First, don’t approach a dog that you don’t know. If it comes up to you, don’t run away and don’t make eye contact. Allowing the dog to sniff or approach makes it less likely to attack or be frightened.
One thing that makes dogs wary is when you approach from above or with fast motions. Allow a dog to get used to you and your presence before you try to pet it. When you do, crouch down and let the dog come to you.
Also avoid sneaking up on or petting a dog when it’s eating, caring for its puppies, or sleeping. Even pets can become aggravated if you’re bothering them during these tasks. If you’re very familiar with your pet’s behaviors, you may be able to do those things, but many dogs will be startled or annoyed.
Don’t leave kids with dogs while unsupervised. Even the most patient pet can reach its limit, and biting is common between mother or father dogs and their pups. Unfortunately, human skin is fragile, and a nip or bite can be a painful reminder of a pet’s ability to cause harm. If you or a loved one are bitten, seeking medical attention is important to avoid infection or disease. Our website has more on this topic and others, so you can learn about your legal options.