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Recommendations to prevent dog bite attacks

As the U.S. Post Office released the latest statistics on mail carriers who receive dog bites, they also promoted National Dog Bite Prevention Week. They made several recommendations for both the owners of canines and for anyone at risk of an attack from a dog on how to avoid a dog bite that can help people from Wisconsin to Florida.

They suggested that dog owners take their canines through obedience training. Dogs can learn how to listen to their owners, and owners can learn effective techniques to manage their animals. Canine owners should understand that dogs are protective of their homes and loved ones. They respond to different triggers, so it is usually best to confine animals to another room or outside if the mail carrier comes to the door. If a dog has not been around other people or is left alone for a long time, it could easily begin biting people.

They also recommended several preventative measures to reduce dog attacks. An adult should watch babies and young children around canines. People should not run near canines they don't know. The dog could instinctively want to chase and attack the person. If someone feels threatened by a canine, they should not yell or raise their voice. They should look away from the dog and remain as still as possible. They should leave canines alone as they eat, sleep or look after their pups. They should not go near a dog they don't know. If they want to pet a dog, they should check with the owner first and let the dog see them and smell them prior to touching the animal. If a dog knocks a person over, they should position themselves into a ball and cover their face.

A pet owner is liable for any attacks by their animal, and this liability is often covered by home owner's insurance. In 2012, State Farm paid more than $136 million for dog bite claims. When a dog bites, its owner is responsible. Dog bite victims often sue for compensation for medical bills and pain and suffering.

Source: USPS.com, "Postal Service Releases Top Dog Attack City Rankings", May 15, 2013

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