Preventing Dog Attacks from Canine Aggression

Knowing some basic guidelines for the prevention of dog attacks from canine aggression can keep you from being injured and may even save your life. Unfortunately, in a dog attack situation, your first instinct may be to shout or run away. This response will cause the situation to escalate and become even more dangerous. Staying calm and keeping your movements slow are the best tactics for getting away safely.

Avoid Confrontation

If you have encountered a dog that is displaying threatening behaviors associated with canine aggression such as staring, erect tail and ears, stiff body, barking, growling or teeth baring, the first thing you should do is freeze. Do not move and avoid eye contact with the dog. Do not speak to the dog. Take this opportunity to evaluate your surroundings and become aware of items you may need to pick up or possible places to escape to should the dog continue to advance in spite of your non-confrontational body language.

Find a Barrier

If the dog is either advancing towards you or holding his ground, try to get a barrier between you and the dog. If you have an umbrella with you, you may open it and back away from the dog to get to a place of safety. If there is a gate or other object the you can get between you and the aggressive dog, move towards it as calmly and slowly as possible.

Climb to Safety

Another tactic you may take to prevent a dog attack is to climb up on top of a car or other object that will get you out of the dog's reach until help arrives.

When a Dog Attack Is Imminent

Most dogs will not pursue a person that is not running or behaving in a threatening manner. In some cases of canine aggression, however, the dog feels threatened by the mere presence of a human and will continue with an attack in spite of avoidance tactics. In this instance, keep in mind that a dog will bite at whatever is near his mouth. Place a backpack, jacket or heavy stick in front of his face for him to bite instead of you. If the dog has managed to knock you down, pull your knees to your chest and roll into a tight ball. Place your hands on the back of your neck and interlock your fingers to protect this vital part of your body.

If You Are Attacked with Your Dog

If you are attacked while walking your dog, let go of his leash. He will be more able to escape or defend himself if you are not pulling on him. Do not try to grab either dog if a fight happens. This may result in an escalation of the fight as your dog tries to protect you as well as himself. Interfering in a dog fight will most likely cause you to get bitten. If you have a small breed dog, you may tuck him underneath you if the situation calls for curling up into a ball.