Dog Bite Prevention

dog bite facts

  • Detroit dog bites have decreased by 30% over the last three years (of those that have been reported)
  • Approximately 86% of dog bites are from dogs with known owners
  • Over 60% of dog bites were due to dogs being off leash and free roaming, without being properly monitored by a responsible owner
  • Children, seniors, and people with decreased mobility are the most at risk for dog bites

prevention: be a responsible dog owner

When bringing a dog into your home:

  • Spay or neuter your dog--this often reduces aggressive tendencies
  • Properly train any dog entering your household. Training your dog is an activity the whole family should participate in. Every member of your household should learn proper training techniques and reinforce your dog's education
  • Socialize your dog. Get him or her used to a variety of people and situations
  • Make your dog a member of the family. Dogs who spend too much time alone (e.g., left outdoors for extended periods) may become stressed and dangerous
  • The first time your dog shows aggressive behavior toward anybody, even if no injury occurs, seek professional help from a trainer
  • Never leave infants or young children alone with a dog


The following rules will help keep everyone safe from dog bites:

  • Do not approach an unfamiliar dog
  • Do not disturb a dog who is sleeping, eating, or caring for puppies
  • Do not pet a dog without allowing the dog to see and sniff you first
  • Avoid direct eye contact with a dog
  • Do not run from a dog or scream
  • Remain motionless ("Be still like a tree.") when approached by an unfamiliar dog. Hold your hands up to your chest and look up at the sky
  • If knocked over by a dog, roll into a ball and lie still ("Be still like a boulder.")
  • Do not play with a dog unless supervised by an adult
  • If bitten, report to Detroit Animal Care and Control at (313) 224-7135 and seek medical assistance if the bite breaks skin
  • Immediately report stray dogs or dogs displaying unusual behavior to Detroit Animal Care and Control at (313) 224-6356


what to do if you are bitten by a dog

  • Report the bite RIGHT AWAY to Detroit Animal Care and Control at (313) 224-7135 or your local animal control agency.
  • Tell the animal control official everything you know about the dog, including owner's name and the address where the owner lives.
  • If the dog is a stray, tell the animal control official what the dog looks like, where you saw the dog, whether you've seen the dog before, and in which direction the dog went.

Facts and Safety tips have been compiled from the following sources: ASPCA, Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, Humane Society of the United States, Detroit Animal Care and Control, and Friends of Detroit Animal Care and Control.