Dog attacks are an all too common occurrence in neighborhoods across the country. All it takes for your morning jog or afternoon stroll to end in tragedy is for one negligent owner to leave their gate open or refrain from restraining their aggressive animal with a leash. A new report lays out some of the precautions you can take to prevent a dog attack and steps you can take to protect yourself should those preparations still not keep an incident from taking place.
Avoiding a dog bite or attack starts with carrying the proper gear with you when you head out for a walk or a run. If you’re worried about an aggressive animal along your route, then be sure to carry some pepper spray with you. This will hopefully be enough to deter an incoming vicious dog.
You should also plan out your route ahead of time. If you know that a certain yard often contains an aggressive animal, then avoid that space. You never know when a gate could be left open or the dog could simply leap over the fence. You might also avoid dog parks and similar venues that play host to a wide array of dogs off their leashes. Although 99% of pooches in that area might play nice, all it takes is for one dog to get out of hand to cause an injury.
When figuring out the path you’re going to take, plot things out beforehand. Then, get into an automobile and drive the route a few times at different times of the day so that you can gauge any potential hazards along the way.
If you’re ever moving along your route and you see a dog by itself, or with an owner but off a leash, you might consider stopping and altering your path accordingly so that you’re not brought into direct contact with the animal.
Sometimes, though, all your precautions will be for nought and you could find yourself beset by a vicious dog. If that happens, the first thing you should do is halt your movement. Running will be your first instinct, but unless there’s a nearby structure you could climb or get behind, a dog will catch up with you fairly quickly. Seeing you running can actually cause them to be more aggressive. Screaming likewise doesn’t help.
Your best bet might be to stop where you are and cross your arms across your chest, being as still as possible. Dogs get bored easily, and you may find that they’ll simply approach you to sniff you out before losing interest and heading elsewhere.
If, however, the dog does attack you, curl into a ball with your arms covering your face and head. You protect your vital organs in such a way, and hopefully the dog will leave you alone fairly quickly.