Tag Archives: surviving

Man’s Best Friend Part 2 – Surviving an Attack

Photo courtesy of William Potter and Flickr

In my last safety tip I blogged about how to avoid a dog attack. Unfortunately, animals are unpredictable and implementing those techniques may not always work. Which leads to today’s topic of surviving an attack. Remember, any dog – even a normally friendly one – can become aggressive if it feels it or its “pack” is threatened. A vicious attack can mean serious injury for you or even death. WARNING! I am not an expert on dogs. Heck, I don’t even own one (I have two cats). This is merely a compilation of the information I’ve collected while researching dogs for my current WIP.

  • If you have pepper spray, use it! Aim for the nose and eyes. Unfortunately pepper spray may not work on all dogs.
  • A kick to the head or ribs should stop most small dog attacks.
  • If attacked by a large dog, take a fighting stance and remain standing. If you have no weapons to improvise (a walking stick, a purse, an umbrella, etc.) use your foot, but keep your balance. Fighting a dog on the ground puts you at risk for bites to the face, neck and vital areas. If you do wind up on the ground, curl into the fetal position and cover your ears and the back of your neck with your hands and arms.
  • Find a barrier to place between you and the animal’s teeth (a fence would be good here) like a bicycle, a stick, or a jacket wrapped around your arm. This barrier may not be ideal, however, it gives you the ability to fight with your other arm and both legs.
  • Many dogs will instinctively grab hold of your arm and hold on. As tempting as it is, don’t pull your arm away. You’ll only assist the animal in ripping it. Instead, try forcing your arm into its mouth. This may cause the dog to choke and release your arm. It could also cause pain and damage its jaw. If you have an improvised weapon like a stick, you could try shoving that down its throat choking it until it gives up your arm.
  • If nothing is working, try going for the eyes, punching the nose, or twisting and pulling the ears. As with any other self-defense scenario, keep fighting until there is no longer a threat or you can no longer fight.

If you have any other tips or thoughts on surviving a dog attack, please share them in the comment section.


~KM Fawcett