ST. LOUIS — Preventing Dog Bites from Brown & Crouppen:
“According to the CDC, 20% of all dog bites will require medical attention. The most common victims are children, and half of all dog bites happen at home with a dog the victim is familiar with.
In both Missouri and Illinois, a dog owner is strictly liable for damages if his dog injures somebody. With that in mind, here are some tips for preventing dog bites:
1. Remember that all dogs can bite. Even sweet, even tempered dogs can bite when they are under stress.
2. Good behavior begins with the dog owner. If you want a well behaved dog the biggest factor in determining that is by follow some good rules of dog ownership.
3. Educate your family. Children who understand how to act around dogs, how to play with dogs and when to leave dogs alone, will get bitten less.
4. Educate your dog. Train and socialize your dog. All dogs need at least some training, so if you aren’t confident in your abilities to train your dog, sign up for classes. And socialize with your dog so they are comfortable around people.
5. Don’t let children play unsupervised with a dog.
6. Spay or Neuter your dog. They will be healthier and have fewer behavioral problems. The vast majority of fatal dog attacks involved unneutered male dogs (87%).
7. Restrain your dog humanely. Comply with leash laws. Kennel your dog at home if you have strangers coming around. Do not mean chaining your dog in the yard. Chained dogs are more likely to bite, not less.
8. Keep your dog healthy. Dogs that are walked, exercised and well taken care of (regular trips to the veterinarian) are less likely to get sick, less likely to be aggressive and less likely to bite. Sick dogs can show aggressive behaviors.
9. If approached by an aggressive dog. Don’t run. Make big gestures, stomp your feet and make loud noises. Stand still with your arms crossed over your chest. And avoid eye contact with the dog. Dogs view this as aggression.”
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