Being approached by an aggressive dog is not uncommon for physically active people who walk, run, or bicycle on the road. Most responsible dog owners keep their dogs leashed or confined within a physical or electronic fence. However, some owners fail to confine or restrain their dogs either because of a naive belief that their pets will not harm anyone or because of negligence.
When an aggressive dog approaches you, your next actions can mean the difference between getting attacked or continuing on your way after the dog has lost interest. Here are three tips on what to do:
- Stay calm and do not run. Dogs are faster sprinters than people. Running away will trigger their predatory instincts that all dogs have. Instead, stay calm and stand still. If you are a runner, you will have to stop running. If you are a bicyclist and you are going uphill, get off your bike and place it between yourself and the dog. If the dog is approaching from a lengthy distance and you are going downhill, you can out run it by going into a higher gear. Without the advantage of a long head start and a downhill slope, many dogs are capable of catching up with you.
- Avoid direct eye contact. Direct eye contact will be seen as a challenge. Avert your gaze and keep track of the dog from the side of your vision. Position your body so that you are standing sideways to the animal. Fold your arms and curl your fingers into fists. This denies the dog access to your arms and fingers. Avoid smiling because this will be mistaken as baring your teeth.
- Stay still. Remain motionless, quiet, and stand sideways with an averted gaze. For the dog, this is an uninteresting stand-off. You are neither challenging it nor acting like prey. After the dog loses interest, slowly back away.
Bring some dog treats with you on your outdoor excursions. When a dog approaches, you can toss it away from yourself but not directly at the dog. Many dogs will be more interested in consuming the treat than bothering you.
If you are attacked and injured by another’s dog, there is no reason you should pay for the medical bills yourself. Get in touch with an experienced personal injury attorney. For a free consultation, contact us today.