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Why you should never run from an aggressive dog and other tips

Dog bites can be very serious, especially if they are deep and get infected. In the case of children, dog attacks can be fatal; an adult is most likely to get bitten on the arm or leg, while a child may get bitten on the neck or the face. Because of the severe ramifications of an attack, everyone should know what to do when an aggressive dog approaches, to help them avoid getting bitten in the first place.

These tips can help you stay safe

The first thing you need to know is that you shouldn’t run from the dog. Prey drive is triggered by motion. This means that running makes it more likely that the dog will chase and attack. Plus, there is no real benefit. The dog is going to be faster than you, so, if it wants to catch you, it will. Here are a few more helpful tips:

  • Avoid eye contact, which dogs can take as a challenge or an act of aggression.
  • Keep your hands in close to your body and turn sideways. You want to look as non-threatening as possible.
  • Remember that the dog may be charging because you surprised it — this is very common — so your focus should be on showing that you are not a threat and getting the dog to calm down.
  • If you stop moving and the dog stops charging, you can slowly back away. Many dogs are protecting their territory, and so leaving that territory can deescalate the situation.
  • If you’re carrying anything and the dog lunges, try to give that item to the dog. For instance, it may rip your purse away and throw it in the yard, but that could give you the moment you need to slip away. Items can be replaced.

Of course, knowing how to react does not guarantee that you can avoid a bite. These things happen fast. Your instincts may take over and you could scream or run. These are not the “right” reactions, but that still does not mean in any way that the bite is your fault. You may be able to seek financial compensation from the dog’s owners.

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