Dog bite prevention is something many of us don't think about until it's too late. Most dogs won't attack unless they feel threatened. They may be protecting their territory, their young or their food and some dogs are just naturally aggressive to strangers. Any dogs loose and on their own are best avoided, but when meeting a friend's dog for the first time, with a little common sense, all will go well.
Any dog can bite, even your own, if he is approached suddenly.
When meeting a dog for the first time, always let the dog come to you and give you a good sniff. It's his way of getting to know you. Speak quietly and reassuringly and don't make sudden movements. This will stop the feeling of stress in the dog and he'll be less likely to be aggressive.
He may sniff or lick your hand, he's tasting you but don't worry he's not thinking about eating you. Don't stare directly at a strange dog, he may take it as threatening behaviour.
Adapt a submissive posture if possible at first until the dog realises that you're a friend and mean him no harm.
Many children are bitten by strange dogs. They may run up to a strange dog and throw their arms around it. The dog sees this as a threat from a stranger and bites the nearest thing, usually the child's face. This is not necessarily the dog's fault, but could you live with a dog that had badly bitten a child? Many times this results in the dog having to be put down, but with a bit of supervision and common sense about dog bite prevention, all this heart ache can be avoided.
Teach children not to approach strange dogs unless they are accompanied by an adult. They just see the dog as a friend to be cuddled. Remember small children can be only as tall as a large dog and if the dog does attack the cosequences can be horrific.
Dog bite prevention is mainly common sense and the supervision of children. Put yourself in the dog's shoes and try to think about how you would like to be approached by a stranger for the first time. Perhaps you wouldn't want to lick him, but I'm sure you'd want to get to know him before he threw his arms around you.