When you think of dog bites you might think of the mailman. That's just a stereotype we have of otherwise well behaved dogs getting a little too aggressive  with an unfamiliar person in their territory.

The mailman is not the only person that needs to know the best way to avoid the heel nippers and the downright dangerous teeth of canine defending it's  place in the world. This is National Dog Bite Prevention Week and the ASPCA has some advice you and I on the best way to prevent what can be a very painful and costly experience.

Last year State Farm Insurance paid out over $1.5 million in dog bite associated claims. In Louisiana the city where the most dog bites take place is Baton Rouge. That put the capital city at number 27 in the national ranking with a reported 18 dog bite incidents. New Orleans  had a reported 15 dog bite related incidents. That put the Crescent City at number 30 on the list.

According to the SPCA some of the best advice they can give is to not put your dog in a compromising situation. If your dog isn't good with crowds, don't bring him out to  a crowded place. If you do, make sure that your dog is muzzled.

It's also important for strangers to ask permission to pet your dog. Many times a nip or serious bite can be prevented just by asking the owner if it's okay to pet the animal. Remember just because a dog bites doesn't necessarily meant it is a mean dog. The animal could have just been scared.

Remember most dog bites can be prevented and it's up to the owner and those that come in contact with the animal to realize that even the most gentle dogs can lash out if they are startled or afraid.