Dog Bite Prevention Ideas

The best way to avoid being injured in a dog bite attack is to take the proper steps to make sure that such an attack does not happen.  That may sound trite, but the reality is that preventative steps can save people from terrible injuries or even worse.  The California dog bite lawyers at the Dog Bite Law Group have been fighting for the rights of those injured in these attacks for some time now, and while we are always passionate about defending the rights of our clients, we are also people who love dogs as much as anyone else.

There are basically three categories of people who are related to dog bite attacks: dog owners, adults, and children.  We’d like to offer some ideas for each in hopes that somehow, these ideas will help people prevent dog bite attacks before they happen.  If you have been injured in this type of incident, please contact the firm as soon as possible to schedule a free consultation so we can evaluate your case.

Dog Bite Prevention Tips for Dog Owners

Of course, the legal responsibility for dog bites in California almost always falls on the dogs’ owners because they are in the best situation to prevent a dog bite attack from happening.  That’s simply how the law works, absent a few relatively rare exceptions.  As such, every dog owner should have the utmost interest in preventing attacks.  The American Veterinary Medicine Association, or AVMA, publishes guidelines to people who may be getting a dog that helps them minimize the chance that it will be involved in an unfortunate incident.  These recommendations include:

  • Select your dog carefully.  Do not make a dog an impulse purchase.
  • Socialize your puppy as soon and as much as possible so it’s comfortable around people and other dogs.
  • Learn what your dog’s body language means. Here is a comprehensive guide, courtesy of
  • Protect your dog from situations where it feels threatened, teased or defensive.
  • Spend whatever time is necessary to properly train your dog so that it understands basic commands.
  • Make sure you give your dog enough exercise every day so that it does not get pent up and act out.
  • Use a leash when walking the dog in public.
  • Keep your dog’s vaccinations up to date.
  • Spay or neuter your dog as soon as it’s advisable.
  • If your dog is going to be outside, secure the area with a fence or some other structure or measure.

Above all else, make sure that you supervise any interaction between your dog and others, particularly children.

Dog Bite Prevention Tips for Adults

There are several ideas to keep in mind to hopefully prevent any adult from suffering injuries in a dog bite attack.  Below are a few examples:

  • Never approach a strange dog.
  • If a strange dog approaches you, remain calm.
  • Do not try to make yourself big or imposing.  Instead, turn sideways to make yourself small.
  • Slowly back away from a dog that looks menacing with your arms folded.
  • Do not run – this will engage the dog’s chase instinct.
  • If the dog attacks anyway, try to “feed” it something, such as a purse, a jacket or a bag.
  • If it knocks you down, curl up into a ball and cover your head, face, and neck.

Perhaps the most important factor in these situations is remaining calm.  If you allow your fear to overtake your decision-making process, you could panic and things could escalate.

Dog Bite Prevention Tips for Children

Children should learn the same steps mentioned above for adults, but data reveals that the majority of dog bite attacks involving children also involve familiar dogs.  However, there are special rules for some children in personal injury cases, especially under the age of 5 years old. As a matter of law, children under the age of five are considered incapable of negligent acts, such as provoking a dog. The courts reason that children of that age are not legally capable of acting with reasonable care towards an animal. That said, The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, or ASPCA, has published some guidelines for protecting children from dog bites, and some of those recommendations appear below:

  • Do not approach a dog when it’s sleeping, eating, caring for puppies or chewing on a bone.
  • Do not approach a dog that’s barking or growling.
  • Always ask for the dog owner’s permission before petting an unfamiliar dog.
  • Do not put your face anywhere near the dog’s face at any time.
  • Do not try to hug or kiss the dog, as this could be misunderstood by the dog.
  • Do not come up from behind a dog or startle it in any way.
  • Do not tease, chase or otherwise harass a dog.  Remind children that these are not toys.

Generally speaking, the best way for a parent to try and avoid encountering dog bite problems is to do your best to watch your child constantly when he or she is near a dog and to provide regular feedback and guidance.  We know kids will be curious and be kids, that’s why we urge you to do what you can to the best of your ability. However, the ultimate dog responsibility falls on the owner or keeper, etc.

How California Dog Bite Lawyers Can Help

As we said, we hope that dog bite attacks stop occurring, but we know that obviously isn’t going to happen.  If you or someone you love has been harmed in this type of a situation, contact an Irvine Dog Bite Attorney at the Dog Bite Law Group as soon as possible to schedule a free initial consultation.