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Avoiding Dog Bites
Submitted by: Jim Tyyska (a.k.a LawnElf)
Every year many children are bitten by dogs. Most of these incidents can be avoided by teaching your children a few simple rules, and it is never too soon to teach them. Dogs are by nature a pack animal, and their behavior is dictated by this.

Never try to pet a dog inside a fenced in yard, on a chain, or in a parked car. Dogs are very protective animals and will guard their "turf". This includes food, toys, etc.

Always ask permission from the owner before trying to pet a dog. When petting a dog, always approach with your hand out, palm up. Allow the dog to sniff your hand first, and never pet the dog on the top of the head - this is a sign of dominance, and should only be done with your own pet.

Avoid eye contact. Dogs consider staring a challenge and may attack.

If you are chased by a dog, do not run. Stand still and quiet with your arms at your sides. A dog's natural instinct is to chase someone that is running.

Never approach an injured dog. They are likely to be frightened, and therefore more defensive.

Never try to separate 2 dogs that are fighting, Even if they are your own dogs, during their fighting they may not realize it is you.

Don't trust appearances; just because a dog is "cute" or even wagging it's tail doesn't mean it won;t bite.

Sometimes, a dog will exhibit signs that it is going to attack - a curled lip, a growl, raised hackles (the hair on the top of the neck and shoulders). If this occurs, it is safest to redirect your eyes from the dog, such as to its side or feet, and slowly back away.

Following these rules will greatly reduce the risk of a dog bite to you and your child.

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