A nonprofit organization called Prevent the Bite offers tips for helping people, especially children, to avoid dog bites, based on the “W.A.I.T.” principal for approaching unfamiliar dogs:
- Wait to see if the dog is with its owner and if it looks friendly.
- Ask the owner for permission to pet a dog.
- Invite the dog to sniff you, while you stand with your hands curled at your side.
- Touch the dog gently to pet, never at its face or tail.
If the dog looks unfriendly; if its owner declines to let you touch the pet; or if it doesn’t approach to sniff you, stop and walk slowly away.
American Veterinary Medical Association dog bite prevention video:
*Source: AHRQ, Center for Delivery, Organization, and Markets, Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project, Nationwide Emergency Department Sample, 2008