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How To Protect Yourself From Michigan Dog Bites

You might think that avoiding a dog bite is as simple as staying away from the hulking, barking pet next door. The truth is, discerning a safe situation from an unsafe situation is not as straightforward as it may seem. And while every scenario involving dogs is unique, there are several strategies individuals should use in each one of them to minimize their chances of being attacked.

Important Facts about Dog Bites

  • Most dog bites happen to children ages of 5-9. Boys are slightly more susceptible, statistically speaking.
  • Individuals bitten by a dog usually know the dog that bites them.
  • Most dog bites occur on the property where the dog lives.
  • Elderly individuals and children are less likely to perceive the signals a dog is sending them; increased care should be used.

Stay Away from Unfamiliar Dogs, Including:

  • Groups of dogs
  • An unsupervised dog
  • A dog roaming freely
  • An unleashed dog
  • A dog normally kept on a rope or chain
  • A dog that is mid-sized or larger

Always Exercise these Precautions:

  • Be on the lookout for potentially dangerous situations.
  • Assume that a dog who doesn’t know you–and even some that do–may see you as a threat.
  • Before petting someone else’s dog, ask the owner.
  • When petting a dog–even your own–let it see and sniff you first.
  • Let dogs sniff the back of your hand.
  • After receiving permission to pet a dog, pet under its chin or on its chest, not on top of its head.
  • Keep a respectable distance between your face and the teeth of a dog, even if it is the family pet. Especially important for children.
  • Remain calm in the presence of a dog and it will usually remain calm, too.
  • Do not scream, shout, run or swing your arms or feet around dogs.
  • Do not tease or annoy dogs.
  • Do not run past or from dogs; they innately love to chase.
  • Do not disturb dogs that are sleeping, eating, chewing on a toy or caring for puppies.

Children and Dogs

  • Children’s natural behaviors–including running, yelling and grabbing–put them at higher risk for dog bites.
  • Do not EVER leave a baby or small child alone with a dog, including the family pet.
  • Do not let a child play with a dog unless supervised by an adult.
  • Children should first ask their parent for permission to pet someone else’s dog, and then ask the owner for permission as well.
  • Shy or nervous dogs can become even more agitated by children.
  • Teach children from a young age to be careful around pets.
  • Children should know to report a dog bite to an adult immediately.

When a Dog Appears Threatening

  • Avoid eye contact.
  • Remain motionless with your hands at your sides and avoid eye contact with the dog.
  • If the dog approaches, stay still and let it sniff you.
  • Once the dog loses interest, still not making eye contact, slowly back away until it is out of sight.
  • Report stray dogs or dogs displaying unusual behavior to local authorities.

Defend Yourself from a Michigan Dog Attack

  • “Feed” it your coat, bag, bike or anything that you can put between you and the dog.
  • If you fall or are knocked to the ground, curl into a ball with your hands over your ears and remain motionless. Try not to scream or roll around.
  • Immediately report the attack to local authorities.


Bitten By A Dog In Michigan? Contact Us

Michigan dog bite attorney Mike Morse will answer your questions regarding liability in a Michigan dog bite case FOR FREE. Contact us today!