The reality is that dog attacks do happen. With statistics putting the rate of dog attack at 4.5 million people per year, it makes perfect sense to learn how to survive a dog attack.
This guide will put you through the process of breaking free from a dog attack.
1. Know the Most Dangerous Dog Breeds
Pit bulls, Rottweilers, Doberman Pinschers, Presa Canarios, and Hybrid-wolves make up the top 5 most dangerous dogs. These dogs can be trained to be friendly, or they can be trained to be attack dogs.
2. Avoid the attack
Before it comes to any encounter with a dog, first, you should try to avoid the attack:
- Don’t smile
- Smiling can expose your teeth and bare teeth signify aggression to a dog. Dogs often take this as a threat.
- Don’t run
- Fast-moving people such as joggers or cyclists tend to be at risk of a dog attack. Running from an attacking dog is never a good idea. For one, most dogs are faster than humans, running also excites the dog and even encourages it to attack more ferociously. So, stand still!
- Face sideways and avoid staring at the dog.
- Try as much as possible to direct your gaze far away from the dog. Making direct eye contact tends to aggravate the dog and trigger an attack. While you channel your gaze away from the dog, it sends signals to the pet that you’re not a threat and it can let you go unharmed.
- Don’t show signs of fear
- Showing signs of fear make dogs more confident in attacking you. On the other hand, if a dog realizes that it can’t scare you, it might think you are a dangerous person.
- Do not make any sudden movements.
- This may help to calm down the dog and show it that you are not a threat.
- Don’t turn your back.
- Dogs often take this as a sign of weakness or an opening to attack.
- Distract the dog
- If you’re with anything like a bottle or a stick, throw it to the side. This will create a distraction and the dog may even run after it.
- Give commands
- In an authoritative voice, command the dog to stop or sit. Some well trained dogs will respond to this command and stop.
Most often, these tips will keep a dog from attacking. But what if you couldn’t avoid the attack?
3. During the attack
- Attack the dog’s weakest points
- The weakest points of a dog are its eyes, neck or nose.
Hitting a dog’s throat or neck may cause the canine to choke. It’s time to get mean to survive.
- Jacket trick
- Do you have something to wrap around your arm? Say, a jacket? If so, wrap it around your nondominant arm and offer it to the dog while you fight
- Aim for its throat
- put pressure on the windpipe for at least 30 seconds until the dog is unconscious and has stopped struggling
- Use a weapon
- Tasers are typically useless against fur-covered animals.
- Pepper spray, survival knife, fire extinguisher and firearm are great weapons against attacking dogs. Remember that dogs don’t recognize these weapons. Showing a knife or firearm does not scare them away. So, use them instead.
- It might take 30 seconds for the dog to recognize the pain of pepper spray.
- Pit Bulls are an exception. Pit bulls are known to fight to the last breath and fighting them only urges them the more to attack. Knife or Pepper spray is not going to work on Pit Bulls. Use fire extinguishers or a distractor instead.
- Use your weight
- Your weight is a great weapon to protect you. Press the dog against the ground using your weight. Dog bones don’t have the strength to withstand your weight.
- Protect the Vital Parts of your Body
- Whatever it takes, never let the dog get to your neck or face. Stay Standing to protect your face
- Use an object
- A dog’s only weapon is its teeth. Put something between your body and the dog’s teeth if you can. This could be a stick, your sleeve or your purse.
- The worst-case scenario
- The worst scenario is when a dog has taken you to the ground. Your first instinct should be to protect your neck and face. Cover your head with your arms and let the dog bite your forearm. Your arm will bleed less than your leg because it has a higher proportion of bone. Then attack the dog’s eyeball by burying your thumb into the dog’s eye.
4. After the attack
- Get Medical Help
- If the dog bites you, consider visiting a doctor for proper treatment. Don’t overlook the scratch and small wounds because they can be harmful, especially when the dog is rabid.
- Inform the Authorities
- Whether the dog attacks you or not, it’s imperative to report it to the authorities.
Tip – teach your child never to touch a dog’s food when it is eating. No matter how well behaved the dog is.