A few statistics to keep in mind…
There are 4.7 – 5.0 million bites per year nationwide
Approximately 384,000 people seek emergency attention and an additional 466,000 seek other medical attention
More than 50% of bites are on children under 12 years old
There are 10-20 fatalities annually
There are 330 – 400 reported dog bites in Rochester each year
Why do dogs bite?
While you may think that dogs bite as a result of aggressive behavior, it’s actually not the case. Dogs bites usually result from the following:
Sick or injured
Being cautious and alert around unfamiliar dogs will protect you and the dog. When you see a loose
dog, do not tease or taunt the dog. Avoid the dog and inform an adult. If necessary, call 911.
Even if you encounter a leashed dog, do not approach it or assume that the dog is playful or friendly. Be sure to allow a wide berth when walking, bicycling, or roller-blading by a dog and do not extend an open hand to the dog. Even if the owner is present and assures you that the dog doesn’t bite, be cautious, as all dogs can bite. Remember – don’t disturb a dog who is sleeping, eating, or with puppies.
Do’s and Don’ts when approached by unfamiliar dogs:
Stand still! Don’t run away. Walk slowly away from dog.
Don’t look directly in the dog’s eyes.
Use firm, confident commands.
Offer your bag, purse, or hat to dog, instead of your hand or body.
Offer your weak arm instead of dominant arm—do not pull away!
If you are knocked over, assume fetal position on you knees, and cover your face and neck.
If bitten, tell an adult, wash with soap and water, and seek medical attention.
Prevent your dog from biting through responsible ownership and parenting:
Socialize with other people and animals
Provide proper food, water, shelter
Play, but train dog to release on command
Obey leash laws
Spay or neuter your dog
Never leave children alone with dog