Do you know that most dogs do not want to bite you? With some notable exceptions, most dogs do all that they can to transmit that they want to be left alone before they bite.

Obviously, it’s always better to avoid the trauma of a dog-bite injury. Everyone — especially the parents of young children — should learn how to recognize typical canine behavior signals, including when they may be about to attack.

Check their eyes briefly

You never want to stare at a dog with motives of which you’re unsure in the eye, as that could be construed as a test of dominance. Also, friendly dogs have “soft” eyes that are often accompanied by widely “grinning” mouths and wagging tails. Dogs with ill intent have “hard” eyes that are sharply focused, erect, slowly-waving tails and closed or snarling mouths.

Ask before approaching

Teach you children to ask the dog’s owner if they can approach and pet their dog before doing so. Avoid dogs that are muzzled and never approach a service dog wearing its vest, as it is on the job for its owner.

Observe general body language

It’s easy to spot an aggressive dog. But many dogs are fear biters, and you and your child may be at more risk of being bitten by the quivering mass in the corner than the rowdy lab mix barreling around the dog park.

Don’t corner a fearful dog, as that is when it’s most likely to bite. Feeling constrained by a leash or a child’s arms may be what causes a frightened dog to lash out and leave you needing stitches.

Don’t become prey

On the food chain, dogs are both predators and scavengers, but to most dogs, anything that runs fast is prey. So as you go about your evening jog or cycle around your Green Bay neighborhood, you look like something that would be great fun to chase and knock down to many dogs.

Regardless of a dog’s intent, if it chases you and knocks you off your bike, you could have extensive injuries whether the dog ever bit you or not. Which, of course, is why there are municipal leash laws and premises liability laws in place to protect the victims who are injured by negligent pet owners’ dogs.