How to Avoid Dog Bites
Under Pennsylvania law, dog owners have a responsibility to keep their dogs under control. When a dog is not under control and bites a person – whether an adult or child – the injury can be very painful and cause injuries that range from simple bruising to tissue damage, broken bones, and scarring. If you or a loved one has suffered from a dog bite, after seeking medical attention, be sure to consult with an experienced dog bite attorney at Hal Waldman & Associates before speaking with the dog’s owner or any insurance company.
There are a number of tips that dog trainers recommend to avoid being bitten in the first place.
Tips for petting a dog
- Always ask permission before petting a dog. Be sure that your children understand this rule as well.
- After receiving permission to pet a dog, offer your hand (but with the fingers closed in a fist) for the dog to smell. In part, this prevents the dog from nipping the fingers.
- Once the dog has smelled the hand, gently pet the dog.
Extra caution in certain circumstances
- If a dog is with its puppies, exercise additional heightened caution. Mother dogs are highly protective of their puppies.
- Dogs that are sick or injured may be more inclined to bite or act aggressively.
- Some older dogs may also be more likely to bite or act aggressively.
Dogs are territorial
Dogs are highly territorial. They guard their ground (say, a backyard) as well as the fence or other enclosures. We strongly recommend that you do not touch the fence enclosing a dog or play with its toys or other property located on the land.
How to react to a runaway dog
If you or your children are approached by a dog that has escaped its enclosure or leash, do not act in an excited fashion, run away, or yell or speak loudly. Dog trainers recommend that you simply stand still, with your arms crossed across your chest. Also, dog trainers recommend avoiding eye contact with the dog.
How to tell if a dog might be about to bite
- The dog is barking, snarling or growling
- The dog appears stiff, tense or rigid
- The dog is baring its teeth
- Depending on the dog’s breed, its ears have changed position
- The dog’s hair on its spine is standing up
How to react if you sense that a dog is about to bite
If you sense that an approaching dog is about to bite you, take something you are holding (even something in your pockets) and throw it away from you. As the dog chases the object, slowly turn away from the dog and walk in the opposite direction.
Call a trusted attorney if you have a dog bite injury
The law firm of Hal Waldman & Associates hopes that you and your loved ones are never the victim of a dog bite injury. We have been helping people injured by dog bites for more than 30 years. Call us at (412) 338-1000 or email us for a quick consultation so that we can quickly help you determine if you would benefit from legal counsel. The call is free and puts you under no obligation. We want to help you!