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Preventing dog bites

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About 4.7 million people are bitten by dogs each year in the U.S., with about one million people needing medical attention. Of that number, 750,000 dog bite victims are children and about twelve people die each year as a result of dog bites. Most victims of dog bites are bitten by familiar dogs ( their own dog, a neighbor's dog, or a friend's dog ) and not usually from stray dogs.

Most, if not all, breeds of dogs can be properly trained and socialized to be gentle and tolerant of others. Dogs should be trained to obey basic commands such as sit, stay, come and down. Unfortunately, not all dogs you encounter are properly trained and socialized.

What to do if you encounter what appears to be an aggressive dog? If the dog is being walked on a leash by its owner you can simply stay a safe distance away from the dog by crossing the street or by giving yourself plenty of space between you and the dog. However, if you encounter an aggressive dog that is unleashed and running free with no owner in sight, then there are some basic precautions you can take.

You should stand still and not make any sudden movements, as these movements may be interpreted as an attack by the dog.

Also do not make eye contact with the dog, as the dog will accept this as a challenge and act out accordingly.

Further, do not smile, because the dog may think you are " baring your teeth " which may be viewed as an invitation to fight.

Respect the aggressive dog's wishes; if he is barking and growling the dog is expressing his definite displeasure with your presence and actions. Barking and growling are warning signs that the dog will bite if it feels threatened.

As a last defensive measure, it is beneficial for you to carry a small canister of pepper spray whenever you are out for a walk, run or a bike ride. This could protect you if you encounter an aggressive dog but only use it when an attack is imminent and you need to fend off the dog.

In the event of an attack by a dog, keep your fingers in a fist and your arms and legs close to your body as this will help prevent the dog from grabbing your extremities and pulling you down.

If you have been bitten and attacked by a dog you should always seek medical attention, even if you only appear to have received minor scratches or bites to make sure the wounds are properly cleansed, bandaged and sutured if necessary by medical personnel.

If you have been a victim of a dog bite, please call The Nuebel Law Firm today at 407-703-5999 so that we may help and assist you.

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