More than 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs in the U.S. each year, and of those about 1 in 5 receive medical attention for their dog bite injuries. That's approximately 800,000 people each year seeking medical attention. Unfortunately, children are the most common victims of dog bites and are more likely to have severe injuries as a result of a dog bite or attack. Dog bites can be prevented, however, mostly with a little common sense and proactive measures from their owners.
Dogs often bite when they find themselves in a stressful situation, feeling the need to defend themselves or their territory. Therefore, socialization is a good way to help prevent a dog from biting. Introducing the dog to people and other animals while it's a puppy will make it more comfortable in these situations as it ages. Obedience training, regular exercise, and neutering or spaying the dog will also reduce bites. Be sure to obey leash and containment laws as well. By keeping your dog on a leash while in public and properly contained on your property, say by your kennel or fence, will keep your dog out of those potentially stressful situations that may cause it to bite or attack. Furthermore, simply paying attention to your dog, particularly its body language, can go a long way in preventing a bite. Just like people, dogs rely on posture, vocalizations, and body gestures to express themselves, and picking up on these clues in time can avoid that potential bite or attack.