Dogs are generally known as man’s best friends and are loyal to the end. However, this loyalty doesn’t cover their level of aggression and would hesitate to exercise it. We need to understand that dogs are animals with animal instincts, and despite their mushy friendly nature, they can attack a human if and when something goes wrong.
Why don’t you read on to know what to do and what not to do in situations where you might likely get attacked by a dog.
When a dog isn’t attacking you but gets aggressive:
You can easily tell dogs impression about you from their body language. When its ears are tightly tilted backwards, and the dog appears to be growling, then it is better to back away from it and walk away keeping as much distance as possible. Doing this helps reduce the risk of any form of provocation. Nonetheless, in cases where this doesn’t work, you should consider the following;
- Trying to calm the dog is a big NO-NO. Doing this may provoke the dog even more. Don’t try to calm or smile at the dog as a friendly gesture. Animals see smiles differently than humans do.
For humans, smiling naturally indicates friendliness and happiness, but having a dog see you smile shows that you are looking for trouble. When you smile, you are possibly going to be baring your teeth and doing that means you are challenging it.
- Ask for help from people around if there are any and try as much as possible not to raise your voice.
- Avoid keeping direct eye contact and try maintaining your cool. Stay as relaxed as possible while you back away slowly. You would only aggravate the dog and encourage it to attack you if you show anxiety.
- Never make the mistake of turning your back on a dog that is showing aggression towards you while you back off slowly keeping your eyes on the animal as you do so.
- Don’t try to run. This would only make the dog chase you, and it might get worse if the animal outruns you.
- Do not. I repeat. Do not try to scare it off with a stick or use pepper spray on the dog. This would only influence the dog’s aggression even more.
When a dog charges at you:
When an animal attacks, it’s always for a number for a number of unobvious reasons. Dogs are very territorial and would attack anyone who comes within their space. They would get aggressive by defending their puppies, when they are hungry or when they are attacked. If after doing the above listed and the dog still attacks you, then you should consider the following;
- Shouting at the dog is a bad idea. No matter what you do, don’t raise your voice.
- Using an ultrasonic do repeller may save you from getting attacked and possibly scare the dog away.
- If you happen to have a piece of cloth or a jacket and have a dog charging at you, try covering its head with either the jacket/sweater or material that is within your reach.
- You should try staying behind objects like fences, cars if any, climb a tree if possible. This makes it difficult for the dog to get to you.
- Try throwing your bag or any loose object on you to the side to take the dogs attention away from you. This would also give you time to avoid the dog while it is busy with the object. In most cases, the dog may only be acting out because it is hungry, so it may be in your favour if you just happen to have food on you.
- The animal may attack your neck since it’s one of the most vulnerable places on your body. So it’s best to cover your neck with your hands, making sure to hide the arteries and veins there. Bites on your legs, forearms or shin are likely to cause minor damage and putting your life at less risk.
- If it happens that you got bitten, pulling away would naturally increase your chance of more injuries caused by the dog bites. Better still, hit the dog in the eyes or nose. Dog specialists also advised that in cases of a dog attack, quickly grab its back legs and then lift them off the ground.
- You could also try pressing the dog down with you weighting using your knees or elbows. Dogs can use their teeth but can’t wrestle, so by pinning them down, you naturally can immobilise them till help comes.
In cases where you get attacked by more than one dog or a pack of dogs. The best thing to do is to apply the same rules listed above but ensure you don’t get surrounded by the dogs. Stand with your back to a wall, but you make sure you don’t run, else, they’d chase after you, and it would be nasty.
What do you do when you get bitten?
It is absolutely essential that you consider dog bites taken care of immediately and failure to do so may cause severe health issues. So let us consider the following methods:
- Rinse the bite wound with soap and water and dab alcohol over the bitten area.
- Visit the doctor immediately. It doesn’t matter if the bite was caused by a domestic or a stray dog.
- Get vaccinated for rabies. A specialist would give you all the shots you need.
A survey carried out has it that humans get infections from rabies by dog bites in 99% of cases. Symptoms of the disease (Rabies) may manifest after 30-50 days of being bitten, so the earlier you get vaccinations, the better. Failure to do so might result in fatal health risk, which may even cause death.
It is vital you take care of yourself and avoid street/ stray animals. If you do come in contact with a dog you can’t avoid, you should try the above listed. I do hope after now; you know how best to handle aggressive dogs.