Dog bite prevention

Woman with dog

Nearly 90 million nice dogs… but any dog can bite

Any dog can bite: big or small, male or female, young or old. Even the cuddliest, fuzziest, sweetest pet can bite if provoked. Remember, it is not a dog's breed that determines whether it will bite, but rather the dog's individual history and behavior.

From nips to full-blown attacks, dog bites are a serious problem. Hundreds of thousands of people in the United States seek medical attention for dog bites each year. The number of recorded dog bite injuries is significantly higher in children than adults. The elderly and home service providers such as mail carriers and meter readers are also high on the list of frequent dog bite victims.

Fortunately, there are several things we can do to prevent dog bites.

Why do dogs bite?

Dogs bite for a variety of reasons, but most commonly as a reaction to something. If the dog finds itself in a stressful situation, it may bite to defend itself or its territory. Dogs can bite because they are scared or have been startled. They can bite because they feel threatened. They can bite to protect something that is valuable to them, like their puppies, their food or a toy.

Dogs might bite because they aren't feeling well. They could be sick or sore due to injury or illness and might want to be left alone. Dogs also might nip and bite during play. Even though nipping during play might be fun for the dog, it can be dangerous for people. It's a good idea to avoid wrestling or playing tug-of-war with your dog. These types of activities can make your dog overly excited, which may lead to a nip or a bite.

National Dog Bite Prevention Week®: April 713, 2024

National Dog Bite Prevention Week® takes place during the second full week of April each year, and focuses on educating people about preventing dog bites. Read up on dog bite prevention tips, and use the #PreventDogBites hashtag to share dog bite prevention information durnig the week.

National Dog Bite Prevention Week® is a project of the National Dog Bite Prevention Week® Coalition.​​​

Jimmy the Dog: Videos to help prevent dog bites

This collection of videos is an engaging way to learn and share information about preventing dog bites.

See the whole playlist on YouTube