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Suppress your instincts in a dog attack

On Behalf of | Jan 6, 2023 | Premises Liability

When a dog charges and appears dangerous, your instincts are usually very clear. Most people’s fight-or-flight syndrome will kick in, and so they will either try to defend themselves or they will try to run away from the dog before they get attacked.

Unfortunately, both of these instincts can be very wrong in certain ways. For instance, trying to fight a dog off or hold it back can result in serious injuries to your hands and forearms. Trying to run can cause the dog’s prey drive to kick in, as all dogs have a strong chase instinct, and it is only more likely to attack you than it would be otherwise. In both cases, your natural instincts usually make the situation worse.

So what should you do?

Instead of following these instincts, try to focus on being calm. For instance, rather than running, you are best off to avoid eye contact with the dog and stand very still. Try to offer a small profile to the dog by turning sideways, keeping your hands tucked close into your body and attempting to make yourself look like less of a threat.

Likewise, rather than running away, you want to slowly back out of the dog’s territory. Don’t turn around because it can be dangerous to turn your back on the dog at this time. Often, stopping and standing in place will get a dog to stop its charge, and then you can slowly back away in a calm fashion. Even if the dog continues barking at you, try not to act aggressively in any way.

Of course, attacks can still happen, and that is certainly not your fault. It’s important to know how to seek compensation from the dog’s owner.