The Humane Society of the United
States and the United States Postal Service offer the following common
sense tips on preventing dog bites and, as a sort of worst case
scenario, what's best to do if you're attacked.
- Never approach a strange dog, especially one who's
tied up or confined behind a fence or in a car.
- Don't pet a dog, even your own, without letting him
or her see and sniff you first.
- Never turn your back to a dog and run away. A dog's
natural instinct is to chase and catch fleeing prey.
- Don't disturb a dog while he or she is sleeping,
eating, chewing on a toy, or caring for puppies.
- Be cautious around strange dogs. Always assume that
a dog who doesn't know you may see you as an intruder or as a threat.
If attacked by a dog...
- Never scream and run. Remain motionless, hands at
your sides, and avoid eye contact with the dog.
- Remain motionless with your hands at your sides
until the dog loses interest in you, then slowly back away until he or
she is out of site.
- If the dog does attack, "feed" him or her
your jacket, purse, or anything that you can put between yourself and
- If you fall or are knocked to the ground, curl into
a ball with your hands over your ears and remain motionless. Try not to
scream or roll around.