Bite Prevention Tip # 8

If you are going to engage with a dog, you don’t know or don’t know well yet, slow down. Way down. 

Don’t approach them with high pitched baby talk or loud booming voices. Silence is good but at minimum your normal voice. Less talking is better. 

Angle yourself so that you are not approaching straight on. And then stand still. Read the dog’s body language. 

If he doesn’t approach you, turns his back or his head, or trembling, barking, stiff or otherwise stressed / aroused. Leave him alone. 

Never force a greeting. Even a fearful dog will bite if he feels we aren’t listening or he has no other options 

If he approaches, let him sniff and give him a chance to walk away if he wants without you attempting to touch him. 

If he steps back, no petting. If he leans in, pet briefly from the side / along his side. Not his face. Not over his head. And not a hug/wrap. Keep it short with him having an exit route any time he wants it. 

Step back and away smoothly. Not quick movements. Ideally, let the guardian call the dog away.... but sadly not everyone has a good recall 😞

Dana Brigman