How to Defend Yourself against a Dog Attack – 3 Action Steps to Take
1. Take precautions
Dog attacks occur usually because of inadequate training of the dog (by the owner) or insufficient containment of the dog.
So, whenever you see any unchained dog, always prepare for the worst so that you won’t be caught unawares.
A safe move is to take another path (if available). When you meet a stray dog, avoid eye contact with it, as most dogs see this as a threat. Also, avoid smiling at the dog. Though this may show that you are friendly, an aggressive dog would assume that you are baring your teeth in readiness for a fight.
2. Never underestimate a dog
Whenever you see a “Beware of dog” notice, be very careful. Underestimating a dog is the worst thing you can do. Never judge a dog by its size or looks. A small dog could inflict terrible bites. And a seemingly calm dog could be aggressive. A dog is a dog and should be regarded as one – irrespective of its size, age, color, looks, and so on. Having this in mind would help you stay away from dogs when you should.
Once you see a dog approaching you with its body straight and stiff and its head, shoulders, and hips aligned, it is most likely coming for an attack. Don’t wait till it gets closer before you think of what to do. Prepare for it. But don’t run.
3. Be calm, then act fast if (you are attacked eventually)
When a dog approaches you, DO NOT RUN! I just can’t emphasize this rule enough, because it’s just intuitive for anyone to run away from looming danger. But doing so in this case would cause more problems, as the dog would chase you like a prey (and you can never outrun a dog).
Rather than running away, remain calm. Then try to command the dog with words like “down” or “go back”. Such words may cause the dog to retreat temporarily, giving you ample chance to get away. But if your commands fail to work, remain calm. Avoid facing the dog directly and avoid making eye contact with it, as doing these would signal to the dog that you mean no harm.
To further convince the dog that you are not trying to attack it, fold your arms tightly to protect your fingers. Better yet, keep them still by your sides with your fists clenched tightly to protect your fingers. Then remain in a still position. Dogs have very short attention spans. So, it may lose interest and go away after seeing that you mean no harm.