Every year thousands of people are attacked by dogs. Whether you know the dog or the dog is unfamiliar there are precautions you should take when confronted by an aggressive dog.
Always keep a safe distance between yourself and dogs being walked on a leash. Ask the owner’s permission before approaching a dog, on a leash or in a yard. While the dog may appear to be mild manner, it is always safest to ask the owner first.
Never approach a dog that is barking, snarling, sleeping, eating, chewing on a toy or caring for puppies. A started dog becomes nervous and may bite.
Here are a few tips you may use to try and avoid a dog attack:
- Do not stare the dog in the eyes. If the dog has a “dominant” nature this could trigger an attack.
- Do not run away from the dog. Turn sideways and slowly withdraw. You can’t outrun the dog, not even an Olympic sprinter could! The dog may consider you prey if you start running.
- Put an object such as a tree, post or bench between you and the dog.
- Speak softly and gently to calm the dog, “Good dog, it’s okay, go home.”
- Stand still or maintain a constant slow pace out of the dog’s territory.
- If you fall or are knocked to the ground, curl into a ball with your hands over your ears and remain motionless. Try not to scream or roll around.
- If you are wearing a jacket or carrying a purse try to get that object into the dog’s mouth.
- If the dog does bite you don’t pull away or fight the dog. This will only increase the dogs mood to fight and bring home his “prey.” It may also cause any puncture wounds to tear.
If you are able after an attack, immediately contact the authorities. They will send out animal control who will try to locate and catch the dog. It is important that the dog be checked for rabies. If they are unable to verify if the dog is rabid, you may have to undergo treatment for rabies.