Dog bites are more common than you would think. Children and senior citizens are the most common victims of dog bites. Dogs that bite may be any breed. Even well-socialized dogs can exhibit this behavior with certain people. There's no way to predict how a dog that you don't know will act. Dogs may bark, lunge and try to bite strangers out of aggression, fearfulness or protectiveness.
Here are some tips to help prevent dog bites:
Never approach a strange dog.
Dogs that are unleashed and wandering around on their own should be avoided completely. If you must go past a strange dog, walk slowly, don't make eye contact and give the dog a wide berth.
Be aware that leashed dogs accompanied by their owners may perceive you as a threat and act to protect their owner or territory. Never greet the dog before the person. Always ask the owner's permission to greet or touch his/her dog.
Fences are there for a reason. They keep a dog contained and keep people and other animals out. Do not approach a fence or try to pet a fenced-in dog.
Children don't always understand that some forms of play actually tease a dog. Their sudden movements may be perceived by the dog as threatening. Never leave babies or children unattended with a dog.
Avoid eye contact and swift movements. Stay calm. You may even pretend to yawn to show a strange dog that you "don't care".
If you are bitten by a dog, clean the wound with soap and water and seek medical treatment immediately. If the owner is available, obtain his/her contact information and proof of the dog's rabies vaccination.