Common Canine Etiquette – Dog Bite Prevention

Springtime weather is often the first excuse all year to get outside, get walking, and be active! This includes dogs and dogwalkers and owners. And while you may want to jog up and pet a friendly-looking dog right away, you should know that this may lead to a bite or serious injury. Because we can’t know exactly what our furry friends are thinking before we approach, its important to practice some caution when approaching canines. Here are some tips to help you prevent dog bites this spring:


  • Always ask if it is okay to pet someone else’s dog before reaching out to pet the dog.
  • When approached by an unfamiliar dog, remain motionless (“be still like a tree”).
  • If a dog knocks you over, curl into a ball with your head tucked and your hands over your ears and neck.
  • Immediately let an adult know about any stray dogs or dogs that are behaving strangely.


  • Don’t approach an unfamiliar dog.
  • Don’t run from a dog.
  • Don’t panic or make loud noises.
  • Don’t disturb a dog that is sleeping, eating, or caring for puppies.
  • Don’t pet a dog without allowing it to see and sniff you first.
  • Don’t encourage your dog to play aggressively.
  • Don’t let small children play with a dog unsupervised.

What to do if an unfamiliar dog approaches you and you do not want to interact with it:

  • Stop! Stay still and be calm.
  • Do not panic or make loud noises.
  • Avoid direct eye contact with the dog.
  • Say “No” or “Go Home” in a firm, deep voice.
  • Stand with the side of your body facing the dog. Facing a dog directly can appear aggressive to the dog. Instead, keep your body turned partially or completely to the side.
  • Slowly raise your hands to your neck, with your elbows in.
  • Wait for the dog to pass or slowly back away.

If you are attacked by a dog and call animal control, tell the animal control official everything you know about the dog, including his owner’s name and the address where they live. If the dog is a stray, tell the animal control official what the dog looks like, where you saw him, whether you’ve seen him before and in which direction he went.

The Richmond, Virginia personal injury lawyers of Collier & Collier, P.C. will take the right action to make sure you receive all of the compensation to which you are entitled. You may be entitled to payment for medical costs, property damage, lost wages, cost of rehabilitation, permanent injuries, physical pain, and emotional suffering. You can call Collier & Collier P.C. at 877.825.0543 for an experienced personal injury lawyer.