How can I prevent a dog bite or attack?

Understand why dogs bite.

There are many reasons why a dog bites. Dogs bite out of fear or to protect their territory or to establish their dominance over the person bitten. Some owners mistakenly teach their dogs that biting is an acceptable form of play behavior. And every year a number of newborn infants die when they are bitten by dogs who see them as "prey."

What should I do as a parent?

Teach your children to avoid coming in contact with dogs that are unfamiliar or unknown.  Many incidents occur because a child believes a dog is friendly when in fact it is not.  But even known dogs can lash out unexpectedly.  Never scare or aggressively approach another person’s dog.  Always move cautiously until the dog feels comfortable around  you.  Always ask the owner about the dog before making contact with the animal.  Never assume a dog is friendly until you can confirm that fact with the dog’s owner.

What should I do as a dog owner?

Because dog bites occur for a variety of reasons, many components of responsible dog ownership, including proper socialization, supervision, humane training, sterilization, and safe confinement, are necessary to prevent biting. Dog owners should be responsible by making sure the animal is safe around people, especially children.  A dog should be tested for aggression.  Formal dog training is also worthwhile.  A competent dog trainer can determine whether the animal is too aggressive, or that certain precautions should be made when the animal is around other people.  Also, dog owners should always carry insurance.  Most homeowner policies will offer liability coverage for injuries or damages inflicted by your dog.