Dog Safety, People Safety

The common assumption seems to be that almost all dogs are nice. But what should you do if you encounter an aggressive dog?

A good friend of mine is the proud owner of an 80-pound Pit-bull. He loves his dog very much, and it is evident that the love is returned in kind. They love to play together, and his furry friend might as well be an 80-pound teddy bear. However, his pet got bitten by something and his attitude changed drastically right after he was injured. While the dog had never snarled or snapped at my friend, he began to after this injury. While this is not unusual behavior after a canine has been hurt, how should you handle the situation? What is the proper way to act around an aggressive dog?

To begin with, if a dog is acting aggressively towards you, it is best to remain, or look, submissive. This means standing still, if possible, and not looking it in the eyes. Some dogs will just be curious and want to sniff you. Once they get a whiff, they will probably leave you alone. If the animal looks like it won’t be moving anytime soon, start to slowly walk away while still facing the dog. If you are attacked by a canine, give them something to grab or chew on. This could be a backpack, jacket, umbrella or anything you might have or can reach.

While we’re at it, there are some things you absolutely shouldn’t do:

  • Never look an aggressive dog in the eye.
  • Do not charge the dog, or run away from it.
  • Do not yell at the animal. If you need to speak, use a commanding voice instead.

For more instruction on how to remain safe around hostile dogs, talk to your veterinarian, a dog trainer or an expert at your pet store. If your own pet has become aggressive, it’s even more important to seek expert advice. In the meantime, keep yourself, your family and unsuspecting strangers safely away.

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