There are few things more intimidating than being faced with an aggressive dog. Despite this being a relatively rare occurrence, it can happen.
Approximately 4.5 million people are attacked by dogs every year in the U.S. and some of these attacks result in severe injuries. Your instinct may be to run if you find yourself in this situation, but that could make matters worse.
Here’s why running from an aggressive dog isn’t the answer.
They can outrun you
Greyhounds can run at an impressive speed of up to 72 km/h, with German Shepherds being able to get up to speeds of 48 km/h. Even slower dogs can hit impressive speeds, with the average running speed of canines being 30 km/h. These speeds far exceed the speeds that humans can generate on foot.
Put simply, you have next to no chance of outrunning a dog of any description, so running isn’t an available option unless you can immediately get through a door or sealed fence.
Their instinct is to chase
Dogs have an inherent instinct to chase their prey. If you run when faced with a potentially aggressive dog, you may just heighten these instincts and make the situation worse.
What can you do?
While it may seem counterintuitive, it’s much safer to stand your ground. This doesn’t mean approaching the dog or acting aggressively yourself, but if you pause, there’s a chance the dog may calm down. Many dog behaviorists suggest standing still with your arms by your side until the dog has calmed down and ceased viewing you as a potential threat. Then, you may find yourself able to back away very slowly and get to safety.
Dog bites can cause severe injuries and they can even be fatal. If you’ve been attacked, hold the owner to account by exploring your personal injury claim options.