How to defend yourself if a dog attacks you

It can happen that you are suddenly attacked by an unfamiliar or particularly aggressive dog . An infrequent situation but which can arise at any time: if you run in the park, during a bike ride or even just walking down the street. So let’s see how to act and how to defend yourself in case a dog attacks you.

What to do if a dog attacks you?

Sometimes it is almost impossible to predict a dog’s violent action. It can happen that you are bitten for no apparent reason or that the animal feels threatened by something that you are unable to realize in advance. Here are 10 useful tips to defend yourself from a dog attack:

1. Stay calm

Dogs are said to have the ability to “smell the fear” and nervousness of people. If you yell, run or move in a strange way, the animal can become aggressive and decide to attack you when it considers you a threat . In such cases, the best thing to do is to stop, take a deep breath and let the dog calm down (waiting for the owners to intervene).

2. Don’t move

When a dog approaches you with the clear intention of attacking , it is essential not to make sudden jerks or movements. Don’t  try to scare him , because you will get the opposite result. The best thing you can do in these cases is to stand still with your hands and arms attached along the body, diverting your gaze elsewhere. Act as if you were a tree or a light pole.

3. Don’t start running if a dog attacks you

Again, you must understand that the dog perceives escape as a threat . If you start running, it will chase you, just like children trying to chase after a bird or insect. And remember that no matter how fast and trained you may be, a dog can spring up to you in an instant and bite you when you least expect it.

4. Distract the animal

If you have something in your hand or near it that is easy to grab, throw it far away to get the dog’s attention. Only at this juncture can you choose to move away, but always calmly and in the opposite direction to the animal. A bottle of water, a backpack, a branch or some food are  great diversions .

5. Give him orders

Another useful tip, if a dog attacks you, is to deal with the situation using classic commands . Speak in a firm and confident voice, ordering the dog, for example, to stop, sit down or “let go” if he is biting something. It is important to pronounce these orders firmly but without looking the animal in the eye .

6. Defend yourself with an object

It is never advisable to respond aggressively, since in general no one is prepared to hit an animal, especially being a dog that can jump and move quickly to the side. If a dog threatens to bite you and approaches, grab a long object and use it to keep it away.

7. Use your legs

In order to subdue the animal and prevent it from biting you, you will have to use all your strength and use the weight of your body. Take an advantage position , perhaps high up, and hit the animal with your straight leg, straight on the back.

8. Take a defensive stance

A good technique to use if a dog attacks you is to make a “ball” with the body , covering the face, arms and throat with the hands. At the same time, you will protect your stomach and stomach with your legs and knees. Thanks to this position, the dog may leave you alone and walk away. In the event of an attack, the wounds will only be superficial, since you are protecting your main weaknesses.

9. Walk slowly

If you see a dog approaching with a clear intention to bite , the best thing you can do is walk backwards in the opposite direction, as slowly as possible. Remember to avoid any sudden movements.

10. Watch out for warning signs

If you already know that there is a dangerous dog nearby, the best precaution is to avoid going through that particular area. Stay away from places where the famous “Warning: Dangerous Dog” sign appears and talk to the owners if you happen to witness or suffer from attacks.

If you are bitten by a dog, even if the wound is superficial, you should immediately go to the  emergency room . Whenever possible, it would be useful to speak with the owners to find out what types of vaccines the animal has been given, but a visit to the hospital is mandatory to avoid even serious infections.

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