While most dogs that live as pets are familiar and comfortable with many people, every dog has the potential to attack or injury a person or other animal. And by being in the wrong place at the wrong time, you could come across a dog that, rather than looking friendly, looks like they’d rather rip you to shreds if they could.
In this type of situation, it can be hard to know what you should do in order to keep yourself or others safe. So to help you avoid getting bitten or attacked, here are three ways you can protect yourself when you encounter an aggressive dog.
Resist The Urge To Run
People have a natural fight or flight instinct when they feel that they’re threatened or in danger. Because of this, it might be your natural instinct to turn and run from a dog that appears menacing. However, this really is the opposite of what you should be doing.
According to CBS News, if you turn around and start to run away from an aggressive dog, they very likely will start chasing after you, which will only serve to elevate the situation. Rather than taking this action, it’s best to try to stay as calm as you can and slowly start to back away from the dog. Until you feel that you’re out of danger, don’t turn your back on the dog or make any sudden movements.
Avoid Showing Signs Of Aggression Yourself
There are quite a few signs of aggression that a dog can show that will let you know that it isn’t going to be friendly toward you. Some of the most common signs are if the dog is growling, barking, showing its teeth, or has its head in line with its body. What can make this aggression worse, according to Bear Grylls and GQ Magazine, is if you show signs of aggression back.
Signs from you that a dog will interpret as being aggressive can include showing your teeth, looking it in the eye, and trying to make yourself look big and scary. So while it might not come naturally to you, try to avoid making eye contact with an aggressive dog and attempt to stand sideways so you look less threatening.
Get Something In Between You And The Dog
If you’re fairly certain that an aggressive dog is going to charge at you, or if you feel like the dog is getting too close for your comfort, Wendy Bumgardner, a contributor to Very Well Fit, suggests that you put something between you and the dog. Having a physical barrier between the two of you, whether it’s a tree, a car, a park bench, or anything else between you and the dog will give both of you some much-needed distance.
If you’re ever in a situation where you’re approached by an aggressive dog, consider implementing some of the tips mentioned above.