It's impossible to go out for a walk without bumping into at least one dog, either on the street or with the owners. Unfortunately, some of them are aggressive and can be dangerous around people they don't know. That's why you'd better know how to protect yourself - whether by avoiding unexpected encounters, blocking attacks or making calculated moves. Read the tips below to better understand!
Method 1 of 4: Handling a Dog on the Street
Step 1. Always walk protected
Depending on where you walk, you need to protect yourself in some way. Carry a long tree branch, ultrasonic whistle, spray or something like that.
- If possible, buy commercial products made specifically to prevent dog attacks.
- There are whistles that irritate dogs' ears. In general, they have two possible reactions to noise: fleeing or retreating (out of fear).
- Never carry a weapon, even if you have a weapon. It's too risky to try to shoot violent dogs.
Step 2. Don't face the dog directly
The dog can understand any eye contact as a tease. At this point, use only your peripheral vision.
Step 3. Keep your mouth shut
Dogs understand the act of showing their teeth - even if it's a smile - as a sign of aggression. Therefore, close your mouth as soon as possible.
Step 4. Give the dog assertive commands
Stray or untrained dogs may not obey, but there is always the possibility of an assertive command pushing the animal away. Say "To", "No" or "Remove". Use a firm tone without being friendly or aggressive.
Step 5. Spray the dog with water
Bring a spray bottle when you go for a walk. If an aggressive dog comes close, splash water on him.
Method 2 of 4: Blocking an Attack
Step 1. Don't try to run away
It's no use trying to run away: the dog will run after you, thinking you're some kind of prey. This is an instinct. Ideally, try to show that you are not a threat, but that you are not vulnerable either.
Step 2. Raise your knee
Raise one knee to protect your stomach, neck and face. That way, if the dog attacks, it won't cause serious damage to sensitive regions.
Step 3. Cross your arms in front of your face
Dogs of larger breeds try to attack prey faces by instinct. Therefore, cross your arms in front of your head to create a better barrier in the area.
You can even bow your head. Tilt it forward and reach your arms back, creating a kind of sturdier barrier
Step 4. Stay in a fetal position
Since dogs have hunting impulses, you can adopt the fetal position to avoid serious attacks. It may be difficult to lie down on the floor, but this is the safest alternative in this type of situation. Pretend you're dead!
- Do not move or try to move away from the dog little by little. Stay in a fetal position, trying to protect your head, for as long as necessary.
- Remove any clothing or accessory that is around your neck, as the dog may try to pull the material and end up choking you.
- Only fight back if the dog is small. The more force you try to use, the more aggressive the dog will become - especially if he is a larger, stronger breed.
Step 5. Ignore the dog
Do not try to interact with the dog while you are lying on the floor. In other words: don't look in his direction, don't say anything, much less try to caress his fur. The animal is in attack mode and any missteps will only make things worse.
You can keep shouting those commands to the dog
Step 6. Don't try to get away from the dog in case of bites
If you try to pull away, the dog will just bite your skin harder. Depending on the case, it can even splinter!
Method 3 of 4: Avoiding Dog Encounters
Step 1. Start walking in safer places
If you know there are dogs in a certain area, change your walking route. This is even more important if the animals are stray, as the risk of them being territorial is higher.
- Even if the dogs in the area are owned, think about whether you would be at ease if you had to walk alongside animals you don't know. Dogs can sense people's emotions and often know when they are uncomfortable.
- Stay alert whenever you go for a walk in parks and squares. Unfortunately, many people abandon dogs and other animals in places where there is vegetation - and they can become aggressive.
- Always try to bring a long tree branch or some other type of protection when you go hiking in more secluded areas.
- If you want to walk in a new area, talk to some locals and ask about the risks of attack. Remember that dogs are pack animals and, depending on the case, can surround their victims.
Step 2. Cross the street if there is a dog trapped in the backyard of a house
It doesn't hurt to repeat: dogs are territorial animals and defend their space at all costs, even if they need to be aggressive. If you know that a specific house has an animal in the yard or garage, cross the street so you don't have to pass in front of it. At the very least, the dog could give a hell of a scare.
Step 3. Never take a dog by surprise
If you come across a dog who is distracted, don't walk towards him. Better to change course subtly. Even calm animals get aggressive when they are taken by surprise.
Method 4 of 4: Learning to Handle Dogs
Step 1. Ask the owner's permission before getting close to the dog
Don't assume that dog walking on a leash likes to interact with strangers! Not every pet is a fan of this kind of thing. You should always ask the owner if you can get closer.
- Do not run or make sudden movements in the direction of any unfamiliar dog.
- Never run a hand on puppies that are close to their parents but that you don't know.
Step 2. Open your hand and bring your fingers together
This simple gesture shows the dog that you are not a threat. Extend your arm, but do not touch the animal until it is ready and receptive.
Step 3. Wait for the dog to get closer
If the dog shows an interest in interacting, he will come close to you. Leave your arm outstretched for a while while the animal smells you and decides what to do.
If you're scared, don't even try to go near the dog. Remember, these animals can sense people's emotions
Step 4. Pay attention to the dog's behavior
Softer dogs lower their ears to the back of their heads. When the animal leans back, growls or crouches, it doesn't want any kind of contact. In that case, back off slowly.
Run your hand only over the dog's head and back. Avoid areas such as belly, tail, ears and paws
Step 5. Give the dog a treat
If you know your walking area is full of dogs, try walking around with some snacks. This may be enough for the animals to get used to your presence.
Ask the owner's permission before giving the dog any treats. It can be, for example, that he follows a specific and restricted diet
- Go to the emergency room right away if you get bitten by any dogs. This creates the risk of infection. If so, get the information from the owner (who will have to be responsible).
- Report to the police any attacks you suffer from owned animals.
- Don't walk around armed just to try to defend yourself from dogs and other animals.
- Do not try to play with any dog just because he is wagging his tail. This is not always a good sign.
- If you're attacked by a dog, don't think his yawn indicates tiredness. In fact, it means that he is stressed and that the situation is in danger of getting worse.