While it is up to pet owners to maintain control over their animals, there may come a time when you encounter an aggressive dog in public. In this case, it is crucial you take the right steps to mitigate the situation and hopefully avoid injuries.
Some animals are aggressive due to neglect and abuse, while others are reacting out of fear. Regardless of the underlying reason, these tips can help you in an uncertain situation.
Do not run and stay calm
Certain reactions can inflame a dog’s predatory response. For example, if you run from the animal, they are likely to chase after you. Instead, remain calm and stay where you are. While keeping your eye on the animal, but not making direct eye contact, back away slowly. Dog sometimes consider direct eye contact as a threat, and may lash out at you in response.
Speak slowly and steadily
Issuing a dog commands in a slow, even tone of voice can also help to relieve tension. Try using commands like “stop” or “stay” as you back away from the animal. Refrain from yelling or screaming loudly, as it the dog may react aggressively.
Protect yourself from bites
In the event the dog lunges at you, try to put an object between yourself and the animal. Bicycles, backpacks, and even purses can also protect your body in the midst of the attack. Once the dog latches on to the object, get away from the area and seek immediate assistance.
As for dog owners, they must ensure their pet receives the proper training and socialization to be comfortable with unknown people and situations. Dog owners must also restrain their pets at all times, whether on a walk or in the backyard.