To avoid a dog bite or attack, you need to recognize that every dog, no matter how cute or apparently friendly it may be, can act in an unpredictable manner. Dog bite safety is largely reliant on the people around the dog. Under the right circumstances, you can have a safe encounter with most dogs. But under the wrong circumstances, even the sweetest dog may lash out or attack. In such cases, an attorney in Dunn like Brent Adams may help sort out the case and file a claim for damages.
The Basics to Avoid a Dog Bite
Dog bite safety rule number one is never approach an unfamiliar dog. Always get the owner’s permission to approach the animal and always let it see and sniff you before you attempt to pet it.
You should never turn and run away from a dog. Its instinct may be to chase you and catch you. This can obviously be a very dangerous situation.
Avoid disturbing dogs that are:
- eating; or
- caring for puppies.
Catching a dog off-guard could inspire a defensive attack.
When it Seems Like a Dog is Going to Attack
When a dog already seems aggressive and bent on attacking you, it may not be too late to avoid a dog bite. There are still several actions you can take. First and most importantly, do not make eye contact with the animal. Direct eye contact could be regarded as a challenge and might lead the dog to attack.
Your instincts might be telling you to run, but that is the last thing you should be doing. Most dog bite safety rules say that if you are confronted by an aggressive dog, you should hold very still. Running or biking away may provoke the dog to chase and attack you, and you do not have the speed to outrun a dog.
Instead, slowly begin to distance yourself from the animal. Try placing an object, such as your bicycle if you have it, between you and the dog. Do not, however, use your arm to distance yourself. Putting your arms out in front of you could make the dog attack and latch onto your arm. If the dog loses interest, continue to slowly back away until the animal is out of sight.
If the dog attacks, though, you may be able to avoid a dog bite by “feeding” the dog your purse, jacket or anything else you have on you. This gives the dog something to bite other than your body.
You may not be able to outrun the dog, but you can get out of its reach. You can climb a nearby tree or car; just try to get up as high as you can. Many dogs are excellent jumpers, so you may have to be prepared to climb pretty high.
If you end up in direct physical confrontation with the dog, grab something solid like a large stick or your purse to place between yourself and the animal. Try to avoid harming the dog, but defend yourself if you have to. If the dog knocks you down, curl into a ball with your hands behind your neck and remain motionless.
Dog Defense Products
For those who are especially worried about confrontations with dogs and ways to avoid a dog bite, there are products designed for repelling attacks.
Canine pepper spray is humane and approved by the EPA. When sprayed at the dog’s face, it causes painful irritation that only lasts for a few minutes before dissipating. You may even consider stun guns or batons, which provide an electric shock that doesn’t do any permanent damage, but should be enough to stop an attacking animal.
Hopefully, you will never find yourself in a situation in which you need to use a stun gun against an animal, but if you are attacked or bitten, seek appropriate medical care. You may even be able to file a claim to recover damages. Still, be sure you understand dog bite safety and know how to best avoid a dog bite to avoid the situation altogether.