• Blog >
  • Dont Get Bit! Part One: Avoidance Tips You Can Do
RSS Feed

Dont Get Bit! Part One: Avoidance Tips You Can Do

The idea of being bitten by a dog can be pretty darn scary. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports there are 4.5 million dog bites in the United States every year. Even worse, the CDC reports that 1 out of 5 dog bites becomes infected. The idea of being bitten is even scarier as many people report that they were bitten “from out of nowhere” or “for no reason”.

The truth is that the vast majority of bites and agression originate out of dogs becoming scared. More, about half of all dog bites occur in the home with dogs that are familiar to the victim. Don’t be a dog bite victim!

Bite Avoidance:

  • Never directly approach a strange dog from the front or back. You need to be in their field of vision but not appear confrontational. Be especially careful with dogs who are unable to see well due to their eyes being covered by bangs or breeds especially subject to entropion (eyelids rolled in/excess eyelids). Chow-Chows are likely to have thick bangs and entropion making them virtually blind. Dogs who can’t see will be more fearful and likely to bite.

  • Never reach out to a new dog’s head. Being petted on the head is a learned behavior the dog associates with people the dog already knows. By their nature, anything approaching a dog’s head is seen by the dog as a sign of aggression on your part.

  • Ask the owner/handler for permission before approaching a dog. If the answer is ‘No’, don’t press it.

  • General rule: No touch, no talk, no eye contact for 3 minutes. Let the dog smell you when ready.

  • Don’t approach or move quickly. Let the dog clearly see your every move.

  • Don’t be loud. Loud anything tends to startle/make most dogs nervous.

  • If approach is permitted, squat down to the dog’s level and do an underhand pet to their chest.

  • Never disturb a dog who’s eating or nursing puppies. Normal pack behavior includes aggressively defending your food from competing pack members. Bothering nursing mothers of any species is never a good idea.

If approached by a strange dog:

  • Stop! Stay still. Remain calm. Wolf pack behavior between non-Alpha pack members depends partly on remaining still in order to avoid being bitten. Use this to your advantage so you also don’t get bitten. Attempting to run away or screaming turns you from potential pack member to non-pack member. The rules for non-pack members are much more likely to result in an attack.

  • Avoid direct eye contact and face away at an angle from the front of the dog. Avoiding eye contact is another inter-wolf pack social cue to avoid being bitten.

  • For unattended dogs, say No or Go home or Ssshhhh in a firm, deep voice. Do not shout or scream. The idea is to project firmness, not fear.



Find us on the map

Office Hours

Our Regular Schedule

Primary Ofiice


8:00 am-5:00 PM


8:00 am-5:00 PM


9:00 AM-2:00 pm


8:00 am-5:00 PM


8:00 am-5:00 PM


By Appt. Only




Feedback from our clients

  • "I just moved here, and had appointments for my 2 dogs with Dr Gary. He is amazing with my dogs. They both were relaxed, which they have never been during vet visits! Dr Gary and his staff obviously know animals well, and gave me great suggestions for some behavior problems I was having. His suggestions have worked wonders. I am so happy to have found this vet, as I know my 2 dogs will always have the best of care with Dr Gary and his staff! Highly recommend!"
    Shawn Cahill S.
  • "I knew after the first visit that all the recommendations, were spot on. The team here is top notch!"
    Charles Frank S.