A dog attack can happen to anybody . Just because an animal is domesticated doesn’t mean that they aren’t capable of attacking another animal, or more importantly, a person, any person at any time and for any reason. A very important thing to remember about dogs in general is that even the tiny breeds can be killers. It may seem silly, but it is quite true.
If you believe that only larger dogs can cause fatal injuries, it’s time to reconsider your assumption. While it is true that larger breeds are often responsible for reported dog attack fatalities, it would be a mistake to underestimate smaller breeds. Tragically, most fatalities occur among two vulnerable groups: children and the elderly. In the United States between 1979 and 1996, there were approximately 304 deaths resulting from dog attacks, involving around 30 different breeds. Unfortunately, it appears that these attacks are increasing in the UK as well.
However, you don’t have to become a statistic. This guide presents potentially life-saving tips in the event that you or someone you care about encounters such an unfortunate situation. I strongly encourage you to share this valuable information with your loved ones – your children, spouse, parents, grandparents, and friends. Life is incredibly unpredictable, and we never know what may happen. A dog can launch an attack in the blink of an eye, forever altering the course of your life.
Naturally, there is no foolproof assurance that these tips will completely prevent a dog attack or eliminate the risk of a potential fatality. However, it is always wise to be equipped with knowledge that could potentially alter the outcome and better prepare yourself.
All the tips and recommendations provided in this guide are applicable in various dog attack scenarios, including those involving your own family pet. It is important to recognize that, both in reality and according to statistical data, the majority of dog attacks (77%) occur within or in close proximity to the home of the dog or dogs involved.
So, by familiarizing yourself with these valuable insights and adopting the suggested measures, you can significantly enhance your preparedness and increase your chances of minimizing the impact of a dog attack.
NEVER ASSUME ANYTHING ABOUT A DOG!
It is of utmost importance to understand that you should never make assumptions about a dog’s demeanor solely based on its appearance or breed. Even if a dog is wagging its tail, it does not automatically imply that it wants you to approach and touch it. Regardless of the breed, all dogs are fundamentally animals and possess innate instincts that can influence their behavior. However, unless you possess the extraordinary ability to communicate with dogs telepathically, it is unwise to make assumptions about their intentions solely based on their appearance or actions.
Similar to encountering a unfamiliar person, a strange dog should be approached with caution, regardless of its friendly appearance. Just as you are a stranger to the dog, it is also unfamiliar with you, and unpredictable events can occur in such situations. It is crucial never to approach a dog you don’t know, even if it appears to be amiable.
This rule becomes doubly important when it comes to family pets. Although most pets can be trusted, certain circumstances can trigger unexpected and uncharacteristic behavior. Even if you have had your family dog for many years and it has always been well-behaved, it doesn’t guarantee that it won’t exhibit aggressive behavior. Factors like pain or discomfort can potentially trigger such reactions. Respecting your dog’s personal space is always essential. Avoid disturbing your dog while it is sleeping and ensure that your children do not come near the dog while it is eating.
It is important to be aware of your dog’s body language. If your dog displays warning signs like growling, lip-licking, avoiding eye contact, snarling, ears pulled back or to the side, tail tucked, or moving away, it is crucial to give your dog space. By recognizing and respecting these signals, you can prevent or handle situations that may lead to aggressive behavior, thereby reducing the likelihood of bites.
If You Or Your Children Have Friends Or Family Coming Over, Secure Your Pet In An Area Where They Can Have Their Own Space, Away From The Visitors.
Whether this is inside the house in a special room, like a home office, or a bedroom, or even better a dog crate. It is in everybody’s best interests, (including your dogs) to put the dog in a safe space if other strange children are coming to your home to play or visitors that your dog is not familiar with. Just because your children know how to behave around your dog doesn’t mean other children will. And just because your dog is good with your children doesn’t mean he will like someone else’s. This is the same for anyone entering your home or garden that your dog does not know.
Always Supervise Family Pets And Children
This may be obvious, but some people feel that their children are safe at all times with the family dog. It simply isn’t true. Anything can happen. And if you’re not there to see for yourself what did occur, you won’t know what triggered this attack, no matter how minor the infraction. Some dogs can “play rough” and see nothing wrong with engaging in this type of play with the humans they love as brothers and sisters (part of their pack). On the same token, children also can “play rough” with one another, and depending on the circumstances could provoke the dog into biting on the basis that he feels it his job to protect another member of the pack. Supervising your children at all times they are around your dog, will protect them.
ALWAYS SEEK PERMISSION BEFORE YOU TOUCH OR APPROACH SOMEONE ELSE’S DOG
It’s never a good idea to go up to a strange dog or to let your children and try to pet them. Even puppies can bite hard enough to create an open wound that hurts And the bigger the puppy, the bigger the bite can be. There are proper ways to touch, or pet, another person’s dog. You should always follow these tips before approaching a strange dog, no matter it’s size.
The best way to go about the letting the dog to know you is to stand very still, in a sideways position, and let him approach you first. Let him sniff you a little. If he approaches you first, then the next step you can take for more “socialization” is to extend the back of your hand to the dog. This will let the dog get to know you without the tendency to be afraid that you will hurt him. You should slowly and calmly extend the back of your hand, fingers under your palm, sort of like a fist but keep your fingers loose. If while you are doing this, the dog begins to growl or snarl, slowly take your hand away. Don’t use any fast or “jerky” motions as this could cause a dog to snap at you. Also, you should not wiggle your fingers around when doing this. It could also make the dog want to bite. Keep them still and slightly under the palm.
Don’t Pat A Dog On Top Of His Head.
Usually dog’s don’t like this and would prefer if you first gave him a soft scratch under his chin. This is more comfortable for the dog and is considered less aggressive than say a head pat. Then, maybe you could do some “behind the ear scratching” if the chin scratching is received well. Speak in a calm, soothing manner and crouch down so you are on the dogs level but never put your face near a dog or let your children.
WHAT TO DO WHEN EVERYTHING ELSE HAS FAILED AND YOU ARE ABOUT TO BECOME THE VICTIM OF A DOG ATTACK.
If you have tried everything suggested above and the dog, or dogs, have begun their attack anyway, there are still some things you can do to fight back and protect yourself. Any one or combination of these could save you or someone else from being a dog attack fatality statistic. Raise your voice at this point. Yell for help. Hopefully others will hear and come to your aid.
DO NOT RUN!
This sends a very clear signal for the dog to chase you down like prey. Stay where you are. Even though climbing a tree might seem like a good idea, some dogs can also climb up or jump pretty high. And, dogs can outrun you. That’s a fact. If while the dog is still coming at you, you can try and scream the word NO!! at the top of your lungs just as loud as you can. If the dog is afraid of you, it will more than likely stop, or run away. But this is not a sure bet. Although using the word NO in a forceful manner has stopped some attacks.
GO FOR THE EYES, EARS, NOSE OR THROAT IF YOU CAN –
Hitting a dog in the nose or on the top of its head as hard as you can, twisting its ears, or poking it in the eye can be an effective way of escaping an attack. Inflicting pain on the animal will in most cases stop an attack, at least for a brief period of time, which may give you just enough time to
get to a safe place and get help. Use your body weight to try to wrestle with the dog.
If Knocked To The Ground, Lay Still In A Fetal Position.
COVER YOUR HEAD AND NECK WITH YOUR ARMS. These will be most likely the first areas a dog will attack you. Protecting these areas with your arms will make it more difficult for the dog to get to vital areas where severe damage can be done such as the neck, throat and head. Do not drop your arms down for any reason and hold them as tightly as you can around these areas. Also keep your hands in fists to protect your fingers.
Many times, if you just lay there and sort of “play dead”, the dog may lose interest and stop attacking and simply leave you alone. Resist the urge to scream or to pull away if you can.
Try NOT TO PANIC, no matter how terrified you are.
Just stay in the fetal position with your head and neck covered not moving. No matter how bad the pain is, don’t move your arms from your head and neck to try and fight off the dog attack. This will leave vital areas unprotected and within seconds the attack could turn deadly. If the dog stops the attack, wait a while before moving and then slowly back away. Don’t turn your back on the dog and move very, very slowly, avoiding eye contact but keep the dog in your peripheral vision. Ring for help ASAP and cover any wounds while you are waiting for medical treatment.
Use Anything Sturdy And Close To You As A Weapon To Defend Yourself With.
If you have enough time to grab an object such as a brush, rake,shovel, cricket bat, etc., something strong you can defend yourself against an attacking dog with, do it. But do it quickly as you will not have much time to act as the dog, or dogs, are rushing towards you. If there is nothing you can use, follow the technique outlined in the previous paragraph. If the dog bites your coat or sweatshirt, try wriggling out of the coat or sweatshirt while the sleeve is in the dogs mouth. This may buy you time to get away before the dog realizes.
Carry Pet Corrector Spray, A Whistle, a Personal Attack Alarm or a Walking Stick With You When Heading Outdoors.
Several places carry products that you can defend yourself with in case you are attacked. Items like pet corrector, a whistle that emits high pitched sounds, a personal attack alarm that emits a very loud noise or a walking stick can be a tremendous aid when encountering aggressive or attacking dogs. Always be prepared to use these when outdoors and have the chance of getting into a potentially bad situation with a dog or dogs.
I hope these tips have given you some useful information that will help you in case you ever find yourself in one of these situations which we hope you never will.