There are some situations in which you may encounter a dog that seems dangerous or threatening. Often, your instincts tell you to run or yell. You’re simply trying to escape the threat or perhaps frighten the dog so that it doesn’t attack.
But these instincts are often wrong. Trying to run away can just cause the dog’s prey drive to kick in, as it has an inherent desire to give chase. Trying to be intimidating and aggressive can just escalate the situation and cause the dog to attack. So what should you actually do?
Start by staying as calm and collected as you can. Don’t yell or make any sudden movements. Talk to the dog in a calming voice.
Avoid eye contact
Remember that dogs see eye contact as a sign of aggression. You do want to watch the dog out of your peripheral vision, but do not make direct eye contact.
Back away slowly
If you can, begin backing away from the dog as slowly as possible. Dogs are territorial, so backing away shows that you’re not a threat. But you don’t want to turn your back on the dog, which could give it an opportunity to bite.
Look for obstacles
Finally, it helps to put something between yourself and the dog. This could be as simple as going behind a parked car on the street, for instance. Some people will also attempt to “feed” the dog something that they are holding, like their coat.
The steps can certainly help, but dog bites do still occur. Those who have been injured need to know about their options to seek compensation.