Research shows that the majority of dog bites occur in the home, with owners or family members being bitten by their own dog. It is important that a puppy that is exhibiting characteristics of aggressive behaviour, including biting, is professionally assessed so that behaviour therapy can be instigated early on. An older dog that suddenly bites a family member should be thoroughly examined by a veterinarian. The pet may be in pain, feeling unwell, or even suffering from a brain lesion that has caused this sudden change in behaviour. Children should be taught how to interact with family dogs, and to treat them kindly. It is also important that the dogs learn to accept the authority of children in the family, which requires patient training (of both dog and child). When meeting an unknown dog, there are signs that might indicate the dog is dangerous, and may attack and bite you. Warning signs to watch for in the dog include: – Standing with the muscles tensed and head low. – Raised hair along the back. – Staring with dilated pupils. – Ears flat back. – Growling with the teeth bared. A dog showing these signals is going into a sequence of events that may culminate in an attack, especially if it receives the wrong signals from you. The animal is in a state of high excitement, and you need to try and diffuse the situation: – Remain calm and quiet. – Do not make any sudden movements, run or yell. – Avoid direct eye contact with the dog. – If the dog does confront you or knock you to the ground, protect your face with your arms, but remain motionless and quiet if at all possible. Children are more likely to elicit canine aggression, as they move quickly, and may appear uncoordinated. A dog may misinterpret shrill squealing as sounds and signals given by prey. Children should be taught not to approach dogs that they do not know in the street, and to always ask the owner before touching a dog on a lead.