22 September 2023
Encounters with aggressive dogs can be terrifying and potentially life-threatening. While most dogs are friendly and pose no harm, it is essential to know how to react when faced with a dangerous dog that behaving aggressively.
Stay calm – We know this can be easier said than done as your immediate reaction may be fear and panic, try to stay calm. Avoid making direct eye contact and no smiling as these can be seen as a challenge or a threat by the dog.
Distract – If you have food, scatter it as a distraction while you calmly leave the area, do not run.
Slow and steady – Try to stand still, move slowly and avoid sudden movements. Resist the urge to run away from the dog as this can trigger their predatory instinct to chase. Instead, stand still with your arms at your sides or folded. Move away when possible.
Be firm – Better to ignore the dog but, if necessary, use simple commands such as Down, No or Stay to assert presence. Avoid shouting or screaming as this can agitate the dog, speak confidently.
Protect yourself – If the dog begins to attack, use your non dominant arm to shield your neck and face. Keep your fingers together to minimize the risk of severe bites. If there are any objects you can use nearby to put in between you and the dog do so. No matter the size anything is better than nothing, a rucksack, bicycle anything. This will help to create a barrier between you and the dog to help shield you from bites.
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Encounters with aggressive dogs can be frightening but knowing how to react can significantly reduce the risk of injury. Staying calm, avoiding eye contact and using your voice to assert control are essential strategies to remember when faced with a dangerous dog.
Remember your safety should always be the top priority and reporting a potentially dangerous dog to the local authorities is advised to help prevent future attacks.