You’re out for an evening run when you suddenly find yourself facing off with a dangerous dog. Maybe it’s growling and baring its teeth at you. Maybe it’s barking and running out of an unfenced yard, clearly unrestrained and about to attack.
At that moment, you may not be sure how to react. People often react in an instinctual manner that isn’t safe, and they actually end up making their situation much worse. The following tips can help you as you try to lower the odds of suffering a serious bite and the significant injuries that can result from an attack.
Do not yell or scream
Staying calm is key, as yelling or screaming will often just rile a dog up even more. It may think that you are being aggressive or trying to intimidate it. Dogs also feed off of the energy they see being presented to them. If you stay calm and collected, this can help to lower the dog’s energy level so that it doesn’t attack. Some experts say it is best, if you can, to ignore the dog completely.
Make yourself a small target
Don’t run away, which can also trigger a dog’s chase response. Instead, just turn sideways and draw your hands in close to your body. Try to make yourself look like a small and unintimidating target. Don’t make eye contact with the dog, but also refrain from turning so far that you turn your back on it. These changes in your posture can often get the dog to stop charging.
Make your escape
Finally, you’ll want to start making your escape from the situation, but do it by backing away, not running. Additionally, if there is anything you can put between you and the dog, this can also help to defuse the situation. This could be as simple as backing away by moving around a car or a trashcan on the street, or you could give the dog something that you’re holding, such as your coat.
Unfortunately, you can still be bitten by a dog, even if you take all the right steps and react properly. If this situation results in serious injuries, such as scarring or infections, then you’ll want to speak with a legal professional so that you can seek financial compensation.