5 Smart Ways to Prevent Dog Bites

National Dog Bite Prevention Week is May 18-24th. You may have seen the Care2 post last week about the little boy who was attacked by a dog when he was on his bike, but his cat came to the rescue and chased away the dog. The ASPCA predicts that 50 percent of children will be bitten before they turn 12-years-old.

According to the National Center for Injury Prevention and the Center for Disease Control, dog bites were the 11th leading cause of nonfatal injury to children ages 1 to 4, 9th for ages 5 to 9 and 11th for ages 10 to 14 from 2003 to 2012.

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) offers these dog bite facts:

  • Each year, more than 4.5 million people in the U.S. are bitten by dogs.
  • Almost 1 in 5 people bitten by dogs require medical attention.
  • Every year, more than 800,000 Americans receive medical attention for dog bites; at least half of them are children.
  • Children are, by far, the most common victims of dog bites and are far more likely to be severely injured.
  • Most dog bites affecting young children occur during everyday activities and while interacting with familiar dogs.
  • Senior citizens are the second most common dog bite victims.

Internationally renowned dog trainer Victoria Stilwell is a spokesperson for National Dog Bite Prevention Week. She says, “Most dog bites are preventable and are a perfect situation of circumstance, situation and environment. If we learn to understand dogs, learn their body language, and empower children with that knowledge, there will be less dog bites.” She offers these tips to help prevent dog bites:

1. Your dog needs to be well socialized.

2. Your dog needs to receive great, humane force-free education.

3. Teach your family how to be around your dog.

4. Teach visitors, including all children, how to be around your dog.

4. Give your dog plenty of exercise and mental stimulation.

5. Don’t judge a dog by his breed, instead observe his behavior.

The ASPCA suggests that you have your children recite the following pledges:

1. I will not stare into a dog’s eyes.
2. I will not tease dogs behind fences.
3. I will not go near dogs chained up in yards.
4. I will not touch a dog I see loose (off-leash) outside.
5. If I see a loose dog, I will tell an adult immediately.
6. I will not run and scream if a loose dog comes near me.
7. I will stand very still (like a tree), and will be very quiet if a dog comes near me.
8. I will not touch or play with a dog while he or she is eating.
9. I will not touch a dog when he or she is sleeping.
10. I will only pet a dog if I have received permission from the dog’s owner.
11. Then I will ask permission of the dog by letting him sniff my closed hand.

Top 10 Dog Training Tips

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Carrie-Anne Brown
Carrie-Anne B3 years ago

thanks for sharing :)

Anteater Ants
Anteater Ants3 years ago

We anteaters don't bite!

Janice Thompson
Janice Thompson3 years ago

Solid information.

Leia P.
Leia P3 years ago


Fi T.
Past Member 3 years ago

Respect and be polite to them like a human being

Ulane V.
Ulane V4 years ago

Good information for parents, as lot of children do not know how to be with dogs.

Meil Raine Martin
Meil Raine M4 years ago

I have 2 dogs at home and I am glad that no one was ever bitten by any of my dog. I think the way the owner raise the dog reflect to their personality. However, when it comes to visitors especially children, guidance and little briefing is a big help to avoid dog's tendency to attack them. Thank you so much for sharing this list. Great help..

Kevin Brown
Kevin Brown4 years ago

Well Alex, it is always nice to get an update from a rude, crazy, obsessed dog-hater. Thanks!

Alison A.
Alison A4 years ago


I think that everyone is right when they say that you should have had counseling as you have obviously been mentally scared from your experience, to the point where you cannot be objective. It is never too late to get help.

Alison A.
Alison A4 years ago

Hi Alex, I don't think that your "date-rate" example was a very good one, date-rape is most commonly accompanied with a drug which is normally put in a persons drink so they do not have a choice and as the person who put the drug in the drink is most likely the rapist, they are not an innocent frat boy, they are a person who has premeditated a rape; most people know, or at least should know that this is wrong and is a crime. No dog is aware that biting someone is a crime and could result in their death,

Even if you do not include a drug and a person has willingly accompanied another to their home, no means no and as if they are not in a relationship and have not established a 'safe word', this is rape and should not be justified with excuses of mixed signals. So whichever way you look at it, your comparison is not a comparable.

I CAN relate to you, I was bitten by a rottweiler/guard dog when I was 9 years old for trying to keep her away from my own small dog who she could have ripped to pieces. After the incident she hated me and tried to attack me at any chance she got, an easy solution was reached, she would be locked away whenever I had to be in the same vicinity, she was not killed for what she had done to me, nor punished for the fact that she didn't like me anymore, both of which I am glad for as I would not have liked that on my conscience.

I think that everyone is right when they say that you should have had counseling as you have obviously been mentally s