Man’s “Best Friend” Part 1 – Avoiding an Attack

While researching canine behavior for my work in progress, I came across some information on how to survive a dog attack.  This isn’t something I’ve given much thought to before even though I used to be a competitive runner and had a few come after me on the roads.  None did anything more than bark and give chase until I stopped and yelled at it to go home.  The one time I was bitten by a dog was in my friend’s home.  I think she (the dog) was jealous I spent too much time with her owner.  As he and I were walking out the door together, she chomped down on my calf.  I’m wincing, remembering the pain.

Apparently, I wasn’t alone in my suffering as more than 4 million people are bitten by dogs each year according to the Cellino & Barnes, Personal Injury Attorneys website. They state as many as one million people nationwide require medical treatment for dog bites every year.  More than 334,000 victims end up in the emergency room.  More than half of all the animal attack victims are children.

Below are some tips compiled from researching various sites to help you avoid a dog attack.  Feel free to share more tips in the comments section.

  • Don’t stare an aggressive dog in the eyes.  Eye contact to a dog may be seen as a threat or challenge.
  • Stay calm.  A dog may attack if it thinks you want to fight or thinks you are weak.
  • If you are jogging, stop and walk by the dog, avoiding eye contact and sudden movement.
  • Try commanding the dog to Sit, Stay or Go Home.
  • Keep your hands down at your sides and avoid making any sudden movements.
  • Don’t smile. Bared teeth may signify aggression to a dog.
  • Don’t turn your back on the dog. Canines often take that as a sign of weakness or an opening to attack.
  • Don’t run.  It will excite the dog to chase you.

Look for Man’s “Best Friend” Part II – Surviving an Attack in upcoming safety tips.

~KM Fawcett

2 responses to “Man’s “Best Friend” Part 1 – Avoiding an Attack

  1. I think these are great tips for everyone especially children. With the school year back in swing many children find themselves walking home from school or the bus stop alone.

    I had the experience of getting off the bus and encountering a stray dog. I’m sure he was as frightened as I, but I didn’t know what to do. I managed to get to a house near the bus stop, but no one was home. It wasn’t until a good samaritan drove by and saw my predicament that I got past the dog.

    Thanks for advice! I’ll be sure to pass it on.

  2. Pingback: Man’s “Best Friend” Part II – Surviving an Attack | Attacking the Page

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