(with compliments from South African Companion Animal Council)


Unfortunately, even our favorite pets can sometimes bite. Here are some tips you can use to help prevent dog bites:

  • Never approach a dog that you don't know. Report stray dogs or dogs displaying unusual behavior.
  • Remain motionless when approached by an unfamiliar dog -- never run or scream.
  • Do not disturb a dog that is sleeping, eating, or caring for puppies.
  • If it appears that a dog is going to attack you, throw an article of clothing or something else at the dog that the dog can bite instead of biting you.
  • If a dog leaps at you, cover your head and neck. It is very important that you try to keep the dog away from your head and neck.
  • If knocked down by a dog, lie still and remain in a ball.
  • Do not play aggressive games with your dog; for example, wrestling.
  • Never try to separate fighting dogs.
  • If bitten by a dog, immediately report the bite.
  • Carefully choose your pet dog. Evaluate your environment and lifestyles and speak with a professional to determine the appropriate type of pet.
  • Dogs should be neutered or spayed to reduce aggressive tendencies.