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Tips for staying safe around dogs

On Behalf of | Jun 14, 2023 | Dog Bites

Most dogs are very friendly and you’re generally safe around them at any time. But there is a chance that you will encounter a dangerous dog, perhaps one that is off-leash and appears aggressive. It can be very frightening to suddenly encounter one of these animals.

How you react to this encounter will have a large impact on the outcome. Here are a few tips that can help you to avoid mistakes and potentially avoid a bite.

1. Don’t make eye contact

Dogs generally perceive eye contact as a challenge or a threat. It is best to turn your head to the side and watch the dog out of your peripheral vision.

2. Don’t yell (and stay calm)

Your natural instincts are often to yell or scream, perhaps out of fear or to scare the dog away. But it’s much better to stay calm. Dogs will read your energy and replicate it, so you want to keep the energy level as low as you can.

3. Don’t run away

Similarly, people often try to run from a dangerous dog, but it’s inevitable that the dog is faster than the person. Dogs also have a strong prey drive, so running is just going to make the dog want to chase you.

4. Back away slowly

Instead of running, you are best off stopping, talking in a common voice, presenting a smaller side profile, and slowly starting to back away. Often, a dog is only dangerous because it is territorial. Slowly leaving its territory can defuse the situation.

These tips are certainly very helpful, but dog bites do happen, and there may not be a lot you can do to stop it. If you get injured, be sure you know about all of your potential rights to seek financial compensation.