signs of aggression

Dogs usually announce in some way that they’re going to attack. Typically, a dog will bare their teeth and growl when they’re unfriendly. However, some attacks are sudden and you may not see the signs.

Don’t run from the dog

If you encounter a stray dog, your first instinct may be to run in the opposite direction. A stray dog may respond by chasing you. While running will put some distance between you and the dog, the dog will very likely catch up quickly.

Don’t look directly at a dog

One way you might aggravate a dog is by looking at their eyes. The dog may take that as a sign of intimidation and respond aggressively. Instead, you should look away from a dog, but keep it in peripheral view so you aren’t blindsided by an attack.

Try commands

Some stray dogs are just lost domesticated dogs. In other words, they may be trained to respond to commands. You may be able to try commanding a dog to stop and sit before getting hurt.

If you’re injured by a dog, then you may need to know how you can seek compensation for your medical bills.