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How can I avoid getting bitten by a dog?

Do you go on a run every morning and worry about getting bitten by a dog? New Jersey runners and bicyclists are especially at risk of dog attacks. Dogs love a moving target and if they think you're in their space, they could attack.

Although the owners of attacking dogs will likely be financially liable to pay for your medical care and other damages caused by their dogs, it's much preferable to avoid such an accident in the first place.

3 things to avoid when an unfamiliar dog is present

First, you want to respect the dog's space. Don't get too close to a dog you don't know, especially if the dog is confined or tied down to something. Also, no matter how cute and friendly the dog looks, don't pet the animal before it can sniff you.

Second, let sleeping dogs lie. If the dog is busy with something -- be it chewing a toy, eating or sleeping -- don't bother the animal, as it could snap.

Third, if the dog is showing any signs of aggression, by all means don't touch it. You'll have the best chance of avoiding injury if you back away from the dog while facing it.

Body language clues to be aware of

If a dog is about to attack, you can usually tell by its body language clues. Here are some signs that dog may be about to attack you:

-- A tail that is stiffened

-- Rolled back eyes so you can see the whites

-- A tense body posture

-- Ears that have been pulled back

-- An intense stare from the dog

-- A dog that is backing away from you

The worst thing to do if you encounter a dog like this on a run is to turn your back to the animal and run away. Dogs may instinctively decide to chase and attack you. Instead, it's best to keep your eyes on the dog as you move away from the animal, so it knows you're watching it.

Did you get bitten by a dog?

Even if you followed all of the above advice, you could still get bitten by a dog while on your run. If this happened to you, a personal injury lawyer can help you pursue a lawsuit against the dog owner, to hold the owner financially liable for the costs of your medical care and other damages.

Source: Nov. 30, -0001

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