Being attacked by a vicious dog can be terrifying and potentially life-threatening. Dog bites are fairly common; however, being mauled (repetitively bitten) by a dog is rare. Children are more susceptible to dog attacks than adults are.
Dogs will usually only attack if protecting their territory, if they are rabid, or if they are provoked. If one dog in a pack starts an attack, the rest will automatically join in. Joggers are sometimes attacked and may not even see it coming. The reason for this is that running away from an aggressive dog triggers their instincts to attack prey.
Business Insider gave some tips in a video from Clint Emerson—a former Navy Seal—about what to do if attacked by a dog. Other recommendations came from Victoria Stilwell of Positively and Cesar Millan from The Dog Whisperer television series.
Before An Attack
If a dog growls at you, bears its teeth, and takes an attack stance, here are some things to do:
Defensive Measures During An Attack
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Trying to appease a vicious dog, by talking to it and making eye contact, may only make the situation worse. The best method is to maintain composure, pretend to be bored by not paying the dog any direct attention, and then calmly move away. Hopefully, the dog will lose interest and no longer see you as a threat.
Use something that you carry with you to give the dog something to attack. This can be anything, including a shoe. Do not throw it at the dog. Throw it away from you. This distraction may get the dog to leave you alone and attack the item instead.
Yelling, using pepper spray, hitting the dog with rocks, or a stick will usually only antagonize it further. If you see someone being attacked, find something to throw over the dog’s eyes. A dog will usually stop fighting momentarily when it cannot see. This may give you time to escape.
If you are forced to fight, then fight viciously. You have to convince the dog that you are the alpha (strongest one in the situation) for it to disengage.
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