• Apr
    Posted in:
    Posted by: Jarve Kaplan Granato Starr

    What to do if You Are Confronted by an Aggressive Dog

    If you’re like the majority of the people in the United States, you’re a dog fan. There are some of us who love dogs so much that we feel compelled to greet every dog we see, crooning to them and talking to them and asking their owners if it’s okay to pet them. Unfortunately, not every dog is friendly, and some are downright aggressive. Knowing what to do when you encounter an aggressive dog can make all the difference between a momentary rush of adrenaline and an injury that requires medical attention. Here’s what you need to know.

    Dogs that are aggressive demonstrate certain common behaviors that signify that they are about to attack. Some are well known, such as growling, snarling and lunging, but others are less obvious and can give you little chance to react.  If you suddenly realize that you’re in the presence of or are the object of attention of an aggressive dog, you should try to defuse the situation by doing the following:

    • Ignore the dog
    • Cross your arms and turn your body to the side
    • Do not look the dog in the eye – in fact, try to look away
    • Stay still for a minute or so, then slowly move away, and if you can do so in a way that puts something between you and the dog. This can include a handbag, a backpack, or even a newspaper. You want to redirect the dog’s bites onto something else.

    If the dog continues to display aggressive behaviors, stop trying to move away. Stand still and call out for help, but do so without yelling. If the dog has attacked you and brought you to the ground, curl into a ball on your knees, protecting your face and throat by tucking your face into your knees and clasping your hands behind your neck. If you have something elevated that you can jump onto, like a car or table, do so.

    These actions may seem entirely unnatural to you. You may think that you can defuse the situation by talking to the dog and acting friendly, but if a dog views you as a threat this will only make things worse and provoke it more. The best thing you can do is to ignore the dog and try to be invisible to it.

    If a dog in your neighborhood is known to be a threat, you may have considered carrying pepper spray with you. This can lead to further aggression, and if the wind is blowing in the wrong direction can end up hurting you more than the dog.

    If you’ve been attacked by a dog, you have the right to pursue legal action to compensate you for your expenses, pain and suffering. For more information, contact us today to discuss your situation.

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