These expert tips could save you a nasty bite from a dangerous dog.

Earlier this month, Stephen Moroney, 68, from New Milton (pictured) was banned from owning dogs after his dog bit a labourer and a police officer - causing them both to attend hospital.

Nationally the picture does not look much better as a BBC investigation revealed that dog attacks recorded by police in England and Wales have risen by more than a third in the past five years.

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Dr Samantha Gains, Head of Companion Animals at the RSPCA said: "Dogs are only likely to become aggressive when they feel threatened themselves, therefore, attempting to remain calm without making any sudden movements is the best course of action.

"Any solid objects that can carefully be placed between yourself and the dog to create a barrier is also a good tip to remember.

"Do not make direct eye contact with the dog as that will also increase anxiety."

A spokesperson from the Dogs Trust added: "If you get knocked over by a dog, curl up into a foetal position, put your hands behind your neck and bring your knees up to your abdomen to protect your head, neck and stomach. Try to keep calm and still until help arrives."

They also added that any bites or incidents should be reported to your local authority dog warden and to the police on their non-emergency line (by calling 101).

In response to the recent incident in Southampton the Dogs Trust said: "Many people will know that it is against the law to let a dog be dangerously out of control anywhere in public. But this is also the case on private property, such as in your home.

"It’s vital that dog owners know how to spot the early warning signs that their dog is in distress before a situation escalates.

"This includes subtle changes in your dog’s body language such as their ears going back, tension in their body, or their tail tucked under are signals they are uncomfortable."