spcaLA: Friends for Life

Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Los Angeles, since 1877

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Pets of the Week

Gardenia the Chihuahua MixTalia Mae the Domestic Short Hair

Jul 28–Aug 3

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Resources » Pet Library

Dog Bite Prevention

A bit of prevention will help reduce the risk of injury, expense, and heartache due to dog bites.

How should I meet an owned dog?

What clues will a dog give me about whether or not I can pet him?

  • GREEN LIGHT
    • Ears are pricked, but relaxed;
    • Body and tail are relaxed;
    • Mouth is relaxed into a smile;
    • Body is in “play bow” position;
    • Tail and eyes are relaxed (or tail is possibly wiggly).
  • RED LIGHT
    • Back is hunched, he’s cowering, or he is close to the ground;
    • Ears are pricked and forward;
    • Body is tense and forward;
    • Eyes are glared;
    • Teeth are bared;
    • Expression is worried;
    • Or, if he’s sleeping or eating, playing with a toy or chew, or caring for her puppies.

What should I do if I see a stray dog?

What should I do if a dog approaches me aggressively?  GO BIG!

What if a dog jumps on me and knocks me to the ground? BECOME A ROCK!

What do I do if a dog bites?

Behavior and Training Department

If you would like more information on training or have a behavior question you can email the Behavior and Training Department at training@spcaLA.com or call the Behavior Helpline at (888) 772-2521, ext 260.